A depressing fundraising week

This week, we received ZERO new donations. Yes, there are promises pending and at least one cheque in the mail, but especially in fundraising, a bird in the hand is worth many in the bush.

As Managing Trustee, I share credit for Prajnya’s successes but all our shortcomings are a function of my own failures. So on a morning like this, I am left asking: what more could I have done?

One route we have thought about often but never really pursued, largely because we end up being so overstretched and short of time, is to approach individuals in the corporate sector and ask for large donations. While we are a little leery of a “XYZ Pvt Ltd” sponsors Prajnya situation, we realise that our rock-solid support base of individuals cannot meet our needs. Most individual donations are in the range of 500-5000 Rs, and this goes a very long way because we are so frugal. However, having raised only 1 lakh where we need 8, we have to acknowledge that a few donations of 50K, for instance, could really help us without breaking a corporate’s back.

People who get to know us, are ready to help out. But how to get them to get to know us? This chicken-egg roundabout has me dizzy!

What we’ve learnt is that most MBA gyaan does not work for us. And fundraising tips are most suited to charity or service NGOs, not people like us. It’s been a steep learning curve but we’re learning now that it’s our story, in our voice, told our way, that gets us the most sympathetic listening and solid support. But how to get someone to give us that kind of time?

All thoughts buzzing around in my head. 😦

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