Now the real work begins. You may find that you need to get together some funds to make your first project goals possible. This can be tricky, but not impossible!
- If asking for money makes you physically cringe, as it does a lot of people, read this blog post, In Defense of Raising Money: A Manifesto for NonProfit CEOs. It is incredibly inspiring and will prepare you for battle. Here’s a little excerpt –
Money = Power. Our society has done a spectacular job of creating enormous amounts of wealth. At the same time, wealth is associated with power, and not having wealth can feel like not having power. So going to someone who has money and saying, “You have the resources, please give some of them to me” doesn’t feel like a conversation between equals.
How about this instead: “You are incredibly good at making money. I’m incredibly good at making change. The change I want to make in the world, unfortunately, does not itself generate much money. But man oh man does it make change. It’s a hugely important change. And what I know about making this change is as good and as important as what you know about making money.
There. Don’t you feel better?
- Money can come from lots of places – charitable trusts and foundations, local councils, businesses, awards or just a bunch of other individuals (check out 10:10’s innovative funding model for their Solar Schools programme). Do some research.
- Be clear about your project goals and outcomes. Make a budget (don’t be scared now). Get help from someone who has written a few funding applications before, and is willing to be a critical friend.
- Don’t give up. The East London Green Jobs Alliance had a pretty slow period during May and June last year because of a funding gap, but with a bit of donated time from Alliance members and coordinators we kept it ticking over until some new funds came in. Perseverance pays off!
- If you get a meeting with a funder, power dress. It will make you feel better.