Be a successful fundraiser

Nigel Wallace at a fundraising workshop with Caritas Lebanon staff members. Photo by Caritas Lebanon.

By Nigel Wallace, Caritas Internationalis Director of Income Development

Caritas Lebanon is very fortunate to have Fr. Simon Faddoul as its president. The charismatic priest and his enthusiastic team are dedicated to Caritas and helping the thousands of local people, migrants and refugees who rely on their support and aid. Caritas is far reaching with 36 geographic sectors throughout the country and 9 mobile clinics offering diverse services and programmes. Currently, much of their work is emergency response helping those fleeing from the crisis in Syria.

While Fr. Faddoul has been twisting arms of the wealthy in parishes and beyond to support the work of Caritas, there has been ever increasing recognition of the need to integrate the spontaneous generosity that already exists with a more sophisticated fundraising strategy to meet growing financial demands.

I recently had the pleasure to visit Caritas Lebanon to facilitate a 2-day fundraising workshop to help formulate that strategy. Believing in the philosophy that everyone at Caritas can help raise funds by knowing how to cultivate and steward donors and potential donors, many of the senior staff participated whether they were directly involved in fundraising or not. It was a fascinating experience for us all.

Having already gone through the rigorous process of self-examination including the organisational mission of Caritas Lebanon and developing a vision, a robust strategic plan was already in place. Fundraising is one of the key action steps within that plan, so the group of around 20 attending was motivated and enthusiastic.

We talked about how to build a culture of fundraising within the organisation, how to plan and execute fundraising campaigns and the all important mantra of the 5 rights – the right person asking the right person for the right amount of money at the right time and in the right place. When the 5 rights are aligned donations flow!

We practiced “making the ask” and during break-out sessions discussed ways volunteers and donors could be attracted locally and how Fr. Faddoul’s existing goodwill and fundraising ability can be a foundation for increased capacity and greater fundraising success.

Staff involved in fundraising activities such as an upcoming event for the Migrant Centre and already experienced in the art of proposal writing were fast off their feet when it came to drafting a statement of need for fundraising at Caritas, or the ‘Case for Support’, as it is commonly known, pulling it together in a record time.

I look forward to a continued relationship with the team at Caritas Lebanon and hearing news of their continued success on the fundraising trail.

Nigel has a fundraising working group for Caritas member organisations on the Baobab Tree (members only). Interested Caritas staff members join here 


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