In a recent members-only webinar, Arukah’s trustee ANDREW TOMKINS and community enthusiast ERIC OYUGI shared their experiences of mobilising funds for community projects. Here’s 7 things we learned:
Sensitise community members on the issues at hand. It is important that every community member understands why the need is so important. This is what will drive them to bring change. For example, if your community has poorly constructed classrooms, the learning experience will be difficult and many students will not do well in school. If the community understands the need for good education then they will work together to mobilise resources and bring change because it is close to their heart.
Community funds are available but are not adequately accessed. Some of the challenges that hinder communities from accessing funds include little contact between Social Development officers from the government and the community. As a community, it is important to maintain close relationships with Social Development Officers and NGOs which will in turn grow their knowledge of your community project.
You can mobilise resources in many ways. There are many ways to mobilise funds for your community’s project. While you may be more inclined to bring community members to fundraise, you can also approach local NGOs or look into your community’s local area Constituency Development Fund. It is more effective to mobilise resources from many avenues especially if you have a big project that requires a lot of funds.
Skills will come in handy when mobilising and managing funds. If possible, ensure that your community has planning, negotiating, managing, accounting and reporting skills. It is important to know how to mobilise funds, but it is equally important to know how to manage those funds well so that you can achieve your goals. Spend time training your team/Cluster to obtain these skills and ensure that each person receives training according to their capacity.
Elect a Project development and management committee. Having a good structure is key to the success of your community’s project. As you elect the team, make sure that they are people who you trust and who will focus on the main priority when looking for and utilising the funds.
Do an appraisal of your community needs. As you plan on mobilising funds, ensure that you have done a proper assessment of your community’s need. Produce a plan with clear goals and markers of your goals and achievements. As you approach relevant people or giving organisations, ensure you have a detailed assessment with your needs clearly written out as well as a detailed budget. It is also important to write down the goals and timelines so that you can do follow ups when necessary.
Utilise funds to create income generating activities. If you have been successful in receiving funds, you can set some funds apart to create some income generating activities that will sustain your community. Income generating activities such as farming will ensure that community members have funds to do other projects and eliminate poverty.
If you would like to listen to the full interactive session, click HERE.