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One month into the ILSS Fundraising Program, our brilliant and diverse cohort of 50 has already been addressed by a wide range of speakers, both in live interactive sessions, as well as in exclusive recorded conversations. The Program is just about culminating its first module, which acts as an introduction to the country’s fundraising ecosystem and the fundamentals of an effective development strategy. The next module, beginning in the first week of November, focuses primarily on institutional fundraising. Participants will be guided in building the systems, tools, and skills to effectively manage the complete fundraising cycle with institutional donors – from foundations to CSR, to government.
While we look forward to more conversations and learning, here is a quick summary of the ILSS Fundraising Program’s live sessions so far:
First, Ingrid Srinath (CSIP, Ashoka University) gave an overview of India’s contemporary funding ecosystem. Geeta Goel (Dell Foundation) decoded the Social Stock Exchange and its implications for the development sector. Noshir Dadrawala (Centre for Advancement of Philanthropy) answered participant questions on legal compliance for NGOs and gave his expert perspective on the recent FCRA amendments. Pritha Venkatachalam (The Bridgespan Group) lead a workshop on clearly articulating an organization’s mission, impact goals, and how to map implementation. Ashish Dhawan (Central Square Foundation) spoke about the essentials of scaling up an organization and deepening donor commitment. Rukmini Banerji (Pratham) talked about her experience growing Pratham into one of India’s largest NGOs. Gaurav Gupta (Dalberg) lead an interactive workshop on ‘defining your product’, helping participants succinctly and impactfully present their organization’s work. Finally, Suman Srivastava (Marketing Unplugged) covered what makes social sector brands unique, and how to create a fundraising campaign around social impact.
In addition to these live sessions, participants also heard from Deval Sanghvi (Dasra) on his journey in India’s social sector landscape, and lessons from building Dasra over the last 20 years.
In addition to the discussions with domain leaders, Program participants are also meeting regularly with assigned mentors in small mentee groups, who together are unpacking aspects of the course that they feel need more attention. This panel of mentors made up of leaders and senior professionals from the development sector will offer advice and guidance to the cohort through the duration of the Program.
Mentors are also using the platform to organize study exercises and activities, like going over the fundamentals of a good pitch, values alignment, fundraising strategies, donor meeting role-plays, and much more, depending on their group’s needs. Some groups are also engaging in close readings and discussions of fundraising case studies.
Know more about the ILSS Fundraising Program