All organisations need resources; what should you consider before offering them?
It isn’t easy but try to do the same sort of checks that you’d do at home. It’s unlikely you’d just give to someone or some organisation you’d never heard of or met before without asking a few questions. Here are some general thoughts:
- Does the project have a deep understanding of the issues it’s trying to address?
- Does it have effective programmes for those issues?
- Does it have a plan for the future?
- Is it clear about who it’s trying to help?
- How is it managed, including financial management?
Especially for large donations, try to find out:
- what does the project intend to do with the donation?
- why is it needed?
- how will it be put into practice?
- does the organisation have the capacity to manage such a donation?
There is plenty of scope for misunderstanding about expectations between donors and projects. This can lead to disappointment all round and a reluctance to offer further support. When an organisation gets funding that significantly alters its situation, it often needs large amounts of ongoing support to ensure that what is planned is actually delivered and can be managed in the future. Try to ensure that this is factored in at the planning stage.
For all donations, ask before buying things; projects will usually have urgent priorities