Becoming the Organization You Imagine

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For a small organization, development can be a very daunting topic, ”probably because of all the baggage that money carries with it, sometimes, as individuals founding a new organization are not very comfortable with asking for money. In addition, you are also wondering how you can realistically plan great things with so little money and little concrete prospect of getting money. But you are driven with the passion of belief in your cause. Allow that passion to come through and you will be very effective in development for your organization.

First, €”even in the mad scramble to stay afloat, plan and have a plan. It is important that you look down the road and stay aware of potential opportunities and pitfalls. Think realistically about your various sources of income: can they be improved, can you find new ways to think about them, can you ask more of these various sources? This could include asking past donors to make a greater commitment, to commit to ongoing support or subscription-based support, or to provide in-kind services.

For the larger organization, choosing the appropriate strategy and hiring effective staff is critical. Your organization may benefit from a combination of expertise, accurate reading of opportunities and the environment, and good fortune. In all situations, the most significant element will be networking. Your organization should take every opportunity to meet people, attend meetings, and connect via email with individuals or organizations. Be open-minded about what creates a good connection; you might be surprised at the benefit you get down the road from simply having spoken to someone in the past.


Funding Sources

Funding sources can be quite diverse and there may be some nontraditional sources for your group. So if your organization's mission isn't cancer or heart disease, don't lament that no foundation or individual will be interested in your mission. There are plenty of niches, plenty of ways that your organization might prove attractive to a funding source.

Do you have a great story about a serendipitous networking connection or a creative way you located a source of funding? Let us know, and we can share it - membership@geneticalliance.org

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