SUSTAINABLE FUNDRAISING FOR DEVELOPMENT
Parry, Elizabeth Clare
Poverty alleviation and sustainable development continue to present serious challenges in South Africa with 34.1% of the population living on less than $2 a day.1 In addition to government, national and international non-governmental organisations (NGOs and INGOs) play a critical role in tackling development issues but resources are stretched and sustainable fundraising presents a challenge for many NGOs. The potential of individual donors to financially support INGOs has been successfully harnessed in Europe and North America but is not utilised to the same extent in middle income countries, including South Africa. Targeting individuals in South Africa could provide a route to greater financial stability and sustainability for many of the country’s NGOs. Individual fundraising is just one of many fundraising models, but one that is increasingly being used in other middle income countries and is relatively unexplored in South Africa. Drawing on the experience of fundraising initiatives in other middle income countries could help avoid some of the challenges particular to fundraising in such economies, although only through detailed research and testing will the South African market be opened up to such opportunities. Interviews were held with fundraisers and development practitioners in Argentina, Brazil, India, Thailand, South Africa and the United Kingdom to understand how individual fundraising was used in these economies and whether it had potential as a future fundraising model in South Africa. Recent survey findings indicate that faith based organisations currently enjoy widespread financial support from South Africans who give to social causes but that there is untapped potential in relation to the recruitment of regular and committed financial supporters to a particular cause. Harnessing this potential is difficult and requires both a long term strategy and substantial financial investment, but implemented successfully it could result in significant rewards for INGOs in terms of improved donor support and financial sustainability.
MM - P&DM
Fundraising, Non-governmental organisations