1. Assess your team (stakeholders): resources are often right outside of your doorstep, but you need to allow yourself the space to step back to assess the field before you dive-in. One of the common challenges of our work is finding undesignated funds. Think outside the box about who your stakeholders are and what they want. For example:
- Business: Value Village is a for profit business with a built-in mandate of community giving.
- Unions: reps, councils, businesses – One of the projects Vibrant Abbotsford is facilitating is Living Wage Fraser Valley. I make a point of attending local labor council events and conducting presentations to local members.
- Locally-based previous donors: Previous donors can actually be one of your biggest assets because they afford you with the opportunity to run a project, evaluate it, then run it again and compare results. Through this, you receive the tangible resource of data, legitimacy, and results that will allow you to either seek other funding or return to them with the results of your evaluation in order to build in a new step to a previous project or pivot to a whole new project with results in hand.
3. Build relationships: don't just submit an LOI. Seek out the program manager or department rep and call them. If they are local, invite yourself for an in-person visit. Ask for a minute of their time to describe what your initiative and/or project is and why their institution is a fit. Be ready with data or an illustration to support your work in case you are asked.
4. Attend like-minded events: I have garnered the most success so far with resource development by attending events or coalition meetings and introducing myself to people in attendance. I give a 10-second pitch on what Vibrant Abbotsford is, which strikes up a conversation about like-minded goals. Take the time to talk and listen - you will walk into unexpected opportunities just by sharing.
Take Your Learning Further
- About Vibrant Abbotsford
- Find resources, news, and key documents from Vibrant Abbotsford
- Explore more resource development tips from our friends and staff:
- 5 Elements of Strategic Resource Development, by Mark Holmgren