Resource mobilization in the field of disability

In the previous post we learned about Social Work's Importance in the Field of Disabilities. This post This post provides an overview of the concept, methods, and models of resource mobilisation. At the end of this blog the reader will develop a thorough understanding of the resource mobilisation idea, methodologies, and models.


  1. Introduction
  2. Definition and concept of Resource mobilization
  3. Conclusion


Disability is a phrase that is regarded to be a component of the human condition because everyone experiences some sort of impairment, whether permanent or temporary, at some point in their lives. Life is challenging for people with persistent disabilities, especially in their old age, in ordinary functioning and socialisation, which was well adjusted in the joint family system of former times through the helping hands supplied by other family members. Persons with disabilities have significant challenges in the current nuclear family system, and society perceives them as unproductive and onerous. Many people, even in the twenty-first century, equate disability with religious belief and regard it as a "curse" from God. Disability, as a result, becomes an unproductive and dependent status, impeding equal rights and opportunities for people with impairments.

In the current situation, resource mobilisation in the field of disability is a major area of Social Work intervention. The notion is comparable to that utilised in other areas of Social Work, with the exception of a few tactics. Due to the scale of impairment, people with disabilities require increased socioeconomic and political attention, and social workers must keep enough knowledge about the services offered to people with disabilities in order for them to be included. Social work in the realm of disability has emerged as a key subject of study in India's Social Work Education.

Definition and concept of Resource mobilization:

Resource mobilisation can be characterised as a management process that entails identifying people who share the same values as your organisation and taking actions to manage that relationship, according to A Practical Guide for Research and Community Based Organizations report 2009. When one examines this definition thoroughly, one can see that resource mobilisation is a process that involves three interconnected concepts, which are as follows.

Organizational Management and Development include building and strengthening organisations in preparation for resource mobilisation. It also entails defining the organization's vision, mission, and goals, as well as establishing internal systems and processes to support resource mobilisation initiatives, such as defining the roles of the board and staff and efficiently managing human, material, and financial resources. Developing and implementing a strategic plan that includes both the proper use of existing finances and the search for diverse sources of future funding. (2010, A Practical Guide for Research and Community Based Organizations)

This concept covers the following principles
  • Resource mobilisation is only a means to a goal, which is the achievement of the organization's vision.
  • The institution's commitment to resource mobilisation, acknowledgment of the need to raise resources, and institutionalisation of resource mobilisation priorities, policies, and budget allocation are all part of the team effort.
  • The board, the president or executive director, and the resource mobilisation unit share responsibility for the resource mobilisation endeavour.
  • An organisation need funds in order to raise funds.
  • There are no easy fixes when it comes to resource mobilisation.

Communicating and Prospecting

Once an organization gets ready for resource mobilization, it must ensure long term sustainability through acquiring new donors and maintaining a constituency base. Resource mobilization entails learning how to connect with prospective and finding common ground through shared values and interests. It also entails discerning the right prospect to approach, and matching the appropriate resource mobilization strategy to the prospect. (A Practical Guide for Research and Community Based Organizations 2010)

This concept is governed by two principles:

  • Resource mobilisation is a great way to make new friends. Financial support arises as a result of a connection, not as an end in itself.
  • Persons give to people with causes rather than to causes. People give to organisations with whom they have a personal connection in some way.

Relationship Building

Once donors are identified, get closer, get to know them better, same way as developing an acquaintance. Initiating new relationships, nurturing existing ones and building an ever expanding network is an on-going activity. The following principles are important in this process. (A Practical Guide for Research and Community Based Organizations 2010)

This concept is governed by two principles:

  • Donor cultivation entails getting a prospect closer to the organisation, building interest and involvement.
  • To reach to the top of the resource mobilisation pyramid, start from the bottom.
Strategic Networking Guidelines (A Practical Guide for Research and Community Based Organizations 2010)
  • Begin with the end in mind. 
  • Know your audience. 
  • Keep the interests of the donor in mind.
  • Listen and be prepared to explain elements of your organization to the donor 
  • Prepare your talking points in advance. 
  • Leave critical information behind. 
  • Follow up
Concept of resource mobilization: Resource mobilisation is commonly used in similar meaning with fund raising. Fundraising is just a part of it or only an outcome of resource mobilisation efforts. Resource mobilisation includes building valuable contacts and networks, and garnering the interest, support, and contributions of people important to the organisation. (A Practical Guide for Research and Community Based Organizations 2010)

The significance of resource mobilisation might be expressed for the following reasons.

  • In order to promote the realisation of the integration goal, it diversifies, expands its resource base, develops new thinking, and challenges old traditions.
  • It identifies and analyses the resources available for her programme priorities, policies, and effective budget allocation, as outlined in the Development Strategy.
  • It is aware of the present donor financing situation, resource availability, and commitment to help.
  • It assists in making the best use of domestic capital and talents in order to develop long-term relationships with stakeholders.
  • It ensures the organization's and its employees' continuity and stability.

Important point’s donors look for: Advocating for a good cause is not enough to gain local funding. Legitimacy, transparency and accountability are the key factors the donors look for.

What to do and what not to do while meeting with donors: According to Lisa Thomson's resource mobilisation and proposal drafting,
  • Remember to always speak on equal terms with funders 
  • Treat donors with respect and curiosity 
  • Follow through on everything that you say you will do 
  • Meet all donor deadlines 
  • Listen well to know who you are talking to. 
  • Learn their name and position and learn how to communicate with people from different backgrounds. 
  • Do not use too much flattery 
  • Do not speak in a ‘poor us’ way
  • Do not act desperate or complain about having no money
  • Do not call a potential resource provider too often or talk for too long
  • Do not hurry or rush the funder

Conversation starters include: According to Lisa Thomson's resource mobilisation and proposal drafting,

  • Use questions to get started 
  • Listen well and patiently 
  • Do not deny objections but find a positive way to answer them 
  • Do not ask until you feel the time is right – then ask for the specific amount 
  • Always base your appeal on facts rather than emotion
  • Mention if you have support from other donors 
  • Offer a written proposal if necessary 
  • Be flexible and understanding 
  • If the answer is no, try to find out what the reasons were and if there are ways that this can be changed to yes. 
  • Suggest a follow up meeting if necessary.

Meeting information that can be discussed: According to Lisa Thomson's resource mobilisation and proposal drafting

  • Annual reports (which would include financial reports) 
  • Stories / Case Studies / Photos 
  • Testimonials / Letters of support 
  • A standard short description of your project. 
  • Newspaper articles / press coverage about your organization 
  • Business cards

Levels of Participation of donors

  • Passive Participation 
  • Participation by giving information about other sources of donations 
  • Participation by Consultation 
  • Participation by sharing Material Incentives 
  • Functional Participation 
  • Interactive Participation 
  • Self-Mobilization

Donor performance indicators

  • Return on investment
  • Donor acquisition cost 
  • Response rate of donors and average donation 
  • Attrition rate of both donors and volunteers

Situational analysis

It helps organizations to identify their positions before planning for an action. Development organizations plan methodologies that contribute to the viability and sustainability of the communities with which they work. Situational analysis is conducted for various reasons, like assessing organizational performance, various skills and knowledge areas, motivation and environmental influences on its performance and so. This involves a SWOT Analysis for assessing resource mobilization capacities of the organization. (A Practical Guide for Research and Community Based Organizations 2010)

Internal factors a situational analysis can give

  • Affirm resource mobilization successes to date 
  • Provide a sense of history and present the organization’s evolution in its responses to changes in the funding environment 
  • Present a “reality check” on where the organization is at currently going on achieving its vision, mission and existing strategic plan goals
  • Validate funding targets over a set period of time, identify available funding and resource gaps 
  • Indicate gaps in administrative systems such as Finance and Accounting 
  • Indicate gaps specific to resource mobilization skills and systems such as proposal writing, implementation of other strategies, donor acquisition and upgrade 
  • Establish ownership of resource mobilization functions 
  • Open new doors or widen perspectives on prospective resourceproviders 
  • Determine buy in, or lack thereof, of various stakeholders to organization’s funding priorities and resource mobilization strategies 
  • Establish resource mobilization policies and code of ethics anchored to the organization’s core values 
  • Review the relevance of the organization’s existing key messages 
  • Determine the organization’s capacity to invest in a resource mobilization program (A Practical Guide for Research and Community Based Organizations 2010)

External factors a situational analysis can give

  • Funders’ priorities and changing trends 
  • Demand for your organization’s services 
  • Technological innovations related to your area of work 
  • Legislative and regulatory changes
  • Competing grantees 
  • Prevailing political, social and economic conditions (Chaim 2011) 

Methods of resource mobilization: The principal methods of resource mobilization are:

  • Government grants 
  • Public revenue raising efforts 
  • Usage fees 
  • Contributions from private donors, and 
  • Foreign assistance. (Chawla 1996)
Government grants: Resource mobilisation can be accomplished by utilising the numerous grants offered by the government. Grants are available to support different kinds of disability. When working in the disability field, it is crucial to possess appropriate awareness of these provisions. While some awards, including those for self-employment, are distributed at DDRO levels, other grants are available through the Health Department. Chandla, 1996

Public revenue raising efforts: This is also called finance campaigns. Organisations working in various fields engage in fund raising efforts. The do’s and don’ts when meeting the donors is already mentioning the details of fund raising. (Chawla 1996)

Usage fees: There are several steps in the design of a user-fee system. 
  • Step 1: Set targets for cost recovery. 
  • Step 2: Determine the structure of user charges. 
  • Step 3: Set user fees. 
  • Step 4: Formulate a policy on exemption and waivers. 
  • Step 5: Design and operationalize a system for managing fee-collection (Chawla 1996)
Contributions from private donors: Non-monetary contributions from private donors sometimes play an important role in the process of resource mobilization. Here also, the do’s and don’ts of practice when meeting with the donors need to be kept in mind. (Chawla 1996) 

Foreign assistance: there are funding agencies of various types, funding for various types of developmental needs. Many of these are funding in the field of disability also. Availing funding from them requires preparation of a detailed write up called project proposal, stating things in detail. (Chawla 1996)

Successful Proposal Writing:

A proposal must convince the prospective donor of two things such as the significance and magnitude of the problem and measures for its solution. There are three major types of proposals such as, unsolicited, a response to a specific program within a specific donor agency, a response to a Request for Proposals (RFP). 

Rules for proposal writing are as follows (Resource mobilisation and proposal writing Lisa Thomson) 
  • Be concise 
  • Be passionate and positive 
  • Write separately for each funder Proposals should include chapters as follows a) Title/ Cover Page – the name of the organisation, contact details, name of the programme etc b) Letter of Intent 
  • Proposal summary (executive summary) 
  • Statement of need (also called a problem statement)
  • Programme Description - describes goals, objectives, method, etc… 
  • Project plan for funding period - milestones over a certain delivery period, with costs
  • Monitoring and evaluation plan 
  • Organisational information - history, structure, board of trustees etc. 
  • Budget


An expanding field of social work interventions is resource mobilisation. Here too, a skill akin to closing techniques required in sales and marketing is crucial. Due to the constantly shifting nature of the clientele, the workplace is particularly dynamic and demanding, offering the highest level of prospects for individuals with needed talents. Since nobody can contribute readily, the effective use of talents is crucial in resource mobilisation efforts for people with disabilities. As a developing country, India lacks a comprehensive healthcare system to help people with disabilities, and the number of people with impairments is dangerously rising. The sector of working with people who have impairments needs more committed experts.


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