Write fundraising proposal

This project was aimed to create fundraising proposals on various causes in order to reach out to potential donors
Subham Bandyopadhyay
Senior Consultant, Tata Consultancy Services
Kolkata, India

Subham has over 20 years of working experience in Program Management. He recalls his first encounter with volunteering during floods in Kolkata in 2018. At that time, he was a part of the flood relief team and that experience made an impact on him. Being a program manager, he really appreciates the organised approach of Proengage and when the opportunity knocked his door, he decided to give it a try. As a people person, he wanted to use his communication skills and be involved in a work with an NGO affected by the pandemic close to his area.

Subhojit Mukherjee
Manager, Tata Consulting Engineers
Kolkata, India

A civil engineer by profession with overall 10 years of experience, Subhojit joined Tata Consulting Engineers only 2 years back. Only after joining Tata, he got exposed to volunteering. It was during the lockdown when he realised he gained some spare time and wanted to use it for social work. Being a first time ProEngager, he applied for a project where he was completely sure he can help the NGO with his skills. Since his area of expertise involves proposal writing for industrial plants infrastructure, writing a fundraising proposal seemed like a perfect choice.

Kankura Masat Social Welfare Society
Sajal Kanti Kayal, Project Coordinator
Kolkata, India

Kankura Masat Social Welfare Society (KMSWS) is a twenty-year old community development organisation. The organisation is located in the South 24 Parganas district of West Bengal. In 2006 the Ministry of Panchayati Raj named South 24 Parganas one of the country's 250 most backward districts. The NGO works on a whole range of causes like child education, nutrition support program, healthcare centre for senior citizens, sustainable agriculture programs, women empowerment program, livelihood programs for youth etc. One of their most recent projects involves production of reusable sanitary napkins for women and girls from the rural areas for their own use.


Project Execution

Being first time ProEngagers, both volunteers were curious about their upcoming experience. Although unsure of the outcome, their genuine zeal to make a fruitful contribution to the NGO was a path to success. 

After their initial meeting, Subham and Subhojit have learned more about the work of Kankura Masat Social Welfare Society (KMSWS). The director Sajal has explained to them that the NGO is planning to search for donors for their various projects that included providing eLearning for 500 high-school students during the COVID-19 pandemic, manufacturing of reusable cotton sanitary pads for the women and girls in poor areas, ambulance service to provide transportation to the nearest hospital and promotion of organic farming. To ease understanding of his expectation, Sajal also provided a few templates of their previous fundraising proposals. 

As they confess, the two volunteers really “clicked” and developed camaraderie during the project. Subhojit explains: “We remained very informal and Subham was on the same page. We distributed the work very flexibly and there wasn’t a leader as such. We reviewed each other’s work”. Sajal also appreciated that all of them could speak in the regional language that made the interaction between them very comfortable and easy.  

Subham recollects that Sajal would review their work and provide constant feedback: “he was very open-minded and receptive of our ideas and suggestions. I remember, he would be really amazed by our inputs and that made me really happy that I was able to help him and told him something new.” Sajal recollects: “Subham and Subhojit were extraordinary. They would be so proactive, pushing us for meetings, every week we will meet and review. That was really amazing.”

As a result, Kankura Masat Social Welfare Society received 4 different fundraising proposals. Sajal is enthusiastically explaining further: “not only they [the volunteers] saved us about 50,000 INR, but we have learned so much from them. They have enriched our team. We have gained valuable inputs, sources and knowledge.” Moreover during the time of the interview Sajal mentioned that they have already a potential donor for one of the proposals Subham and Subhojit prepared.

Challenges faced

As much as both Subham and Subhojit were experienced in writing similar proposals in the past, the nonprofit sector and the huge variety of areas the organization wanted to cover created a few challenges to solve.

“We sometimes had to do a lot of research to understand the sector more,” Subhojit mentions. Some of the areas, like organic farming and sanitary napkins manufacturing were very new and needed expert information. Subham also seconds Subhojit: “Data collection was an issue. It would have been easier if the NGO already had some data about the projects they are working on and were able to get in touch with an expert in that area.” The volunteers eventually managed to leverage their network of friends and colleagues and collect necessary information for the proposals.

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Sajal has only praise for his volunteers: “We get volunteers from different platforms, but Subhojit and Subham were so much organized, professional and disciplined, I haven’t seen this kind of volunteers before.”

“Me and my team feel so encouraged, they gave us some ideas on eLearning - gave a lot of inputs to us and we learned a lot from this. On the other hand, they also encouraged us and appreciated us - even though we had little knowledge, they always appreciated our ideas.”

And what would Sajal recommend to future ProEngagers? “Volunteers should start communication in an informal way to just have a nice connection with the NGO and to know them better. They should study and understand the organization to know the concept and ideas. It's better to have a friendly connection before we work on the project. It just makes the job a lot easier and  smooth.”

“It lets you see what is on the other side of the world. We get to know about the various challenges people are facing and if we can help them in any way possible. It also allows you to figure out something else other than your work and personal life,” explains Subham why people should try volunteering. He also adds: “These projects give a fair understanding about the bills and laws that the government passes in the parliament. It's a reality check and it definitely helps to have a perspective and to really understand why/how all these different laws are beneficial to the people in rural areas.”

Subhojit thinks aloud: “We got subsidized education, I thought we should give something back to society. And this is an amazing opportunity to make use of. Not all corporates provide and encourage their employees for volunteering. This is a must try.” He also adds passionately : “You should not take it up as a profession, you should have in mind that it's not a "profit and loss" statement, this kind of work should be done from the core of your heart”.