|Partner Needs and Funding Options|
In this article, we cover a few issues related to Funding Projects and looking at Partner Needs.
At the Partner Level
Finding Partners with Special Needs
If you want to find out what a Partner's Needs are, there is a Report under Finding Partners and Projects called Partner Needs. This report will help you to find Partners who need certain kinds of support. So, for example, supposing you were a company with 100 old laptops and you wanted to find a Partner who needed those laptops. You could do a search under the menu option Finding Partners and Projects > Partner Needs. You can say what country you want to see, you can tell it what needs you want to look for. Then once you find that Partner, you might need someone who provides Logistics help. You might find that Partner by doing a word search under logistics (note: currently I don't think we have a Logistics Partner, but if you find one, please invite them to our Network.) But you get the idea. By finding the right partners, you can put together projects and get things done.
Sharing your Organizational Needs
If an Organization has special needs, they should go to the Have/Needs tab in their Partner profile to say what their requirements are. If they need Volunteers or Interns, they will tell you here. If they need office equipment, they will tell you here. Or if they need funding, they will also tell you here. As time goes on, we'll learn from our Partners and what they are looking for and we'll do better at connecting Partners together.
Finding Partners that can help you meeting your Needs
Supposing you're an organization that needs help. You don't need funds, but you do need someone to help with Research. So you do a Partner Search for Volunteers. In this Search, you will say what kind of Volunteer you want. You mnay want someone who does Research. You can search for someone with the Volunteer role marked as Research. If you need funding, you might search for a Partner who has marked the Volunteer role Fundraising. If you need help organizating an Event, you search for a Partner that has marked the role Events. So if you are an organization, you can search for Individual (Volunteer) who have indicated they what their specialties are and you can Invite them to your Project.
Looking at Funding Options
First, lets look at the scope of our work and then consider funding options.
First, remember that not all projects are ready for funding.
Before you start looking for funding of projects, remember that if a community is dedicated to its own project, a lot of work can happen by the good will of Volenteers alone. So funding is not always a requirement. Here's a true example.
I was talking (by e-mail) to Nana Oye Afoom, one of our Partners in Ghana about her project efforts. She indicated to me that they are creating a project plan to build libraries for children. At this moment, they are looking for computers and books for students, not funding. It's true that even if we find some computers, it may take a little money to send them. But much of the work to be done is in researching sources where we can find computers. We might also be able to find organizational Partners that are willing to ship them at no cost. And in such a case the donation would be time spent in finding these Partners, and in making connections with Nana. So it's not always about funding first.
Now, having said that, funding is needed for some activities and for some purchases. So donations are always gratefully accepted by us and by many of our other Partners. But it's your community spirit and your sense of global community spirit that we value more than your money.
Second, there are always specialists that can help you out with funding. We will do our best to help you make those connections.
If you are a Canadian Partner working in the Cowichan Valley, there are a number of organizations that can help with funding. One is Rick Juliusson at FreeRange Consulting and Rick has his own newsletter with a list of Grants. He's very good and has been working with various Partner organizations to help them in applying for Grants. Rick does this for a living so he does charge for his work. But it's worth the effort to connect with him and get his help.
Third, Community collaboration groups
If you happen to live in the Cowichan Valley, a number of CSO/NGO/Not for Profit organizations meet every few months, facilitiated by Rick Juliusson and he has a speaker on a different topic about funding each month. Next meeting is Nov 9th at the Cowichan Valley learning Centre. But every community has opportunities like this, so we hope that as you learn about more of them, you will encourage them to become part of the Partners network.
Fourth, there are many organizations that deal with CSO development.
For those who don't know what CSO is, it means Civil Society Organization. This usually includes Not For Profits and could potentially include other organizations that are government departments.
In BC, BCCIC (the BC Council for International Cooperation) is one, and in Canada, CICC (the Canadian Council for International Cooperation)is another. Partners for Prosperity is a member of BCCIC and we encourage other CSOs that are from BC to participate in their meetings as well. But part of their effort is in helping the process of their members in getting funding and providing knowledge and connections. As our goal is to faciliate Partnership and Connection, we hope that if your organization can benefit from BCCIC that you will investigate and participate in their community.
Fifth, CIDA (Canadian International Development Agency) and other National Funding Organizations
CIDA is one of the primary funders in Canada for large projects, so if your organization is well established, CIDA is an option. Partners for Prosperity is making efforts to ready ourselves to comply with all CIDA requirement but we are currently not funded by CIDA. Many other countries have similar organizations.
Helping the helper is another initiative that helps Not For Profit organizations in many aspects of developing their own capacity. Funding is one of the many topics they hold seminars on. There are similar organizations in every community. So we encourage you to ask them to sign-up to the Partner network so that we can all find them more easily. There is a service in the Profile called CSO Development and so organizations like Helping the Helper or BCCIC would indicate that in their profile and you could more easily locate them.
Sixth, Social Enterprising Non-Profits
Social Enterprise is when an organization makes money but does so in a way that contributes back to community development. Many countries are shifting to this model for Not-for Profits. In British Columbia, our local support for Social Enterprising Non-Profits comes through ENP (Enterprising Not Profits) and they assist organizations to create their business plans to become sustainable organizations.
For communities around the world Where CSOs are well established
In many communties around the world, the funding mechansims are equally well established. We encouage participants in those communities to join the Partners network and make themselves known to other Partners in their community.
For Communities around the world where CSOs are not well established or not effective
In many other communities, there are very few Civil Society Organizations that are available to assist. Our Goal at Partners is to make working and successful community models and connections available for other communties that are less developed. As one community learns, they can share their knowledge with other communities. That's what its' all about. Sharing knowledge through experience.
We are alway open to Partners sharing ideas that might be helpful to other Partners. You can do so by joining funding related threads on the Discussion Forum. If there isn't a topic, you can create one.