Relationships with primary constituencies
The projects and programmes that organisations run provide critical insight into how organisations engage with their beneficiary communities as well as the nature of these relationships.
Expect donors to ask:
- How are these programmes addressing the community’s priority needs: Does the project or programme have involvement of the community through ownership or participation? What is the ethos of the organisation: does the project have an underlying ethos which says “we know exactly what you need and this is what we are going to do for you? Is it building capacity and is there a residual effect?
- What are the aims and objectives of the programmes, are they realistic and achievable? What exact problem is being addressed, what is the target group and what activities are carried out by the organisation to make a difference and to bring about change?
- Who are the actual people (i.e. the direct and indirect beneficiaries) that the programme targets? How many are there? What other statistics informs your programme design and actual programme activities?
- How well is the organisation staffed and resourced to be able to deliver its programmes? What is the track record of the organisation and what evidence do you have for this?
- How long does the organisation envisage that the programme will be active? Does it have a finite life span or is it ongoing? If this is a finite programme, what is the exit strategy and what must have changed in the community before you exit? This is a critically important question as it relates to the question of impact (i.e. quantifiable results) on the people and the community that the organisation works with, and really asks that you think carefully about how you are measuring this impact.
- What does it cost to deliver programmes? It is extremely important that you break down the specific budgets for your specific projects. Include amounts from other donors – this allows you to identify any budget shortfalls and to be transparent about these in your fundraising efforts.