From 3 to 4 February Bridging the Gaps partners Nai Zindagi (Pakistan), Youth Vision (Nepal) and Laras (Indonesia) participated in a fundraising training in Bangkok. The training is part of the second phase of a Resource Mobilisation Project implemented by Mainline in partnership with Nai Zindagi and their Asian partners. While the first phase of this project focused on the development of a road map towards optimal branding and fundraising with the private and corporate sector (see also the report ‘A new vision on Change), this second phase of the project aims to provide these organisations with the skills and conditions needed for successful fundraising. An interview with both the trainer (Jolan van Herwaarden) and two of the training participants, both newly recruited fundraising officers for their respective organisations (Rewati Raman Dhakal – Youth Vision Nepal and Bilal M. Qureshi – Nai Zindagi Pakistan).

About the training: from online mentoring to advanced-level skills-building

The training in Bangkok was developed to equip the newly recruited fundraising officers and the directors of the 3 organisations with skills to raise funds from both the corporate and private sector. Through building their capacities, these organisations will become stronger and less dependent on donor money from traditional donors. Prior to the training, the trainer provided online mentoring to the participants in different fundraising areas, including branding, corporate communications and social media. During the training itself, Jolan presented more fundraising theories and methodologies – aiming to bring the knowledge and skills of the participants to a more advanced level.

Jolan, in your theories you speak about creating a bridge between you and the fundraiser. How do you do this?

This ‘Bridge’ means that you will need to translate your work, the problem and its solution into a language your potential donor can understand and that will make him/her join in with your solution (and donate money to it). The way to do this is often with stories, statistics and images.

We all know that key populations are the agents of change and it is that what will ignite successful fundraising Jolan van Herwaarden, Fundraising expert and trainer

Bilal, which part of the training has inspired you the most and why?

The most inspirational part was Jolan’s presentation on “The World of Asking and the Joy of Giving”, particularly the ‘bridge’ concept, where we need to find a linkup between our needs and also focus on what the donor wants, what are its motivators and its explicit needs. It definitely helped expand the my vision.

Rewati, what are you going to do differently now after this training?

After the training I am going to produce long and short term strategy for fundraising. The training has made me more focused and directed towards the fundraising strategies and i will be building relations with corporate sectors.

Bilal, how do you plan to stay in touch with your colleagues from the other countries?

The resource mobilization workshop played a great role in bridging the communication gap between the fundraisers. Since all three of us are performing the same job for different organizations, I think it was a great opportunity to network with each other; synergy is always beneficial in my personal experience, especially in our case where we have this reasonably challenging task at our hands.

Jolan, fundraising for marginalized groups can be very challenging. What would be your advice for other organisations who want to raise funds for activities related to key populations?

Fundraising is all about hope. It is the fundraising that makes a dream of a better world come true and it is fundraising that enables us to change the world.

Fundraising is selling that dream; you are not selling the problem, but you explain the solution

Follow our three Asian partners on Facebook:

Nai Zindagi, Pakistan: https://www.facebook.com/NaiZindagiTrust
LARAS, Indonesia: https://www.facebook.com/pages/LARAS-Foundation
Youth Vision, Nepal: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Youth-Vision-Drug-Treatment-Rehabilitation-Center