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Top five things funders want: what we learned at #INSP2016

With funding a continuously important issue for the world’s street papers, INSP delegates attended an incredibly useful session about what funders want during our summit in Athens yesterday.

Our own fundraising superstar Zoe Greenfield chaired a panel that included funding experts from Stavros Niarchos Foundation, John S. Latsis Public Benefit Foundation and TIMA Charitable Foundation – all funders of our summit co-host Shedia.

They discussed the current funding landscape and how some of our street paper delegates can stand out.

A recurring theme throughout the session was that the economic crisis has reduced the distance between grant givers and grantees. So how can street papers work in this environment?

Here are the top five things Zoe learned from our guest speakers…

1. Be honest

Always address the challenges that you are going face, don’t shy away from these. It is key to be honest with yourself and the people that you are asking to fund you.

2. Anticipate scepticism 

Imagine the most difficult question someone will ask you about your project and have an answer in you funding application. Put yourself in the funders’ shoes.

3. Help funders to understand

You need to paint a picture of what you want from funders, so help them to understand what you are trying to achieve. Funders will want numbers and stories. The ability to tell a good story about your project will help funders connect with what you are trying to do. A good combination of both is key!

4. Do your homework

Show funders strong evidence about why the project is needed. The more evidence the better.

5. Speak to them

If you speak to your funders before you apply, the project can become more of a collaboration. Always get in touch with them and see what they think of the project so far.

Zoe with funding experts from Stavros Niarchos Foundation, John S. Latsis Public Benefit Foundation and TIMA Charitable Foundation. Photo by Alison Gilchrist

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