What Is Fundraising?
Fundraising is the process a team uses to secure the financial resources it needs to implement itsproject. Everything that the WWF Network does is only possible because, at some point, someoneraised funds for it. WWF started as a fundraising organization, and its relative success in fundraisingis laudable. The conservation challenges that lie ahead, however, require that every WWF officebecomes actively engaged in raising money from outside sources.Unfortunately, fundraising does not happen overnight. All forms of fundraising require planning,preparation, resources and a strategic as well as tactical approach. The goal of this brief is to providean overview of fundraising so offices that have traditionally relied on Network funding from donorNational Organizations – what is in reality a “funds transfer” – can begin to think about and plan howthey will approach the task of raising money from outside the Network.
Is there a General Approach to Fundraising?
The short answer is: no. One of the most important things to learn about fundraising is that there aremany different sources of funds and even more ways to tap into them. Membership fundraising, forexample, has at least 14 different acquisition methods.Broadly speaking, there are three basic types of funding for conservation: 1) Private Sector(membership, major donors, foundations, corporate, etc.); 2) Public Sector (government agency, aidagency, World Bank, etc.); and 3) Long Term Conservation Finance Mechanisms (user fees;ecotourism; payment for environmental services (PES); debt-for-nature swaps; and conservation trustfunds).This Resource Guide addresses more traditional private and public source fundraising and breaksthese into eight areas: major donor, legacy, membership, merchandising, corporate fundraising,business and industry engagements, government and aid agency (GAA, and foundation fundraising.The guide explains each of these and provides basic guidance and issues to consider in approachingeach type of donor. An additional WWF Resource Guide (
provides technical guidance and support for these important –and still developing – sources of income for conservation.
Comments about Unrestricted vs. Restricted Funds
An organization’s funds are often classified as restricted or unrestricted. Restricted funds are raisedfor a specific purpose, such as a grant given to a project or for a particular activity. Unrestrictedfunds, in contrast, can be used wherever the organization so desires. As a general rule, because of their flexibility, unrestricted funds are more valuable but also harder to raise than restricted funds.Thus, in spending funds, it is typical to try to use restricted funds for a given expense whereverpossible and to save the unrestricted funds for expenses for which it is hard to raise money.
Step 3.2 Implement Fundraising