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CESE hosts online roundtable dialogue about raising funds from individuals

On 20 June, CESE hosted an online session of roundtable dialogue focused on how to fundraise from individuals. The theme grew out of a recent survey undertaken by CESE regarding the contributions its training makes to strengthening the practices of grassroots movements. The dialogue session was attended by 30 people from a range of organizations, who have participated in local fundraising and mobilising support courses run by CESE for the Change the Game Academy.

To examine this fundraising strategy in greater depth, the roundtable was attended by Júlia Magnoni, from Habitat for Humanity, which works with coalitions and campaigns, including the Zero Evictions Campaign (Campanha Despejo Zero) (in Portuguese) and the Recife Coalition for Struggle (Articulação Recife de Luta: ARL) (in Portuguese). During the session, Julia reported her 2020 and 2021 fundraising experiences with the ARL, emphasizing the importance of planning, collective support and transparency in communicating about the application of funds raised.

Daiane Dultra (in Portuguese) also contributed; Daiane is a consultant for civil society organizations, including CESE, has significant knowledge of PME (Planning + Monitoring + Evaluation) methodologies and has advised ActionAid Brazil on institutional partnerships and philanthropy. She stressed the importance of planning, communications, acquisition channels, donor retention, the division/distribution of tasks within the organization, as well as offline activities, such as raffles and door-to-door activities. She noted that “fundraising isn’t selling projects, but telling stories” and asked: “What activities make sense and could be undertaken by your organization?”

The debate touched on other issues related to raising funds from individuals, such as information security, voluntary work and how organizations not certified on the National Register of Legal Entities (Certificado Nacional de Pessoa Jurídica: CNPJ) can raise funds. “How can we run an activity, a campaign, given all the scams on the internet, WhatsApp and social media?” was one concern raised by Francisco Fernando from the Front for the Fight for Housing (Frente de Lutas por Moradia) (in Portuguese), from Fortaleza in Ceara, who also thanked CESE for the invitation.

Cristiane Lopes dos Santos from the Network of Black Women from Bahia (Rede de Mulheres Negras da Bahia) (in Portuguese) in Salvador raised the issue of the formalization of associations and collectives: “What strategies can we adopt to raise funds for associations that don’t have a CNPJ allowing them to fundraise?”

Elizabete Santos Lopes from the Quilombola Movement of Maranhão (Movimento Quilombola do Maranhão: MOQUIBOM) noted that the strategies Daiane and Julia presented were relevant, but also raised the issue of information security as a challenge for the field.

Daiane and Julia outlined some measures that could resolve some of the concerns raised by the participants: using fundraising platforms that already work within the General Personal Data Protection Law (Lei Geral de Proteção de Dados), partnerships with other organizations that are formally registered as legal entities and able to fundraise through collective campaigns, the dissemination of campaigns to trusted individuals and their relationship networks, and taking care not to share sensitive data and documents on WhatsApp.The roundtable was mediated by Lucyvanda Moura, consultant and facilitator for the Local Fundraising Course/Change the Game Academy, with support from the Wilde Ganzen Foundation.