Tips for funding your Crime Prevention Month event
The Five Rs of Resource Development
People will be likely to make a contribution to the
- Right person, asking the
- Right prospect, for the
- Right reason, for the
- Right amount, at the
- Right time
The right person is articulate, enthusiastic, and well informed about program goals, needs, and accomplishments. The right prospect is one who is willing and able to give. The right reason is one that is likely to be of interest to the potential donor. The right amount is neither too much nor too little, but based on the donor’s ability to give. The right time is before your deadline or the funder’s deadline, and when the person being approached is relaxed and unhurried.
Approaching Someone You Know
Presentations before someone you know may be informal but should always include key information, such as
- An overview of the goals and objectives of the program
- Locally specific crime information that demonstrates the need for the program
- A description of how you plan to implement the program
- Funding and resource needs
- Human interest stories and anecdotes
Approaching a Local or State Government Policymaker
This approach is more formal, usually in the form of a written proposal. Government policymakers see a large number of proposals for programs over the course of a year or a legislative session. What will make your program stand out among these proposals is
- An organized presentation that succinctly explains the program’s use across the community
- Facts about the extent of victimization by crime
- Evidence of the program’s success
- The history of government support
Government policymakers usually are most receptive to new program ideas that can demonstrate a broad base of support in the community (e.g., other government officials, community leaders and groups, the target audience for the program). Providing letters of support or promises of funding or implementation assistance from local individuals or organizations will help.
Approaching Businesses or Corporate Foundations
Present business people or organizations with brief, focused appeals that demonstrate your project as a response to community victimization by crime. Highlight how your program deals directly with business concerns (e.g., shoplifting or property crime).
There are also civic groups you can approach for help: Junior League, American Legion, Rotary Clubs, Chambers of Commerce, Lodges, and Bar Associations. Many groups may not have money they can give, but they may be able to donate things like prizes or meeting space.
Form Relationships and Partnerships
Regardless of whom you are asking or what you seek, it is essential to focus on forming relationships or partnerships with funders. People give to people. Causes are important, but establishing a personal link with a funder is vital to success. Grant money is often temporary; foundations like to help organizations start new programs but want the organization to become self-sufficient. A partner is more likely to offer ongoing support year after year.