The #GC2022 finalists are out! Read more.

by Sarah Essbai (visit profile page), 14 September 2023
Choosing Between Donations and Investment for Your Do-it-Together Project
What is the best financing model for your project? Does your project plan suit donations or investment?
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For the third workshop of the 2022 Global Challenge accelerator program, A--D invited Nathalie Jean-Baptiste and Julian Hermann from the Julius Baer Foundation for another Q&A session with the #GC2022 finalists. After introducing the Julius Baer Foundation and listening to the finalists' presentations, Nathalie and Julian provided feedback and shared their perspective as a funder on the importance of the project plan structure when applying for funding.

Below are four key take-aways from the discussion.

  • Define your goal when fundraising.

Are you looking for donations or investment? Donations provide you with autonomy and preserve your control over your own mission and work, but they require a compelling narrative that aligns with the mission and vision of the funding organization. While accepting investment means gaining a partner, it also comes with a greater emphasis on the business model and a set of responsibilities and liabilities. You might also need to share in the decision-making process. A middle-ground approach is to develop a hybrid model: a trust or a non-profit arm and a for-profit arm for your organization. This allows for a better balance and management of expectations. However, this hybrid model works only once you've established a proven track record as an NGO.

  • Make sure that the impact of your work is aligned with the mission, values and priorities of your potential funder.

Think about the following key points: What is your intended impact? What are the main activities to achieve the expected outcomes? How do your objectives match the goals and strategy of your target funding organization?

  • Develop an exit strategy.

What will happen when your team or organization is not needed to run the project anymore? Answering this question in your project’s plan provides perspective to potential funders. Therefore, it is important to define milestones and to think of a timeframe that gives clear perspectives.

  • Motivations and ideas matter.

While a successful track record of achievement is a big advantage, a convincing idea and a motivated team can weigh more during the evaluation process of a funding application. Younger and motivated teams are often harbingers of change and have the energy and flexibility, which sometimes lack in large established organizations, to make an impact.

Many thanks to A--D representative Nicholas Ng for reporting. Check the finalist projects pages on our website to follow their progress and keep an eye on our updates for more insights from the 2022 Global Challenge Accelerator program.