The #GC2022 finalists are out! Read more.

20 April 2023
Financing your Do-it-Together Project
What do funders expect?
share on: mail linkcopy link to clipboardShare via LinkedInShare via TwitterShare via FacebookShare via Facebook

How to approach potential funders? What do funders expect? And what are the top criteria that make a project “fundable”? These are some of the questions asked by the #GC2022 finalist teams as they navigate project funding challenges, partnerships and work towards financial sustainability. 

During the first Q&A session of the accelerator program, the finalist teams had the opportunity to ask their questions to non-profit executives Johann Baar from the Hilti Foundation and Søren Nielsen from the Ramboll Foundation, who shared their insights and expertise with the nine teams but also with the A--D ambassadors who attended the session.

This video is made possible by the friendly support of Arezoo Mohebpour | Design to Connect

. . .

A--D ambassador Lindsey DuPell, who also attended the Q&A, reported five major insights:

  • Before reaching out to potential funders do your homework.

Learn about the funding organization vision, strategy, targets and goals to better understand their priorities. Research how investing in your project could potentially help them achieve their goals and determine if there is a strategic fit that will pave the way for a fruitful partnership.

  • Build a strong business plan.

Help funders understand that your project shares their organization’s vision. Set clear targets and describe how and when you plan to achieve them. Strong business plans are credible; prove that the input of your project can realistically achieve the outputs you desire.

  • A great idea is not enough.

While ideas are effective at drawing people to your story, make sure you provide enough substance for your audience to stay once they get there. Use research and analysis to ground your great idea in reality. Justify the decisions you’ve made in your proposal and back up any claims. 

Funding organizations receive hundreds of applications. Most of these are good ideas. Let yours stand out by being more than just a good idea in theory.

  • Don’t underestimate the importance of showcasing and celebrating your team!

Funders are looking for a combo of a great idea and a strong team behind it. Funders want confidence that your team will be able to execute on your vision and make it a reality.

Pitching your team should be viewed as equal in importance as pitching your ideas and project.

  • Don’t be afraid to call out potential objections. 

Always offer solutions for ways to work around obstacles. If possible, showcase how these solutions have worked in the past, this will demonstrate your commitment but also responsiveness, adaptability and problem-solving abilities. Funders will appreciate you going the extra mile.

. . .

Check the recording of the full Q&A session for the detailed discussion. 

All #GC2022 teams are currently calling for support, make sure to check their project pages, find your match and reinforce their ranks by offering your expertise, donating or helping on-site.