Tuesday, August 18, 2009

The Fundraising Dilemma

It's been an interesting time, learning how organizations here fundraise, or don't.
The majority of the people give me directly to their churches or Temples, but don't give
directly to local organizations. They often depend on aid from international organizations
like the UN or large organizations that support the work of small projects.

It's quite different from the US, where 85% of donations come from 15% of the people. These
organizations now face a tremendous challenge regarding sustainability because if they lose
funding from one source, there is a huge chance that they will fold.

What makes it even more interesting is that there seems to be a lack of a connection with
the Sri Lankan diaspora. Although there are roughly 2.7 million living mostly in Canada,
the UK, US and Australia, they do not seem to be involved in with local organizations.
This is definitely different from the Jewish perspective where we give so much to Israel and
local organizations, as well as the synagogue and various other non-Jewish entities.

Hopefully, now that the war is over, funding will arrive in Sri Lanka for projects that
promote dialogue to help unite the communities.

At the end of the week, we will be leading a workshop on fundraising for young professionals
and members of various chambers of commerce throughout Sri Lanka. I look forward to hearing
from them, what the potential is for raising more money directly from their citizens.

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