Can Philanthropy Plug the Funding Gap?

This week the news featured Dame Elisabeth Hoodless’s criticism of the coalition’s programme of cuts and the adverse affect it was having on the BIG Society plans (a coalition initiative).  The former head of CSV was and is supportive of the idea of a BIG Society but now fears that it is under threat, particularly in light of so many voluntary organisations struggling as their government funding is reduced.

So how are organisations going to meet the significant gap brought about by recent cuts?  And, perhaps more importantly, can organisations rely solely on fundraising to plug the gap?

There are definitely worrying times ahead and some organisations will inevitably fail.  Even those who continue to have an element of government funding as well as in-house fundraising resources will struggle – but it’s even worse for those who have little or no current donors that they can call upon to help them out.  How can they hope to achieve their ambitions?

  • Maybe organisations should access local funding – rather than the big, well-known sources of funding that every charity will be trying to access – looking to their local community, companies, individuals and partners?  After all, while a smaller organisation may not have significant donors they may have strong local support who may lend a voice to their campaigns to raise money or even open a few doors.
  • Perhaps new technology and social media can help organisations to be more creative and work smarter to reach new audiences through crowdfunding, Facebook and Twitter to raise awareness and generate support?  I’ve already written a few blogs about this so won’t go into detail here but it’s certainly going to change the face of fundraising – watch this space.
  • Or maybe the answer is not to cut back but to be even more ambitious, seeking more funding to become more robust and, therefore, more sustainable in the future by creating a new fundraising team or developing new programmes that will increase earned income.
  • ?

Do you think there are still opportunities for small or local organisations to raise more philanthropic income and sponsorship?  Or do you think that philanthropists will lend their support to better known ‘causes’?

freelance fundraiser

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