COVID-19 protocols have disrupted the work environment set up. At MDF, we have seen an increase in the demand for online training programmes as opposed to the physical face-to-face training. This is due to remote working environment occassioned by social distancing. Indeed, every cloud has a silver lining. Regardless of the disruptions, organisations can still benefit from the new normal. Therefore, what are the new realities that organisations are facing in this new and infamous post-COVID 19 context? How will senior management and business development professionals secure funding to ensure their organisations sustainability?
Context is key in resource mobilisation
Today, organisations might invest in bouncing back post COVID-19, however, the approach to their resource mobilisation efforts may require a completely different lens, which is linking their vision, mission, and strategy to the new context. This context might mean redefining WHY the organisation exists; not just what is does. This would be an ideal starting point. The WHY looks into the organisation's beliefs, passion and values. This creates a niche and unique selling point for the organisation's services/products. As Simon Sinek aptly puts it... "many people know what their organisation does, very few people know why they do it."
As an organisation defines its WHY, it is important to bear in mind the realities of the new context, which are numerous. They may include:
- COVID-19 protocols that have disrupted the work environment setup. Key among them: more remote working. This has led to fewer physical meetings with clients, colleagues, beneficiaries, etc. For instance, there has been an increase in demand for digital monitoring and evaluation systems by organisations that have projects in both urban areas with high internet connectivity as well as remore areas with poor internet connectivity. Further, social distancing has led to the need for more/larger working spaces (including larger physical space for workshops, conferences, seminars, etc). In this regard, at MDF, we have seen an increase in the demand for online training programmes versus face-to-face training.
- Limited or closed revenue sources due to a shift in donor funding because of the pandemic's economic impact at individual, country, regional and global levels. Therefore, there appears to be a shift in more donor funding targeting capacity building through digital platforms in the entrepreneurship (and skills) development sector.
- Less, or increased demand for an organisation's services as clients (and donors) prioritise their expenditure. For instance, governments have prioritised more expenditre (and sought donor funding) towards health-related programmes including infrastructure and skills development.
The above points are not exhuastive; however, they paint a broad picture of the new context that organisations are operating in not only at national, but also regional and global levels.
All hands on deck
In redefining the WHY, which is the first step in developing a resource mobilisation strategy an organisation must engage all those involved in resource mobilisation. And this might just involve everyone! The more time you take to create a solid foundation, the more relevant and beneficial the strategy will be for the long haul. Recently, we have witnessed calls by organisations requesting for expertise in developing and implementing resource mobilisation strategies.
Invest in developing in-house fundraising experts
As the saying goes, 'only the wearer knows where the shoe pinches'. This means that investing in skills development for the fundraising staff may go along way in ensuring the sustainability of the resource mobilisation efforts. In-house experts who share the organisation's belief, passion and values will be an added advantage as an organisation navigates the murky post-COVID 19 waters.
Therefore, what is your organisation grappling with/celebrating now? Resource mobilisation experts need to critically examine their respective industries to gain insight into their 'new context' as they seek to remain afloat.
This is a journey that we, at MDF Training and Consultancy, can walk with you. Join us for the open entry training on Fundraising and Resource Mobilisation. You can also talk to us via email@example.com for similar tailor-made training.
By Donna Macharia, Acquisition, Communication and Marketing, MDF Kenya