Hospices in Kenya and around the world need a significant amount of money to offer end of life care efficiently.
The individuals behind fundraising go an extra mile in search of funds to meet their yearly budget but few understand the tactics they use in raising the required funds.
As shared by Nyeri Hospice fundraising officer M/s Perister Murugi, seeking for funds can be an easy yet difficult task depending on the individual’s interest and passion in hospice work.
M/s. Perister says that a fundraiser, like in any other profession, needs to plan in advance to be able track progress.
“I need to do a lot of research online to gather as much information as possible about hospice care so that if a potential supporter asks a question, I am in a position to answer. It not in order to fail answering a question from a potential donor on what your organization is involved in.” She says.
M/s. Perister says that the initial stage when approaching potential donors is to explain to them what you do and try to develop their interest in it.
She adds that it is important to explain how supporters are to benefit from an association with your organization as no one would wish to just give without gain.
“Take it as a business relationship and always do not bombard your targets with donation information in the first meeting but make them understand what you do and create a good rapport.” She says.
The fundraising officer says that there is a perceived challenge in dealing with different classes of individuals or organizations as she at times wonders what to tell high profile people, only to discover that they are normal people to strike a conversation with.
She adds that once you set the relationship, always call to say hello so that they do not feel as if you remember them only when you need their support.
“There are individuals and organizations out there willing to help but they have no information on what hospice does. It is therefore our role to pass this information to create a channel of possible donations.” M/s. Perister says.
She advises that once you get individuals or organizations sign up as friends of the hospice, make them feel part of the family by keeping in touch often to know how they are doing and inviting them to your events. “Even if they fail to show up, the bond still remains for future support.”
“Most organizations think am a media personnel and they ask a lot about it, but it is a good feeling as I get to meet with various people from many organizations.” She says.
According to Perister, the shift in focus of most organization especially in the Corporate Social Responsibilities (CSR) is a challenge to fundraisers.
“An organization may be supporting a hospice activity but in their next project they choose to support a different idea away from hospice activities.” She says.
This, she says, forces one to keep looking for new sponsors and donors to support hospice work. Economic challenges faced by supporting corporates also affect the flow of funds from donors as they cut their financial support.
M/s. Perister says that teamwork is essential in creating a network of possible supporters and one need to attend events to make friends.
“The most important thing is to believe in oneself. It is only through this that you can convince people with your agenda.” She says.
On academic qualification, M/s. Perister says that passion for the work is all that matters. “I have a passion for the patients and once I raise funds, I am happy to know that they will receive services for a particular period of time.”
Other than being confident, Perister advises that the mode of contact should be reliable to keep communication in check as changing communication lines often may irritate donors or supporters.
“Groom yourself to keep the good image for potential supporters and donors to feel good and comfortable about and around you.” She says.
Finally, the fundraising officer asks those in similar positions to believe in themselves and know how to find their way into cold people’s hearts.
“To be a philanthropist is a rare breed. Not everyone is willing to help” She concludes.
Ms. Eunice Mwangi, the fundraising officer at Nairobi hospice adds that if one wishes to use raffles to raise funds, permission from the Betting Control & Licensing Board (BCLB) as they need to witness the draw for fairness and openness.
Ms. Mwangi says that you should remember to do a thank you note at the end of a fundraising activity to all supporters and donors informing them of how much you raised and how you intend to spend the money in achieving your goals as reported to them.
“Fundraising activities are unique as what works for one organization may not work for another. You need to look for what can work for your organization, taking into consideration your potential donors and supporters.” She advises.