Building for the Future

By: Phann Bunnath

Today, we have learned about “building for the future: action planning and fundraising” from Mrs. Deena Mansour, Associate Director of Mansfield Center. We discussed about program’s goals and how to reflect to the personal goals of each fellow before landing in United States and what they are going to do in their home countries. It was venue for us to plan what we are going to do specifically as a SMART goals. That was a good time for us to listen to other fellows from other countries about their commitments and also their long term goals. Such as an impressive while all fellows are very committed to bring their experience back to make difference in their countries.

After this session, we have another sharing from Ms. Frankie McBurney Olson, Executive Director for Habitat for Humanity in Montana. As the warming up of the meeting, she shared a little bit of the organization’s program on how raising fund in locally and specifically to help people who has low income and provide support for people in sheltering to poor people. She had shared us a lot of the fundraising strategies like gift in kind and cooperate grant and other. Especially, the marketing strategy of putting some agency’s logos while it is a kind of promoting their agencies so they need to contribute some money to program. In Cambodia, we have never thought about that thus we felt that it was common for private sector to earn money but here they used it as a part of fundraising and also effective methods. We have learned that this way of doing is not so much difficult to do but we just did not think about and we hope we can initiate these strategies in our countries, either.

How to Write Effective Funding Proposals?

To be continued from the above topic, Ms. Deena Mansour continued to present the follows on how to write an effective proposals for grant after all the follows are going back to their countries or later if we are interested in writing for granting any project from U.S Department of States. She shared to some techniques of writing and the certain questions that all people have to look at and think about thus they are very important components to get the proposal looks strong and attract the funders such as; executive summary, vision/problem statement; program goals, objectives and methods and capacity and a work plan. Lessons learned during this session will be used by participants in the small grant competition to help support action plans. She was so inspired us of her clear instruction of how to put ideas into the proposal. It is very important for us to learn about and how this such as lesson as we all from NGO managements. It is not only to gain more knowledge regarding to our personal development but also it is a glass-self that we could reflect to our proposal so far that why we could not attract the donors and we learned how to apply it in our organization in order to get more funding to support the program that we are doing.

Not yet finish, Ms. Susan Hay Patrick, CEO of United Way of Missula Country, she shared us about her Non-Profit Organization and success story of her own initiative in fundraising. The golden idea from her today was so wonderful and full of encouragement as she said “The fundamental tool of fundraising is building relationship and offer the opportunity to people invest”. This idea really important and sound very concrete as inspiration to us. This word really comes to our heart and soul as we seem don’t think about that and because we have less involved in fundraising in our countries’ organizations. According upon the experience from her is that we have feel hopeful to access people in order to get them to know why they have to donate the money, what is the benefit of doing so and how they money change the community…etc. Even we don’t success to get people donate the money don’t be excuse and lose your heart and don’t lose your hope, keep doing it. The tools lead to success is building with people as much as possible. Building the culture of donation to people constantly and step by step it will get happen. We felt that we have a lot from various sharing today. And we have never to forget to express our surprising of joining the fundraising in action at Home ReSource. It was so creative idea where this organization could educate how to reuse waste, with the vision to build vibrant and sustainable local economy. So all we have learned will be an concrete action planning for future and what we have learned today will be the result of making difference in our home countries.

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