Step 7: Raise Funds

While personal and professional friendships form the heart of partnerships, fund development is a requirement of being a partner with Global Partners in Care. We ask that U.S. partners commit to make a good-faith effort to raise at least $5,000 for their international partner each year.

While fund raising clearly assists your international partner, it has many benefits for your organization as well. Many U.S. partners find their international partnership creates access to an entirely new donor community within their own community. This is because the organizations, foundations, and individuals that are interested in supporting efforts to address life-threatening illnesses in other countries — like HIV/AIDS, cancer, malaria, and tuberculosis (TB) — may differ from those that want to donate to local hospice and palliative care activities.

Here are fundraising basics and ideas for raising money for your international partner: [create subpages and links to each section below]

Fundraising Basics

Recognize the importance of fundraising for your partner from the beginning. Early in the steering committee’s work, establish fundraising activities as part of the partnership process and strategic planning goals. Solicit and review steering committee members’ fundraising ideas and integrate them, as needed, into the organization’s on-going fund development activities. Be clear that fundraising for the partnership occurs in addition to your organization’s development activities, and will not be detrimental to the agency.

Create a process to account for fundraising proceeds with respect to the organization’s overall fundraising totals. In some organizations, fund development staff participate on (or otherwise assist) the steering committee. Identify and implement the process that works best for your organization. Part of this process should include creating front-end budgets for all proposed fundraising activities in order to determine what activities are most likely to generate funds for the partner organization.

Raise money for your partner in cooperation with other organizations — your organization does not have to do it all alone. This is also a role of the steering committee. Work with the committee and other community organizations to raise funds for the partner organization. For example, you could ask your state association for a table or booth at meetings to advertise your Global Partners in Care activities and involve others in your goals.

To maximize fundraising results, diversify your efforts and build on the energy and excitement of the steering committee. Diversity means using multiple avenues to raise funds for your partner – some ideas are described below. Build on the energy of the steering committee members by having them make presentations about this exciting work.

Download Global Partners in Care’s Partnership Donation Procedures and Policies, which describes administrative procedures regarding payroll deduction, etc. 

Fundraising Events

Having an event can be a great way to raise awareness and needed funds for your partnership.

Here are some tips for creating a successful event:

  • Consider the event’s timing. Host events after your staff return from a visit to the partner organization’s country, while the excitement is still high, and/or when someone from your international partner organization visits your community. You can also build events around national and international days of recognition, such as:
  • Secure sponsorships to optimize events’ fundraising capacities. Sponsors can lower your costs by providing in-kind items and services including refreshments, venues, printing services, etc. Before approaching any sponsors, develop a plan for the benefits they will receive in exchange for sponsorship (i.e., publicity, event tickets, etc.); ideas include including their logo on event materials, providing a specific number of tickets to the event, posting a “thank you” on your website and/or from the stage, etc.
  • Be conscious of costs. Make sure you’re not expending a huge amount of energy to raise a small amount of funds. Make a budget for all events, and estimate your expected income with respect to staff’s involvement. Part of this process involves deciding whether to charge admission for the event and/or if donations will be solicited from attendees. Note that some charges (like admission fees and raffle tickets) are not fully tax-deductible for the donor. Events that are purely donation-based generate the best financial results for the host.
  • Engage your audience. Charity events that engage participants in activities (i.e., a walk, run, climb, bike tour, etc.) are a popular way to raise both awareness and funds for your partner hospice.
  • Build on your international partner’s available resources. Many U.S. partners sell items produced in their international partner’s country to raise funds for the partnership. These items can include crafts, jewelry, wine, books, photographs, greeting cards, etc. Holding a wine and cheese tasting works well if the partner organization is located in a country that produces good wine, like South Africa.

Here are some examples of successful events conducted by partners and see stories for more.

  • Hospice and Community Care (PA) organized a one-day consignment shop to support its partner, Kenya Hospice and Palliative Care Association. The event, called Spring Bling, was held at the hospice facility, and both staff and community members were invited. In seven hours, the event raised $1,200 and provided an excellent community outreach opportunity as well. By garnering increased community support, staff hopes to expand the event in the future.
  • Community Hospice (Rensselaer, NY) held a large event called Raise the Roof, a musical event to raise funds for their partners. The event, which featured performances by singers, drummers, and dancers, was held at the New York State Center for the Performing Arts. Local African crafts and refreshments were available. Total profits exceeded $15,000.
  • Suncoast Hospice (Clearwater, FL) sponsors Jabula, an annual gospel festival held at the largest African American church in their county. Many gospel choirs perform at the event and a love offering is made for the Hospice Association of Witwatersrand (Johannesburg, Gauteng). This event is held every year to coincide with the partner hospice’s visit, which provides an opportunity for the Suncoast staff to make a short presentation about their vital work. 
Event in a Box

Global Partners in Care has made an “Event in a Box” available to all partners. We can help you with planning a screening of either of two award-winning documentaries, Okuyamba or Road to Hope. Visit the Okuyamba Screening Promotion page to learn more about how we can help you plan your event and provide you with ideas for fundraising opportunities.

Payroll Deduction

In order to create a sustainable funding source for their partners, many Global Partners in Care programs create a payroll deduction program. These programs deduct pre-determined, tax-deductible donations from the paychecks of employees who enroll in the program — it works just like United Way, Combined Federal Campaign (CFC), or other workplace-giving programs. Payroll deductions are one of the most successful fundraising tools, because they create a consistent and on-going source of funds for the partner.

To encourage employees to sign up for payroll deduction, incorporate a 15-minute presentation about the partnership at the new employee orientation and remind your staff periodically about this opportunity. Some organizations motivate their staff to participate in payroll deduction programs by giving them examples of comparative salaries at their partner hospice organization. (As another idea, many programs allow staff members to trade paid time off for donations to their partner organization.)

Download Global Partners in Care’s Partnership Donation Procedures and Policies, which describes administrative procedures regarding payroll deduction, etc. 

Letter-Writing Campaign

The key to a successful letter-writing campaign is clearly and enthusiastically describing the need and inviting the recipient to join your efforts.

Successful letters should follow these simple guidelines:

  • Be a real letter rather than a preprinted card or postcard.
  • Be personally addressed to the individual (i.e., the salutation does not say “Dear donor” or “Dear friend”).
  • Be personally signed by a leader at the organization’s highest ranks.
  • Be positive and have an upbeat tone that communicates the excitement, gratitude, and inner warmth of your organization.
  • Be short with content that grabs the reader’s attention immediately and speaks directly to the donor. When possible, include photographs from the international partner and stories about individuals served by the international partner.
  • Be specific about the staff person whom the donor can contact for follow up, and include this person’s phone number and email address in the letter.
  • Be specific about how the funds will help your partner provide compassionate care to individuals and families. (For example, your letter might describe a goal to raise $12,000 that will support a full-time nurse’s salary for one year.)
  • Be grateful and acknowledge the donor’s past giving, where applicable.
  • Be carefully proofed and spell-checked to ensure there are no spelling or grammatical errors.

Connect with Your Community

Local businesses, social service agencies, schools, religious institutions and clubs such as Kiwanis or Elks may be interested in supporting the partnership, whether they currently support your hospice program or not. Members of your board of directors are, of course, a great resource for making connections in the community.

Make a plan to approach these audiences, and decide up-front what you will ask them to do. You might ask these groups to become a sponsor of, or provide in-kind support for, an event; host an event and donate the proceeds (or a share of the profits) to the partnership; invite your staff to make a presentation about the partnership, etc. Global Partners in Care can also provide your organization with educational and public relations materials to be used for exhibits and other displays.

Auctions & Raffles

Selling or raffling off arts and crafts donated by your international partner organization is a great way to raise both funds and awareness. Items can be sold, auctioned, or raffled at state and regional meetings, board of directors meetings, and other organizational and/or community events. Hospice programs that operate thrift stores can designate a specific area to sell arts and crafts from your partner to benefit the partnership. (While raffles are a great way to raise money, check with legal counsel about state and/or county laws that govern raffles to ensure you comply with any applicable regulations.) 


Although many U.S. foundations do not support international organizations, you may still be able to identify potential philanthropic funders for your partner organization. You may also want to research opportunities at these organizations:

In addition, talk with local community foundations about potential grant opportunities and about the opportunity to provide information to any donor-advised funds.

Contact Global Partners in Care periodically to find out if there are any grant opportunities or other developments that can benefit your partner or their community. (Please be specific about your partner’s needs so we can identify the best opportunities for you.)