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Tips on resource mobilization for education development

16th January 2012
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Resource Mobilisation seems to be an emerging activity in Tanzania, especially on Education development. Education stakeholders, from primary level to tertiary level, are vying to mobilise resources effectively, in order to meet the expanding need in their institutions.

Resource Mobilisation stresses the ability of movement's members to acquire resoures (physical, fiscal, or materials) and to mobilize people towards accomplishing the organisation or community goals…

 

The education sector in Tanzania is facing many challenges including inadequate teachers, lack of teaching and learning facilities and inadequate infrastructure.  Others are low enrolment rate at various levels of education, low transition rate, gender disparity and outdated curricula.

The overall national target set in 2005 is to ensure provision of quality education at all levels by increasing the enrolment to 100% at Primary level and at least 50 percent of the primary school leavers to join Secondary education, 25 percent of ordinary secondary education to join advanced secondary, and 12.5 percent  to join higher learning institutions by the year 2010. 

 

The achievement in enrolment attained so far has triggered the need for even more facilities to match the increased enrolment.  This calls for effective strategies to mobilise resources to minimise these challenges.

Resource mobilisation might involve administration and other resource mobilisation costs, but it should be born in mind that the cost in resource mobilisation should be kept as minimal as it can be, as the intention of resource mobilisation is to solve education needs.

For example, when an education institution need money for construction of infrastructure such as girls’ dormitories and teachers’ houses; procurement of text and reference books, laboratory equipments, and other facilities, they might need to raise funds to meet these needs.

In order to run resource mobilisation activity smoothly you need to have seed money for administration cost for activities such as communication (telephone, mail, e-mail), printing costs, hiring of venue, community mobilisation, promotion materials and related costs.

Resource mobilisation needs a lot of preparations and plans. The following are steps to follow: First step is to identify and analyse the organisation or community or institutional needs. Ask yourself, how many schools or classes are needed to be constructed? What is the problem behind that?  What is the magnitude of the community awareness about the education problems over the area?

Second step is to identify the necessary stakeholders and potential donors or contributors, and try to analyse how you are going to convince them to support your project. Ask yourself, why they should assist in a particular education activity, why should they give out their money.

Third, do mapping of potential supporters. List all potential contributors and analyse their ability (in terms of skills, financial and material) to contribute toward the achievement of the program. Ask yourself, who is going to contribute? What are they going to contribute? How much are they going to contribute?

Another step is to formulate a resource mobilisation theme. The theme should be touchy, appealing that enters in the contributors’ mind and emotions, so that he/she can contribute. Tony Elischer argues that, the reasons why people donate money depend on their head (the logic in support of the meeting need) and the heart (the emotions present in the heart of the giver).

During the 2010 political campaigns, we witnessed various political parties using various themes and slogans which they deem could touch their members and citizens to contribute resources towards their success of their campaigns.

The same was with resource mobilisation campaigns by various individuals and companies for Kilosa and Dar es Salaam floods victims, because their touchy and emotional feelings have triggered them, such that they become concerned with the desperate situation over the area, having seen the tragedy of dislocation and displacement of people in the respective destination.

Another very essential factor is to consider how you position and communicate the problem to the society. Communication strategy should be very much effective, in addressing of the resource mobilisation campaign. Through our experience with the resource mobilisation campaigns in Tanzania, we have come to recognize that there is a need for involvement of the specific community to support education resource mobilisation campaigns in their communities. They can mobilise materials, finance as well as labour.

The guest of honour or facilitator of the resource mobilisation event is very crucial, as there is correlation between the amount of resources the supporters contribute with the title of the guest of honour or the facilitator. Most supporters in Tanzania usually respond when there is reputable guest of honour such as the President or Prime Minister during the fundraising event.

The press release and media strategy should be very effective in addressing the needs of the problem, its being practical by nature  that people needs to know the extent of the problem, its size and magnitude.

As we said earlier fundraising needs to incur some cost behind, by making t-shirt, banners, brochures, TV and Radio advertisement, as part of Communication and promotional tools, as people should be reminded often towards the cause, human mind always respond to what it hears, listens and imagines.

Another important step is to develop an effective team with diverse background and skills. The team should be knowledgeable on the Cause and the mission they want to accomplish.

The resource mobilisation committee should plan an effective project time line, and the sequences of activities are prior known with the committee members, including the duration, assigning of tasks and responsibilities, and reporting on the progress.  Make sure that people who are assigned on the very important tasks, knows the consequences of the delay of the tasks. In addition, the committee should identify and choose resource mobilisation strategies fit for them holding an event, grants proposal writing, and others.

It is important to develop rapport and friendship with suppliers, communities, government, Foundations, NGOs and Companies. This is important because whether you are currently not involving with any resource mobilisation, you may in the future involve them in the resource mobilisation campaigns.

After receiving a donation from a supporter, it is wise and professionally recommended to write to your supporters, an appreciation letter or e-mail for what they have donated to you, and make sure you send them the school’s annual report and the resource mobilisation report, emphasising the way you value their contribution.

Sometimes you can make a call to your supporters to acknowledge their contribution; this will help to maintain relationship and goodwill with the donor. Some supporters especially from commercial sectors would like publicity, so it’s a duty of the schools with the resource mobilisation committee to give publicity for the donors as much as possible.

Perhaps on your prospective lists of supporters, some did not respond towards your request, but that is not the end of the business, you may still cultivate relationship with these potential supporters, through sending to them an invitation on any of your future events. This in future will make them effective donor of the schools or institution.

 

At the end of the event, you need to make evaluation to reveal achievements and failures of the team to meet the intended objectives. This will help to plan a better event in future.

Writers are resource mobilisation specialists and leaders of Tanzania Association of Fundraisers (TAF). They are reached through 0754304181/0755560691 or TAF@gmail.com

SOURCE: THE GUARDIAN
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