The examples and perspective in this article refer to the wealthy charitable foundation segment of Denmark. The techniques have helped many people raise funds from Danish foundations and can also be useful for other types of fundraising, such as running a crowdfunding campaign.
The eight steps to fundraising for Danish foundations involve:
1. Understand the sector
2. Set up your team
3. Clarify your story
4. Put it in writing
5. Find and analyze grants
6. Create a work process
STEP 1: UNDERSTAND THE SECTOR:
Danes often tend to describe Danish foundations as “closed”, “for insiders” and “useless”. It is very difficult to define the typical base, however the vast majority of the bases are “small”, “unstaffed” and have a paper application round per year.
While there are many specific purpose foundations in Denmark, many Danish foundations are general purpose foundations that fund a wide variety of causes, including: arts, culture, social aid, emergency aid, entrepreneurship, business, health, children, communities and international development. .
Realdania is one of the richest charitable foundations in the world and donated DKK 818M in 2014 ($ 122M).
STEP 2: SET UP YOUR TEAM:
Having the right qualifications on your team can be the key to a successful fundraiser. It is recommended to have a fluent Danish speaker on board, who can break down existing language barriers. Other strong skills include: analytical skills, curiosity, guts, the ability to use available mentors and networks, and having a structured work style.
3. GET YOUR STORY DIRECT:
Before you even start fundraising, you need to define exactly what you are doing. I recommend that people start with the end in mind, defining objective goals. What does success look like? Where is your project in five years? Validate your idea among experts. Communicate with future clients and / or beneficiaries.
4. PUT IT IN WRITING:
You must believe in your idea and not be afraid to show it to the foundations. Foundations are essential and do not want to fund projects that are not well researched and planned. Make sure to develop a complete application and detailed project description in the Danish language.
5. SEARCH AND ANALYSIS SCHOLARSHIPS:
The purposes of each foundation are communicated in a set of criteria (often in Danish). Applying for grants that match your project goals will increase your chances of obtaining funding. There are very few useful grant dictionaries and online resources on Danish funding available. The best book is “Vejviser til Legater og Fonde”, which costs around DKK 1,100 ($ 167).
6. CREATE A WORK PROCESS:
The typical work process is as follows;
1: Identify the grant
2: Research the grant
3: Write how your project and intentions coincide with the missions of the foundation.
4: prepare documents
5: Apply for the grant
6: Register your activity.
Using a free cloud service like Google Drive has several benefits, such as document syncing for team members and working in virtual teams. I recommend using these built-in productivity tools: Google Docs and Google Spreadsheet; to work on your standard application documents and to store important foundation information.
Effective execution involves repeating the above work process efficiently for all foundations with available funds. Make sure to prioritize the foundations that you expect to fund your project, and always make sure you adhere to the foundation’s application procedures. It is recommended to have a dialogue with the foundations during your application process.
Get your fundraising efforts back on track and, most importantly, yourself. All fundraisers make mistakes, and you will need to correct those mistakes by honestly adjusting your fundraising appeal and overall strategy. The goal is not to be good at fundraising, the goal is to be good at what you do with the funds raised, so that your project changes the world for a better place.