As development professionals or fundraisers, we often hear this term ‘resource mobilization’. It is a term for a. collecting resources, and b. mobilizing them or making use of these resources for our cause. An organization may require many resources to function, like financial resource (money), human resource (people), in-kind contributions like equipment, furniture and expertise, apart from many others. It is important for an organization to raise resources on its own, and it might be helpful to prepare your organization first to be able to achieve that.
For resource mobilization for your organization or cause, the first and foremost requirement is to have a strategy and plan in place. Chalk out a plan as per your organizational strategy. For example, if you are working for child education, work out the targets for a given period, say educating 1000 underprivileged children in a year, and then list the resources required to achieve them. Look at what resources you already have within your organization, and what you will need to acquire additionally.
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Some points to ponder if your organization is well- prepared for mobilizing the resources it requires:
- Mission and vision:
You have a mission and vision that drives your fundraising and resource mobilization strategies. These strategies always validate your vision as you seek support for your programmes.
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- Systems and processes:
You have the systems and processes in place to achieve your targets and also to monitor. You ensure that the organization has methods in place to track donations and report impact even before you seek support.
- Organizational structure- team/committee/ consultant:
Your organizational structure enables you to designate the tasks to people within the organization as per their capacities and skills. Also, you understand that it is worthwhile to invest in human resource exclusively to mobilize resources or raise funds.
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- Involving the community:
You believe in a democratic and participatory system, wherein you involve the target community to understand what their needs are. Your organization believes in this ‘bottom-up’ approach and utilizes ground reality to assess the requirement of resources. You know that this community will definitely participate henceforth, being the most powerful resource for social transformation!
You have a wide network and have developed strong relations with your partners. Knowing that partnerships are crucial to move ahead, you have a deep understanding of where you may utilize these partnerships as resources. For example, as an organization working for child education, partnerships with other organizations dedicated for child rights may be very beneficial to provide functional linkages in terms of training, awareness, consultancy, among other needs they may fulfill.
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- Research and documentation:
A strong evidence-driven communication material helps in proving the mettle of your organization in the field it is working in. Third party evaluations also significantly deliver the credibility to the donor you seek. Your organization knows the importance of evidence of the impact it is making in the form of case studies, statistics, and testimonies.