Charities look for new fundraising methods in tough financial times

2013-08-30 00:00

THE financial crunch means less money for charities, and that necessitates a rethink on how to raise funds, says Donna Stevenson of the Natal Settlers Memorial Homes in Durban.

“We empathise with organisations like Childline KZN, because we face similar hardships. We realised we cannot keep doing the same thing, because the environment and circumstances around us are constantly changing. We have had to consciously look at new income streams,” she said.

The organisation now for example approaches corporates and businesses for donations in kind — so instead of money, they ask for services or equipment, which means they do not have to eat into their capital for those expenses.

She said the traditional ways of raising funds are not applicable anymore, and sitting back and waiting for Lotto money or subsidies to come through is simply not enough.

That is also why she uses her wide network of acquaintances and people they know to spread the word of the 410 aged and infirm people they take care of, as well as 40 children with cerebral palsy. They are accommodated in seven homes in the Durban. area.

Lisa Ellis of Youth For Christ KwaZulu-Natal said she was praying for a miracle so that Childline KZN could continue serving young people.

Her organisation, which assists the various needs of children and youth, is also facing financial challenges. They have to work extra hard to maintain relationships with their current donors and continue searching for new funding opportunities.

“Fundraising requires great perseverance. Responses are not immediate and many NGOs are targeting the same donors for funding. Nonetheless, we must persevere because we believe in the cause,” Ellis added.

She said their fundraising methods include direct mail, proposals, sponsorship programmes, competitions and income-generating projects. Currently they are receiving funding from international trusts, government, local business, churches and individuals.

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