In our previous article, we discussed how to prepare and act for a humanitarian crisis. But what happens once the immediate danger is over? Here is our continuation of how to continue fundraising for ongoing humanitarian aid projects.
Step 3- Keep the media attention going
In a crisis, media attention is the best fundraising tool available. Unfortunately, the media cycle is short and donations drop quickly along with coverage. If you need money, and you will try to maintain the media’s focus for as long as possible. Here are just some ways to do so:
- Make contacts with reporters and update them regularly. Pose your organization as a local expert, and make yourself available for interviews. Or even write your own coverage to share.
- Take lots of pictures and videos. It may feel callous to have your camera out while people around you are suffering, but in most cases, the long-term benefits of visuals can far outlast any immediate aid you can deliver with no funding or resources.
- Boost social media posts, newsletters, and other outreach methods. Ask people to follow you for the latest updates. This way, you can continue to speak directly to an interested audience long after the camera crews leave.
While you have the media’s attention, you can also use the time to share about other problems your community faces that you work on. This is a good time to educate the public, network, and raise awareness on other issues affecting your community.
Step 4- Keep working
Media attention and donations tend to drop fairly quickly after a crisis, even though full recovery efforts can take years. Some humanitarian situations have been on-going for decades with only off-and-on news coverage. Hopefully, your organization will be able to receive enough no-strings-attached donations in the height of the crises which you can allocate for various other purposes later in time. But there are still other ways to get the funding you need later down the line.
- Add in recovery efforts to your normal project and program budgets. Donors may be willing to spend more than they did before for these activities.
- Send out reminder campaigns to your following. New developments, 3-month, 6-month, and 12-month anniversaries, and other milestones are good times to ask for additional funding.
- Most times, donors who give to you once are more likely to give to you again. Unfortunately, most donors in emergencies are one-time funders. You definitely should approach them for follow-up funding, but know that success is fairly uncommon. Still, you should continue to update these donors on how the response is on-going. Continue networking with them so you will be their first choice again if and when another crisis hits.
Step 5- Further research
For more information and to keep up-to-date on ongoing crises and aid, check out these resources:
Development Initiatives – Humanitarian Assistance: The DI website provides objective independent data and analysis about humanitarian financing and related aid flows.
Relief Web – Humanitarian Financing: Reports and resources on a wide variety of issues related to humanitarian financing.
START Fund: Information about how your organization can join, use and expand the START Fund. This is particularly of interest for smaller, national NGOs.
FundsforNGOs – Humanitarian and Disaster Relief: Subscribe to FundsforNGOs for the latest opportunities and grants for humanitarian and disaster relief.