HALOS, Ambassadors for Children, and the Lancaster County Outreach Project all struggle to keep up with demand for their services and sustain themselves as long-term viable organizations. Many partner organizations, community groups, and individuals may be more than willing to donate goods and services and volunteer their time, but raising funds to support staff salaries and operating expensesrent, telephone and Internet access, office suppliesis much more difficult. Organizations must be strategic and diligent when seeking this kind of support.
On May 1, 2013, HALOS Executive Director Kim Clifton was the featured guest host for an OVC Web Forum on "Replicating Victim Services Programs with Limited Funding." Ms. Clifton suggested the following recommendations to Web Forum participants:
- Build relationships with corporations to encourage funding for salaries and operating expenses. Start a conversation with corporate representatives by inviting them to visit and learn about your program. Provide tours and relay success stories to personalize your work and bring it to life.
- Never underestimate the value of volunteers; they may have "day jobs" working with corporations that can supplement the volunteers' contributions with financial support.
- When approaching potential funders or applying for grants, be prepared to document the need in your community, your program's ability to meet the need, and the ultimate benefit your program brings to the community at-large.
- Leverage the resources that other organizations can provide. Differentiate the services provided by the collaborating organizations to forestall concern about duplication or overlap.
Challenges To Consider
- How can the program identify potential sources of funding for salaries and operating expenses?
- What kind of outreach is needed to solicit monetary support for the program?
- Are there professional grant writers in the area who may be willing to volunteer their services?