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The following study has been undertaken on the behalf of the client, a local scouting troop that is in need of raising a large sum of money very quickly, to assist them in some of their very urgent programs.
Being a very passionate in marketing, and having applied very many marketing approaches, both in profit making and also non profit making organizations, I also believe that there are a number of issues that are also very pertinent to marketing also in the public and voluntary sectors. My experience with many marketing entities both locally and internationally, has taught me that marketing is one of the main life lines for any organization.
Marketing and its philosophy and practice are also suited to the public and voluntary sectors. It is a great gift to come across a marketing strategy and technique that has its dominant philosophy of beginning with the requirements of the end user of the products or services in question, rather than the concerns of the entities providing these services and products. It is also very practical and also right to have these processes begin from where the consumer is instead of where they would want to be in future.
This is the philosophy that I strongly believe should be likened to community work and development. This is in line with the practice used even in the education sector, to the effect that the beneficial knowledge given to a learner must usually begin from where the learner is instead of where he or she is expected to be. This is the marketing approach that is most commonly used in many non profit making organizations; my client, the local scouting group, falls just here.
Background and statement of the problem
Most non profit making organizations rely solely on the good will of the general society around it to finance most of their activities. These entities would include but not limited to individuals, business communities, the government and non governmental organizations and even the donor communities within and also outside the country. These could be national or international organizations that have been known to give grants and any other financial assistance to charitable organizations.
My client being a scouting group also falls within this group of the beneficiaries of such donations, to facilitate its organizational and operational activities. Their only source of survival is contributions both from new and existing donors. The society also has some other minor sources of income, since they recently initiated some income generating activities. Unfortunately, due to the fact that these are ventures that are still very young, not much can be expected out of them at this very hour of urgent need.
The other difficulty is that most of the existing donors have timeline s in which they can come in and assist with the group. This means that they cannot be called just any time, since they also have benchmarks and thresholds attached on their conditionalities to give any form of assistance. To add on to this, their assistance in form of the contributions that they make on a regular basis to the organization is also limited to what they had earlier pledged. Due to the fact the money that can be expected from these donors is limited and that most of it will only come at a later date, the scouting group is left with no other option but to look for other alternatives since they need a very large sum of money, within a very short duration.
This great need and the urgency with which it has to be met calls for a very accurate and potent strategy, that will see the organization collect it and spend it on the proposed scale. This has therefore to be executed with a lot of professionalism and carefully applied public relations exercises, to ensure that it is a success all through. This fact notwithstanding, a few short comings will have to be expected and therefore both preventive and mitigative precautions should be taken in appropriate ways.
Identifying appropriate sources of funding
It will be seen to be obvious that the main sources of funding that will be left open to this organization is fees paid for individual memberships. This has been a case where each member joins the organization by paying an obliged standard fee showing the commitment of that particular member to the activities of the scouting group, will also go towards meeting some of the administrative and operating costs of generally running the organization.
Additional source of funding will be provided for by organized camps by the group, and from fees paid during special events organized by the group. Such activities usually attract very many participants who are usually more than willing to pay nominal fees so as to participate I such activities when and where they have been organized. These activities may include but not limited to entertainment festivals, sporting activities and awareness campaigns organized on the behalf of other contracting organizations.
The financial assistance obtained from various sources, be they internal or external, usually goes a long way in reducing fees collected from members’ contributions and those from other sources as organized by the group.
A scouting group may from time to time, depending on the prevailing circumstances, consider holding very serious fundraising campaigns so as to either complement and or supplement the fund s they get from fees. A group can in this case plan its own fundraising campaign, or may select to participate in many other fundraising campaigns organized either at the regional or even the national level. Either 0of these options could be settled on, at the appointed times since they must be caused to run with the official calendar dates, not breaching in any way, any other activity or activities that the umbrella body has organized.
If a group chooses to make their own fundraising campaign program, a formal requisition must be done to the regional office concerned. This must be done in an appropriate and a timely manner. The necessary documents such as the forms for the requisition, the application letters and requests fro approvals should be duly accomplished. Since these take some time to be processed, they ought to be made in good time.
Other dependable sources of funding upon which a scouting group can bank may include but also not limited to prominent personalities, corporate organizations and the government. There are known individuals within the country who well known to give support to such endeavourers. There are also a number of corporate organizations which if approached in good time, can in effect assist the scouting group in many ways including financially. The government has also been known to give various types of assistance including financial ones to such groups. One thing that must however be guarded against is serving the political interests of a particular individual or groups or groups of individuals. The scouting society must at all times maintain its neutral stand as far as politics and race and religion are concerned.
Planning an implementation
The fact that this scouting organization requires to obtain a large sum of money within a very short time cannot be over emphasized. Therefore, an elaborate plan that has been properly organized and implementation schedule is aptly provided here in under. Based on the fact that this organization will largely depend on private donations, the following seven issues relating to donor perceptions must be seriously taken in to account. These include the particular awareness of the scouting group, motives of the organization and the use of the funds that will proceed from the fundraising campaign, the expectation, perception and future involvement, intentions, views from donors on the improvement of the evaluation methods detailing whether the intended objectives are met or not.
A carefully drawn budget both for the planning of the actual fundraisers and how the proceeds from all these activities will be spent will have to be made first. Then all the necessary documentation must be done. These will have to include the letters of approval of the event or events from both the regional scouting authorities and the national government and even the national scouting association.
Proper communication will then be done to all the individuals or groups of individuals who will be formally requested to engage in these activities. All the fundraising activities should have been settled upon before any of these pieces of communications are done, giving the appropriate dates on which each event will be carried out. Any item or items to be sold on those particular days including things like pop corns, ice cream etc should have been settled upon, to give ample time for finding them and arranging for their sale.
Other events that may be included in the whole campaign such as public awareness races and other sporting activities will also need to be evaluated and settled upon. All these activities must be the proper application of acceptable public relations exercises and strategies so as to bring on board as many people and organizations as possible. It should be clearly noted here that the scouting association is a well known organization with a vey high reputation both locally and internationally. This should be taken advantage of in all these campaigns.
All the executive office bearers of the local troop should each be assigned to head the sub committees that will be charged with the responsibility of handling each of the campaign agendas. This is because there will have to be several separate agendas that will be seen to team up at the end of the day to help this organization come up with the envisaged sum of money. This will also be seen to demonstrate the sense of unity and collective responsibility. The other willing members of the scouting group will be asked to make up the committees. This will be done on a voluntary basis.
Proper publicity for the event or events will have to be done using any available media opportunity. Any other requirements such as public address systems, recording devices and various entertainment objects will have to be made available. The people who will be required to head the ceremony or ceremonies should have been earlier approved by the executive committee. A prominent public figure such as the area representative member of the government and the the highly ranked scouting officials from the region should be called upon to grace the occasion or occasions. All these will ad up to the success of the fundraiser.