WILL THE FUNDRAISING NEED A NEW OUTLOOK POST COVID-19?
By Mr Ajit Motwani (Head, Development Office)
Fundraising always needed innovation and out of the box outlook. No two donors or the initiatives could ever be served effectively with the same strategy. Any attempt to standardize the donations outreach has always resulted in mediocre outcomes.
Post Covid-19, it will just be another dimension added. This pandemic could possibly result in even higher funding opportunities with a much larger population being sensitized towards seeing merit in contributing to the varied causes/charities close to their hearts.
Most recently, the IIMA’s Golden Jubilee batch of PGP 1970 is creating history by becoming the first Golden jubilee batch to make a meaningful financial contribution to Alma Mater. They are close to INR 2 Crore mark and continue to donate during the current pandemic. The energy and drive to contribute in many of the senior batches is tremendous for specific causes dear to them.
Fundraising must also address the priorities and expectations of the new generation of donors with rising concerns for transparency and ethical reporting. The donors seeking regular reporting with independently audited inputs are a new normal.
New generation donors do not hesitate to make large contributions to the Institutions/organizations/entities when they are certain that the funds will be used as originally envisaged and in a timely manner. This must be backed by credibility and track record of the recipients. We are seeing an increasing trend of donors not directly connected in the past to recipient institutions/organizations willing to experiment donating significantly based on the initiative and overall perception of credibility, transparency, and impact their donation is likely to make. Corporate donations through the CSR route have also contributed much to this new trend.
In the short run familiarity and networking factors play a critical role in fundraising. However, in the long run, our ability to demonstrate transparent and impactful usage of these donations become the predominant factor in donors choosing the institutions/initiatives they are willing to support.
Last year PGP 2007 batch’s funding support for differently-abled was another unique initiative. Supporting sports through ‘outstanding sports person of the year award’ by an Alumnus of PGP 1980 has also been well received by students with more active sports participation on campus, especially during Sangharsh – the inter IIM sports festival.
Fundraising is seldom a stand-alone initiative, it’s part of the credible, transparent, and impactful ecosystem at the recipient institution. To facilitate fundraising, we need to be always mindful of donors’ priorities as well as concerns. Credible ecosystems are built over many years, if not generations. That’s one of the important factors in a very large corpus generated by premier institutions that have been around for decades and centuries. While building the impressive track record takes time, losing out on this critical advantage can be rather quick.
Donations irrespective of the size are very valuable. These are a reflection of the affection and respect an institution enjoys with the donors. It is important that all donations are respected similarly, and usage reporting is equally sincere.
As public institutions strive for greater autonomy, they would need larger donations in their journey towards excellence and growth. This is feasible with the foundation of a credible institutional ecosystem built on core values of transparency and ethics, supported by efficiency and impact.