What else donors look for?
The operational side of the organisation is also hugely important.
When assessing applications for funding, expect donors to have questions about your:
- Director / CEO – sometimes, this is the founder of the organisation. Donors will try to make an assessment on how much of a visionary and strategist your Director/CEO is; is he/she a recognised champion of the work of the organisation and work within the sector trying to bring about the change you seek.
- Team – what skills do they have? How involved are they in the decision making processes of how the work gets done; are there people in the team who are acknowledged experts in their field; if not, whom do they work with/or consult to provide this guidance; is there a potential successor to the CEO amongst the staff; in assessing risk, expect questions about your staff turnover.
- Organogram – how is the organisation set up. Are staff being efficiently utilised (is the staff structure balanced and logical).
- Qualifications – does the team have the qualifications to deliver the service/s being rendered.
- Experience – this is difficult for donors to determine at first glance. Expect questions that will explore how your services have changed over time, based on the experiences of your team and of the context within which you work.
- Training – many community-based organisations start out with well-meaning individuals who wish to change something in their communities. Often, services bring in passionate and experienced people from the community who need to be mentored and supported in this role. Expect to answer questions on how committed the organisation has been to training and developing its staff and what other specific skills are needed for which people need to be trained.