Lesson 3

Identify Your Archive's Strengths from the Donor's Perspective

  1. Describe Your Case for Giving (Why should donors support you?)
  2. Take a few minutes to think about why donors would want to support your archive’s work. Answer the following questions:

    1. The problem or need that the money is expected to address
    2. The audience that will benefit from the project/program
    3. What your archive does now and what the project will allow you to do.
    4. How much money you think you will need for your project

    Assignment: Describe your case as succinctly as possible. Think of it as an elevator speech that you can give going from one floor to another in an elevator.

    Download worddoc 1 : Why should donors support you? (Case for Giving)

  3. What do funders look for?
  4. Explore what donors look for in archives they fund as well as the characteristics of successful organizations. Complete a list of your archives strengths and weakness.

    1. Funders want to know how their charitable gifts will help your archive fulfill its mission statement.
    2. Characteristics funders look for in successful organizations.

    Charitable status: Are you a registered Canadian charity and can you provide charitable receipts? (Foundation donors do not need a charitable receipt but they do use charitable status as a screen for applicants. Some businesses and individuals also make decisions not to provide gifts to organizations that are not registered charities.)

    Clearly stated mission: Do you have a mission statement that donors and prospective donors can understand?

    Volunteer Board: Do you have a volunteer Board of Directors. If so, who are they? If not, who governs your archive?

    History: Do you have a succinct history of your archive that you can use to tell your story to donors?

    Planning and Evaluation: Do you have a strategic plan for your archive and a way to evaluate your progress?

    Solid financial plan: Do you have a financial plan that is related to your strategic plan?

  5. The Strengths of Your Archive:".
  1. What are the strengths and assets of your archive?
  2. What makes it different from other archives?

TIP: When answering these questions, put yourself in the donor’s shoes and ask, “So what?” Try to answer the “so what”.

Assignment: Take a few minutes to answer these questions on the downloadable Word Document: What do funders look for? Download worddoc 2