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Relationship Building for Enhancing Fundraising Efforts of NGO

Md. Humayun Kabir

It is crucial to build strong relationships with donors and other agencies to enhance fundraising efforts. The following strategies can help cultivate and maintain these relationships effectively:

Building Relationships with Donors

NGO can build donor relationships by showcasing capabilities and alignment with donor priorities through following strategies:

  • Communication with relevant desk offices: The NGO will gather contact information for donor desk offices related to thematic programs and send information packs containing organizational profiles, core competencies, past experiences, program performance, organizational capacity, and innovative concept papers.
  • Identifying mutual interests and opportunities: By mapping donors and analyzing secondary data, the NGO can identify common interests and opportunities that align with their capabilities and priorities, creating a basis for building relationships.
  • Representation at donor events: The NGO will proactively send representatives to donors’ events to maintain visibility and attract donor attention, demonstrating core competencies and the ability to add value to donor programs.
  • Joint planning for events: As the relationship progresses, joint event planning on common issues can showcase the NGO’s resources and ability to add value to the donor’s programs, building confidence in the NGO.
  • Facilitating donor visits: Organizing field visits for donors allows the NGO to showcase its programs and organizational capacity, providing donors with exposure to development issues and opportunities for learning.
Building non-financial partnerships with donors

NGO may identify from donors’ mapping that some institutional donors have interest for non-financial partnership for technical cooperation and strategic support in its country program.  NGO should share its core competency and Nish area of its program and express willingness to build non-financial partnership which will add value in addressing issues where both parties have common interests. To build non-financial partnership/collaboration, NGO should initiate for

  • Dialogue with identified institutional donors interest for technical/strategic partnership
  • Sharing of core competency to demonstrate potentials for strategic partnership.
  • Strategic partnership building for shared responsibilities and engagement at strategic level with clear role clarifications.
Relationship/Partnership with universities

Building partnerships with academic institutions is a key strategy for fundraising, as it enhances organizational credibility and influence in funding opportunities. NGOs should research universities engaged in similar programs, focusing on skills and human resource development. One approach is to offer scholarships to top-performing students in diploma courses for post-graduate degrees at these universities, starting with Asian University in Bangladesh. This partnership can lead to joint initiatives like research and specialized courses, leveraging the university’s academic strengths and the NGO’s experience in skills development. The collaboration should also extend to human resource development, focusing on education, employment creation, and job placement. NGOs should pursue relationships with universities that share these common interests and goals for effective partnerships.   

Partnerships development with peer organizations

Reputable NGOs like BRAC and Dhaka Ahsania Mission are not competitors but complementary organizations working in different thematic areas. Partnering with these organizations provides opportunities to learn, exchange experiences, and build consortia for approaching institutional donors for large funding. Benefits of partnerships with peer organizations include sharing past experiences, exchanging core competencies, identifying common platforms for collaboration, and formulating consortia to access large funds. It is essential for NGOs to work together in order to achieve greater impact and address complex challenges effectively.

Building Relationship with Corporate Donors

Building strong relationships with corporate donors is essential for successful fundraising. Here are strategies to achieve this:

  • Identify and research potential corporate donors based on shared values and conduct thorough research on their philanthropic history.
  • Personalize your approach by tailoring proposals and engaging in direct communication with key decision-makers.
  • Develop a mutual value proposition showcasing the benefits and impact of the partnership.
  • Engage corporate donors in your mission through site visits and involvement opportunities.
  • Create recognition and branding opportunities for corporate donors.
  • Maintain transparent communication with regular updates and financial reports.
  • Organize joint activities and events like fundraising events and awareness campaigns.
  • Leverage in-kind support and expertise from corporate donors.
  • Solicit and act on feedback to improve the partnership.
  • Measure and report impact through comprehensive reports and success stories.
  • Build long-term strategic partnerships focusing on sustainable engagement.
  • Celebrate milestones and achievements to appreciate corporate donors’ contributions.
Building relationships with Govt. Agencies

Bangladesh is making strides towards becoming a middle-income country, with a significant demographic dividend of about 31% young people who can contribute to its progress if equipped with the right skills. The government has emphasized skills development in its strategy papers, presenting an opportunity for NGOs specializing in this area. To build partnerships with government agencies, steps should be taken such as conducting research on potential agencies, developing a mapping of opportunities, creating a task force for communication, preparing customized information packs and presentations, organizing meetings and workshops, and following up on project proposals. By engaging with government agencies and aligning with their procedures, NGOs can leverage this opportunity to contribute to Bangladesh’s development as a middle-income country.


Building and maintaining relationships is essential in fundraising. This includes initial contact with potential donors, securing funds, managing grants, and renewing relationships. Collaborating with other organizations, communicating effectively, and engaging in value-adding activities like sharing materials, attending events, and organizing joint efforts can strengthen relationships. Regular communication, seeking feedback, and investing in technology can further enhance fundraising impact.

The article was written by Md. Humayun Kabir, an Independent Consultant, and Director, Creative Services Limited. Email:

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