Fundraising in the Social Sector: Common Challenges

Date : Jan 14 , 2021 | Opinion

What Roadblocks do SPOs Face in Securing Funding?

Pratyush Rawal & Radha Arakkal

It will not be incorrect to claim that fundraising ranks amongst the top three challenges faced by most non-profit leaders.

Researching prospective donors, crafting a pitch deck, securing the first meeting, making the actual ask, writing grant proposals, reviewing budgets, reporting impact to donors, and/or organizing a crowdfunding campaign have surely given sleepless nights to all fundraisers. No doubt fundraising is considered ‘the other F-word’ for non-profit organizations.

At India Leaders for Social Sector (ILSS), we conducted a detailed study on the development sector fundraising landscape, the main challenges that organizations and social sector leaders face while raising money, and the best practices that some of the most successful fundraising organizations follow.  We interviewed over 70 non-profit leaders, donors, experts, and intermediaries and had over 50 informal conversations for this study.

In this first article of a two-part series, we enumerate the following key challenges faced by non-profits while fundraising.

This is not to say that fundraising is a sad, hopeless field. In our research we came across several organizations – both small and large – that ace fundraising, and are the top choices for donors, institutional and individual alike. These organizations strongly believe that social change is impossible without successful fundraising.

We discuss these best practices in the second article of this two part series.

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