I.G.’s Field Guide to Rela­tion­ship-Based Fundrais­ing: a free resource for the sector 

Friends of SOFII and major donor spe­cial­ists I.G. Advi­sors have cre­at­ed a superb fundrais­ing resource for cre­at­ing an effec­tive fundrais­ing strat­e­gy. In this arti­cle, Jas­mine Awad intro­duces the guide to you and shares how fundrais­ers, who are already using it, have found the guide help­ful. This handy guide is avail­able in both Eng­lish and Spanish.

Written by
Jasmine Awad
March 17, 2022
This field guide from I.G. Advisors provide a wealth of information to help create an effective fundraising strategy.

Fundraising is often described as an art, as if it was an inherent skill or talent only owned by few. But at I.G. Advisors, we believe it is also a science, which can (and should) be learnt by many. Fundraising success depends on several factors, including the ability to plan strategically and leverage any available resources, internal capacity, coordination, and efficiency, as well as lots of time and patience to build lasting and meaningful relationships with donors. Having worked closely with fundraisers for over 10 years, we decided to partner with the Ford Foundation and share all our knowledge in I.G.’s Field Guide to Relationship-Based Fundraising - a free resource for the sector, designed in close collaboration with 25+ fundraisers across Africa, Asia, Latin America and Europe.

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The field guide is also available in Spanish.

The guide, also available in Spanish, was designed to help readers create a fundraising strategy that leverages and maximises their existing resources, and both grow and diversify their income. So, 12 months and 41,000 downloads later, we spoke with two of our users to hear about their experience using this resource. Here’s what they had to say.   

Liliane Loya is a board member of IncubaONG, a Mexican non-profit dedicated to helping emerging organisations build the foundations of their institutional development. Over the past year, Liliana has been using the guide to support the non-profit’s capacity building activities, working with eight emerging community organisations from across Mexico to help them improve their fundraising practises.

The guide is a tremendous tool, and the best news is that there is a Spanish version of it. The fundraising field in Latin America is rapidly evolving, but resources in Spanish are still hard to come by. This is a much-needed, well-packaged resource for Spanish speakers.

Liliane told us she found the wide selection of activities and exercises available in the guide particularly helpful, as it saves her time when thinking of ideas to run capacity building sessions. The section dedicated to ‘Designing the donor journey’ has also proven to be very valuable for her.

‘I find it particularly useful how users are guided to first understand where in the donor-relationship-building spectrum their organisation sits, and from there they can figure out which section they need to start from.’

Faith Abrahams is communications manager at TLC Children’s Home (TLC), one of the Africa-based collaborators I.G. consulted during the research phase that led to the creation of the guide.

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The field guide drew on real case studies from charities around the world, such as TLC Children’s home or this charity mothers2mothers.

For Faith the field guide is a unique offering available to fundraisers in every context, at all levels of expertise. For TLC specifically, it has increased confidence and provided in-depth understanding of the organisation’s core fundraising approach and strategy, as well as the ability to effectively train other people in the team on an approach to fundraising that can be both sustainable and successful.  

Faith particularly values the ‘beautifully structured, yet dynamic layout’ of the guide. 

‘Having been in the fundraising space for many years and consumed many free fundraising resources, this is by far the best resource in terms of balance of information and user friendliness/ accessibility. We are so excited to build on our fundraising success through the guidance of this world-class resource.’ 

When asked about suggestions on how we could enhance I.G.’s support to the sector through this resource, Faith shared that she would love to see the field guide expanded through a series of video training sessions, as it would ‘bring the content to life’ even more and make the guide more accessible to fundraisers around the world: 

‘I often find that dual medium options of content really help me to effectively absorb the information.’

At I.G., we welcome Faith’s and any other users’ suggestions, as we want to hear from fundraisers – both experienced and beginners – to better understand how we can support the sector through our free resources. Please do get in touch if you’d like to share your ideas and recommendations. 

For more information about the Field Guide, you can get in touch with Jasmine Awad at jasmine@ig-advisors.com.

About the author: Jasmine Awad

Jasmine Awad (she/her) is currently head of policy, partnerships and community at Mercato Metropolitano.

She was formerly an advisor at I.G. Advisors, a London-based strategy consultancy that provides philanthropy, corporate impact and fundraising advice. Jasmine is a multilingual social enterprise expert, with an entrepreneurial approach to social and environmental change. She is also a director at Unseen Tours, an award-winning social enterprise that coaches people who have (or have in the past) experienced homelessness to lead walking tours around London. 

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