Topic 1: Understanding the context we live in

In this module, we will explore the context and types of donors and funding sources crucial for organisational sustainability. Learn a simple yet effective method to optimise your funding grant-seeking strategy by categorising potential sources based on funders and funding types. Tailor proposals, diversify sources, and stay flexible to adapt your strategy effectively. Unlock insights to navigate donor engagement and funding strategies, propelling your organisation forward.

It’s not all about grants either. Learn how to position your organisation to secure multi-year, unrestricted funding from philanthropists, investors and businesses.

Understanding the context

The world today is confronted with a myriad of challenges that demand our attention and strategic response. From the looming threat of climate disasters to escalating geopolitical tensions and the transformative force of artificial intelligence (AI), organisations must navigate a multifaceted terrain to thrive in an uncertain future.

Let’s take a closer look at the world today:

Image 1: This image summarises the situation we find ourselves in, in the world right now.

What can we do now?

To effectively navigate the uncertainties of the present moment, organisations must take immediate action. This involves analysing existing processes, identifying areas for improvement, and leveraging emerging opportunities. Here are key strategies for you to consider:

  • Scan new donor markets: Explore new avenues for funding by identifying and accessing previously untapped donor markets.
  • Build up reserves: Recognise the importance of financial resilience by prioritising reserve building to weather unforeseen challenges.
  • Diversify income: Expand revenue streams by attracting new donors and diversifying income sources to enhance financial stability.
  • Optimise financial and operational indicators: Continuously evaluate and improve financial and operational metrics to maintain agility and efficiency.
  • Deploy AI: Embrace AI technologies to streamline processes, enhance employment propositions, and improve operating speed and scale.
  • Reconsider organisational models: Evaluate and adjust organisational structures to ensure alignment with current needs and objectives.

These immediate strategies can equip your organisation with the resilience and agility needed to navigate the uncertainties of the present moment effectively.

What can we do in the next 1-3 years

Looking ahead, you must plan for the future by developing sustainable strategies that foster long-term growth and resilience. Here are key strategies for you to consider for the next 1-3 years:

  • Create private sector partnering mechanisms: Establish mechanisms for sustainable partnerships with the private sector to facilitate larger-scale collaborations.
  • Manage innovation purposefully: Allocate resources for innovation initiatives, including dedicated funds for experimentation and continuous improvement.
  • Shift work to the local level: Based on previous analyses, decentralise work to local levels to focus on higher-value tasks and foster networked collaboration.
  • Manage energy, not time: Emphasise energy management over time management to optimise productivity and well-being.
  • Use RACI: Implement clear roles and responsibilities (Responsible, Accountable, Consulted, Informed) to improve talent selection processes.
  • Match agility with expectations: Align agility and work flexibility with clear performance indicators and expectations to reduce stress and enhance effectiveness.

By implementing these forward-thinking strategies, as an organisation you can position yourself to navigate uncertainty, foster innovation, and thrive in an ever-changing world. Note that these actions are not all you can do. There is a lot more. This course focuses on funding and resource mobilisation, but it’s important to keep the greater picture in mind. 

In a world full of uncertainty, funders look for organisations that not only understand the current issues but also have solid plans to deal with them.

By connecting your proposals with the broader context of global challenges and solutions, you can present yourself as a force for positive change. This helps you attract the support you need to move towards a more sustainable and prosperous future.