Funding Opportunities — Extension Development
1. What is Resource Development?
When many hear the words resource development they think of natural resources and the maintenance and care of them. When we talk about resource development within the Extension Development function we are talking about securing resources to support Extension programs. So instead of natural resource development, we are talking about fund raising or acquiring support to develop the programs for the people that we serve. Fund raising is not about asking for money or begging alums. Fund raising should be a mutually beneficial exchange. You want to strive for a transaction that both parties can walk away from feeling good. We provide investment opportunities to help the donor meet their own goals, and address their own needs, through programs that support their values. By doing this, the donor prospect is more likely to make a first investment and the donor more likely to continue giving. Extension is a state and federally assisted program. In addition we are a charitable organization that can receive gifts from individuals, corporations and foundations to support the programs we deliver. Charitable organizations focus on how the donor can help the organization meet its goals. It is our job to find out what the donor’s needs and values are and match those with our fund raising needs and goals.
2. Why People Give
For most individuals the essence of giving is one-to-one contact. Personal involvement is the most rewarding, whether it is providing food for the homeless, organizing a 4-H club, or building homes for Habitat. Hands-on involvement, volunteer efforts and personal affiliation are what provide the most benefit to both the donor and the recipient.
3. Fears of Resource Development (Fund Raising)
Fund raising is not easy. The single most important aspect of fund raising is the “ask.” If you don’t ask you won’t receive. The second most important aspect of fund raising is you must be a contributor yourself before you ask others to give. If you are not willing to give to a cause/program then why should others?
Steps to address fears include the following:
- Confront the fear directly. It is important to remember you are not asking for you, but you are asking based on a need. Many people do not give because they have not been asked.
- Look at your own motivations. People give to people who give.
- Provide motivation. If you believe in your cause, so will others.
- Provide information. People like to know what others are doing or supporting.
- A team approach is an effective way to raise funds. The Extension professional can answer the hard questions and the volunteer can give the testimony. Get the right people to do the asking.
- Lead the way. You must give before you ask others to give!
4. Ethics of Resource Development
Ethics are central to the development of fund raising. Ethics are central to the health and survival of charitable organizations. Being conscience of ethics is a key to fundraising over time. Since you will have an integral role in your program’s financial life, you have a special responsibility in assuring that ethical standards are integrated into the value and the values that undergird your purpose and programs. Your leadership will reflect your capacity for ethical judgment and your commitment to doing good works that will benefit the public good.