Tomorrow Trust

Flipping the Script on Fundraising: A Strategic Approach for Tomorrow Trust

Taryn Rae

In a recent discussion as part of Humentum’s Operationalizing Locally Led Development Series 2024, Taryn Rae, CEO of Tomorrow Trust based in Johannesburg, South Africa, shared insights and experiences from the frontline of fundraising within the nonprofit sector. With over 19 years of dedicated service, Tomorrow Trust focuses on supporting 1500 beneficiaries, addressing educational disparities among marginalized and vulnerable children and youth through robust, community-centered programs.

Operating as a medium-sized NGO, Tomorrow Trust faces an annual fundraising challenge crucial for sustaining its impactful initiatives amid a global landscape of nonprofit organisations.

Fundraising in the nonprofit sector transcends financial targets; it underscores long-term sustainability and resilience, particularly in the wake of formidable challenges like the COVID-19 pandemic. At Tomorrow Trust, innovative approaches continually evolve to fortify fundraising strategies, ensuring enduring impact and transformative change.

Understanding the Challenge

Dependence on one or two major funders poses inherent risks to organisational stability. Therefore, diversifying funding sources remains pivotal. Tomorrow Trust is committed to incremental steps aimed at reducing expenditure, enhancing resourcefulness, and exploring varied financing models. This strategic pivot mitigates risks associated with donor dependency, safeguarding operational continuity.

Educating and Engaging Funders

Central to Tomorrow Trust’s strategy is enlightening funders on the criticality of operational funding and reserve building. This proactive educational approach challenges perceptions that funding should solely support direct programmatic costs. Emphasis is placed on the significance of administrative and operational expenses in ensuring organisational efficacy and sustained impact.

Emphasising Reserves and Transparency

The establishment of reserves constitutes a cornerstone of Tomorrow Trust’s fiscal strategy. Reserves serve as a safeguard against economic uncertainties, bolstering programmatic resilience during periods of adversity. Transparent reporting on fund utilisation cultivates donor trust, underscoring accountability and demonstrating tangible outcomes from their contributions.

Human-Centered Partnerships and Advocacy

Tomorrow Trust prioritises forging enduring partnerships founded on mutual trust and understanding with its donors. Adopting a human-centric approach, the organization emphasises consistent communication, transparency in operations, and steadfast adherence to commitments. Actions speak louder than words; Tomorrow Trust prides itself on delivering on promises and showcasing results, cementing robust partnerships that drive sustainable impact.

Advocacy efforts within the philanthropic community amplify awareness around the pivotal role of operational funding and reserves. Collaborations with fellow NGOs and stakeholders yield invaluable insights, strengthening Tomorrow Trust’s sustainable funding strategies through shared knowledge and support.

By embracing a solution-oriented approach integrating education, transparency, long-term relationship building, flexible funding models, advocacy, and networking, Tomorrow Trust navigates challenges with resilience. Together with its dedicated partners and supporters, the organisation remains steadfast in its mission to revolutionise educational outcomes for marginalized children and youth. As Tomorrow Trust continues to flip the script on fundraising, it paves the way for a sustainable future, empowering communities and fostering enduring change.


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