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Have you ever been told to be more realistic?

To quit dreaming because it’s so farfetched that it will only end in disappointment?

I have had my fair share of people say this to me especially by those closest to me. And I’ll admit I have said this phrase to others as well in the past without much thought.

Why? Because we live in a fear-driven society, and we’ve been conditioned to play it safe.

So often it rolls off our tongue automatically from a place of good intentions. We say it because we care about our friends and loved ones. We want to keep them safe and protect them from disappointment, failure, and any pain and burden we perceive may arise in going after their dream.

The fact is what does it mean to be realistic anyway?

I googled and this is the definition that popped up ‘having or showing a sensible and practical idea of what can be achieved or expected.’

But what we believe and perceive to be possible or practical is based on the experiences we have had. So when someone advises you to be more realistic, they are operating from their perspective of reality, and it is subjective. As such, when it comes to your dreams, don’t let this phrase kill it. Because in order to live beyond mediocrity, to tap into your limitless potential, you need to as John P. Strelecky would say ‘Be Patiently Unrealistic’. Kinda frustrating isn’t it? So what else can you do as you patiently observe yourself in action in creating your reality?

1. Create a Powerful Posse:

Choose who you want to hang around wisely. You cannot underestimate the power of the impact it’ll have in your life when you surround yourself with those who are positive and engaging.

Who you want to avoid are the energy soul-sucking leeches, the Debbie Downers.

Who you want to surround yourself with are people who you can exchange information and knowledge with. Who are on the same path as you or have already achieved what you want to do. You want to be around genuine people who will be emotional supportive, add value to help you grow and motivate you to go after your dream.

2. Ask for Help:

If you are willing to put aside your ego and ask for help, you’ll be surprised that most people are willing to help. And if you get someone who says no, you move on and ask someone else. Eventually, you will find someone who is willing to help and you’ll find yourself a step closer to accomplishing your goal.

This is the secret to getting anything you want.

As Steve Job once said “Most people never ask, that’s what separates sometimes the people who do things and people who dream about them.”

3. Do the Best You Can & Surrender to Possibilities:

There are only two things you can control, your attitude and your effort. So if you put your best foot forward and do the best you can in pursuit of your dream, that’s all that matters. So focus on those two things and then surrender to how and when things are going to happen.

4. Take Risks:

There is no doubt you will come across uncertainty and will need to get out of your comfort zone.

It is vital to not let the negative connotation that often comes with the word ‘risk’ take over your mind and hold you back from taking inspired action.

We often automatically amplify what could go wrong, letting the power of imagination take over in an unresourceful manner while underestimating our ability to handle whatever consequences that may arise.

Instead recognize and acknowledge with anything in life there’s always a risk. And then evaluate the risk. Identify it. What is the probability of it actually happening? What do I need to do to prepare and mitigate the risk so that the odds will be in my favor? What is the cost of inaction if I decide to do nothing? What would I gain if I did take a risk?

In the end, anything worthwhile is worth the risk.

You’ll find that even when things don’t work out exactly the way you want, you will have reaped some benefits from the experience that will make you stronger, smarter and more resilient to life’s adversities.

So if you have been putting off something and have it on the back burner because people told you to get realistic, perhaps now is a time to re-evaluate and give it a chance.



The project justification is one of the most crucial parts of a proposal. You can use it to convince the potential donor that your project is of ultimate importance for your community and elucidate the ways in which, by developing this project, you will consistently achieve your set goals (social, economic improvement or the resolution to a specific problem).
Research the issue your project addresses in depth. Identify the causes of the problem and, if possible, list the ways in which other projects have already successfully addressed similar issues. Once you have this material, write in simple words what your project is about and what your main goal is (remember to set achievable and realistic goals for your project!).
List the three main factors that are causing the problem you address. Let’s say your project is about training a group of 10 unemployed young people to edit documentaries: explain that local schools and university curricula do not provide such training, that the closest training centre is two hours away, and that there are no professional video-editors in your community. Explain why you think this project is ultimately important and for whom. Remember to clarify how through the development of this project your target group could consistently improve their skills, life expectations, or quality of life. For instance, find information about the employability of video-editors in your area. Look up, in job centres or adverts, existing trends in the market and make a strong case for these trained young people to increase their possibilities of finding the job they really want.
It is important to link your project with the reality of your community. Write down how you came up with the idea by recounting facts or experiences you had that drew your attention to this problem. If possible, add other voices. For instance, and referring to the example above, if you once met a young woman who wanted to become a film-maker, but had no way of learning the basics of video-editing, briefly recall her story. In this way, the donor will get a sense of the importance of your project in the community and the extent to which its development will benefit real individuals.
Once you have all these parts, take your time to create a consistent and organic narrative. Start with a simple sentence summarising the main goal of the project. Add a paragraph about the reasons at the root of this problem. Briefly explain how is your project intervening to solve said problem. Draw on the success of similar initiatives to strengthen your own proposal and explain how this project will concretely benefit improve the life of members of your community by inserting life stories in your narrative. Remember that a successful proposal is written in a clear, simple, and engaging way. Accordingly, avoid repetition, rhetorical questions, and complex phrasing. Write simple sentences that make concrete points. This will convince the donor that your project is feasible and that it answers to specific needs of your community. Also, to set concrete goals will enable the donors to monitor the implementation process and evaluate the final results.
#Source: fundsforngos


Guidelines and suggestions for methods and principles of fund raising aimed at the financing of community based projects.
Fund raising is a valuable part of the strengthening of CBOs, NGOs and communities; cash (and non cash) contributions are needed by them to carry out their desired and planned activities. The obtaining of resources is therefore a desired and honourable task; fund raisers should be acknowledged and praised. Fund raising is a job to which all should contribute, and for which all should be responsible.
Many of the techniques and skills of fund raising (some of which are included here) can be or have been adapted from the commercial profession of “marketing” (in fact, fund raising is referred to as “marketing” by many NGOs). While marketing and sales skills can be valuable, they must always be applied in an ethical manner. Every fund raiser (paid or volunteer) must first and foremost be completely convinced of the value, integrity and benefits of the organization, and the activities for which the raised funds will be used.
These guidelines, must be modified in each community so as to be adapted to the differences that characterize every community

1. Principles of Fund Raising:
Principles of fund raising
Techniques of fund raising.

1.1 The Profession of Marketing:
Many of the skills and techniques of fund raising used by NGOs and some UN agencies have been developed by, and adapted from the commercial profession of marketing. Some people (often those outside or unsuccessful at the profession of sales and marketing) see this as a cynical and insincere activity. Maybe that is so as it is practised by some, but it does not have to be, and often is not. If a sales or marketing professional sincerely believes in the value of the product, sales can be effected honestly and ethically.
The principles of sincerity and ethical integrity especially apply to fund raising. Fund raising should be the responsibility of all members of the organization, although they may participate in different ways. It should not be simply left to the professionals. All of us/you, therefore, should know about principles as well as techniques of fund raising. The fund raiser, first and foremost, must be honestly convinced in the integrity of the organization, and in the benefit and value of the activity or project of the organization. Potential and past donors very quickly spot insincerity, dishonesty, and diversion of “their” donated resources.

1.2 Acknowledgement of Donations:
Acknowledgement is a must. Many donors use their donations to gain prestige and honour in their communities. It is a small price to praise every donor. Ensure that communities we assist are aware of the need to acknowledge all donations, and praise the donors for their loyalty to the community and their much needed and appreciated donation (cash and kind).

1.3 Thank You!
The most important two words in obtaining funds, and running a successful NGO, CBO or community project, are the words, “Thank you!”
Many NGO staff have wondered why enthusiasm for their activities has dried up, and funds cease to roll in; and the simple cause is often found to be that the NGO forgot to acknowledge and thank the donors.

1.4 Progress Reports:
Further to a simple “thank you,” donors want to know what was achieved with their donated money. The most effective form of thank you is a progress report. Donors are less interested in your activities; they are more interested in the results of your activities; have you reached, or partially reached, the objectives you stated when you asked for the donation? CMP has prepared other documents about report writing; use them and integrate report writing with obtaining resources. Fund raising and report writing are not independent activities.

1.5 Integrity:
A high level of integrity must be maintained at all times. This applies to the set up and activities of the organization in general, and specifically to its fund raising activities. An important aspect of that integrity is full accountability.
All actions must be accountable; all funds must be accountable. This means accurate, complete, understandable and honest narrative reports and financial reports, available at any time to any member of the public.
Along with accountability is transparency. The group must not have any secret agenda, and must be public and honest about all its activities and all its expenditures. Account records must be open, that is available to any member of the public to inspect at any time. Honesty can not be compromised. The good ends (goals or objectives) of the organization must not be compromised by questionable means used to get to those ends.
Those people responsible for implementing the activities of the group, including the activity of obtaining funds, must be honestly and totally convinced of the goodness of the group and its objectives, and the worth while values and benefits of the project. This level of integrity is essential for the sustainability of the group, the completion of the project, and the benefit of the community.

1.6 The Importance of a Positive Attitude:
Not everybody is a donor. Some of the people, agencies or groups can or will not give to your community or organization. If you do not recognize that failure to obtain a donation from one source does not imply that you or your organization is a failure, you may be tempted to be discouraged and give up.
Do not give up. You can not allow yourself to be discouraged; it is a luxury that you, your organization and your community can not afford. You may experience eight rejections; do not give up because the ninth and tenth may bring the needed donation.

1.7 Calculating and Recording Project Inputs:
It is important to maintain accurate records of all resources used in a community project.
Too often some donations (especially communal labour and gifts in kind) are forgotten or under-valued, and the correct amount of the community contribution is higher than what is recorded and reported. This under valuation is detrimental for several reasons: (a) the community members have a lower estimate of self worth and this lowers confidence, (b) the outside donors have a lower estimate of community contribution and will be more reluctant to contribute more or (c) will not recognize the worth of the community inputs.
You/we must ensure that the CBO or the executive committee of the community that is planning to undertake a community based project, recognizes the value of hidden community resources. An accurate estimate of the cash value of donated resources ─ eg communal labour for construction, donated skilled labour, time spent by community members and leaders in meetings for planning, or non cash physical donations ─ must be made by the community. You/we should encourage the community to identify and record these. These financial estimates should be included in the cost estimates of the project proposal, and should be recorded during the actual construction activities.
When the total costs of a community based project are calculated, they should therefore include the actual cash contributions of donors, international and local, Governmental and non-Governmental, and others, plus the cost estimates of all non-monetary donations, whether in the form of non-cash physical items or services, or human time and energy.

2. Types and Sources of Donations:
Donations from a wide range of potential donors, except those from donor agencies which require formal proposals. (Those are discussed in the document, Resource Acquisition).
That wide range of potential donors means there is a wide range of specific techniques that can be applied to the process of (a) identifying donors, (b) getting a message to them, and (c) collecting the donations. Don’t forget the (d): thanking them.
A good workshop handout to accompany this section is: Internal Resources Checklist.

2.1 Urban Versus Rural Communities:
There are several differences in emphasis in techniques of raising project resources, based on the different characteristics of communities. Urban communities, for example, are usually larger, and therefore more full of factions and schisms. Small rural communities are more easy to organize and unite, but there is no guarantee.
Urban communities have more social schisms (divisions/factions), and are harder to organize than rural ones, although within urban areas slums are easier to organize than rich neighbourhoods. Donations in cash are easier to obtain in urban than rural communities, donations of food and agricultural products are more common in rural communities.

2.2 Public Fund Raising Events:
These take many forms. Large community fund raising events can be quite elaborate, with high profile officials making speeches, and rich persons making ostentatious donations. There may be several bands, drummers, dance groups, including singers and dances from the community schools.
In East Africa, the word “harambee” is used to describe such a fund raising event. (2)
Footnote (2): A harambee is not always necessarily a community event; nowadays it is often used by a single family to raise money for a student’s school fees or a medical bill.
In West Africa, especially in rural towns, the town chief may preside, and the entertainment may include dancing, drumming and spirit possession from the local gods or cults.
Such events may draw urban migrants back to their rural home towns and, like funerals, also serve purposes other than fund raising, notably for the migrated and extended community members to keep in touch with each other and to maintain their identity as community members even though residing outside the community. Many liaisons are made on these occasions, for example, that may later lead to marriages or business partnerships.

2.3 Urban Donors to Rural Communities:
Urban migrants maintain links to their home communities. This can be exploited by rural CBOs. A small percentage of the urban migrants make fortunes in the cities, and can be persuaded to contribute to their home community development. A feeling of guilt at not being home, or of loyalty in spite of absence, may result in some very large donations from rich urban migrants.

2.4 Commercial Donations:
Commercial donations include gifts from firms and businesses that want to advertise their good will and support of the community. (They should be acknowledged and thanked in public meetings). The community should be encouraged to identify ways they can convince the commercial donors that it is in the interest of the commercial donor to assist the project (increased publicity and good will for the commercial donor, for example).

2.5 Communal Labour:
This is an important internal resource (sometimes includes labour of volunteers from outside). Communal labour involves time and labour donated by community members, some unskilled (like clearing grass, laying bricks), some skilled (carpentry, masonry), management, leadership, meetings, planning, supervision.
It is important that you/we encourage the planners and designers of community based projects that they should carefully evaluate the cash value of donated communal labour. Too often that contribution is undervalued, because of ignorance of its worth or, more importantly, an indication of a low level of confidence and a low self evaluation of the worth of the community by the community members.
Sometimes some community members wish to hide their resources on the mistaken assumption that we or others will only bring outside resources if we believe that the community is very poor, and that we or other donors may withhold funds if the community is thought to have too many of its own resources. You/we must ensure that all community members understand that they are more likely to obtain outside resources if they demonstrate that they are committing internal resources.

2.6 Agricultural Donations:
Farmers may donate food for the project: (a) to communal workers who are working on the project, or (b) to the executive committee to sell to raise cash for the project. They may also donate other resources off their farms (eg timber, sand, limestone, non-food crops) which may be used directly or indirectly for the project.

2.7 Donated Food Preparation:
While a farmer may donate food to the project, it still needs to be prepared for eating. Other donors may include people who donate the preparing of food and refreshments to the community members on communal working days. Do not forget to thank the people who cook and prepare food for communal labourers.

2.8 Contributions and Pledges:
Contributions and pledges may be made at public community fund raising events. Participants make their decisions to donate in a public meeting or event.

2.9 Raffles and Lotteries:
Raffles and lotteries, gambling-based fund raising techniques. are better suited to well organized, sophisticated urban NGOs, rather than new, rural, small CBOs.

2.10 Anonymous Donors:
Anonymous donors are benefactors who remain unknown. They often have private ideological or religious reasons, but wish to remain un-publicized.

Whatever our actions in encouraging and assisting communities to plan and implement their own community based projects (including the calculation of financial resources) you/we must keep the following in mind at all times and to guide all our actions:

  • Remember and work towards the general goal (reducing dependency);
  • Guide, suggest, train, encourage, praise, inform; and
  • Do not promise, do not provide and do not dictate.

The calculation of costs of financing community based projects must be fair and accurate, and estimates must not undervalue non-cash community donations. When mobilizing a community to undertake a community based project, we should encourage them to identify a variety of outside resources (reducing dependency on any one donor), and to identify and mobilize many (often hidden) of their own internal resources.
Obtaining resources for a community project is an honourable and valuable responsibility; do it with enthusiasm, integrity and confidence.


NGOs India has been disseminating information for plans, work, strategies and implementation of the programmes for NGOs. Funding is the main requirement for NGOs to implement their plans in social sector. NGOs India has been helping NGOs for getting funds and grants by various informations, knowledge-base and disseminating useful resources to enhance and improve programmes and activities.

The main base that donors, grant agencies and funding organisations provide funds to NGOs are proximity, accountability and flexibility in working with local communities. NGOs have to demonstrate the viability and enable certain solutions to extrapolate the strategies to get funds at the local, regional, national and international level. The NGO management have to maintain professionalism in the NGO and to build adequate trust with the sponsors, donors and funding agencies. To create strategy for funding programmes NGO should start from transparency, accountability and communication. For funding strategy NGOs have to create a plan that should include the way and methods of fund raising. NGOs always need funds even when if already running any project, but after the project ends; they need for more funding to sustain their programme. And it is not easy to get the desired support from donors all the time. NGOs should keep the funding strategy ready to avoid tasks from such situations.

NGOs India has been providing information through useful resources for NGO Fund Raising. Providing the information of funding process that NGO can know that how to raise funds. For fund raising NGOs have to be familiar with the requirements to get funds, preparation to prepare documents, to prepare Projects, to know Project writing tips and basic requirements to prepare effective projects so NGO can get funds almost surely and easily if the NGO deserves for so. NGO resource include various Project Formats, certain Guidelines to Project Proposals, How to get foreign funds, How to write Concept note, How to approach funding agencies to get funds, Why, Where and How to get FCRA, How to get registration u/s 12AA, 80G, 35 AC (i – ii), (i – iii) of Income tax act and other Fund raising pattern, ideas and methods to implement strategy and process to get funds.

NGOs can get, organise and raise funds from various methods, processes, programmes, projects and activities:

  • Getting grants from Funding agencies through Projects.
  • Funding from International Funding Agencies.
  • Funding from Government Schemes.
  • Fund Raising from Corporate under CSR.
  • Student and Child Sponsorship programme.
  • Placing Donation Boxes.
  • Fund Raising using Internet Techniques.
  • Online Donations through Website.
  • Create a Social Media Groups.
  • Funding Appeal on Facebook Page.
  • Appeals from Direct Mailing Applications.
  • Sending e-newsletter for Programmes and Activities.
  • Organising Awareness Events.
  • Organising Culture Events.
  • Organising Fund Raising events.
  • Organising Social Campaigns.
  • Fund raising through trainings, conferences and seminars.
  • Cause Related Fund Generation.
  • Follow the Fundraising process of Existing NGOs.
  • Other Different Fundraising Plans.


1. Connect with truth, not falsity!

Instead of connecting with falsity; connect with truth — your truth. Reach deep within, and reconnect with the essence of your being. Separate yourself from the lies and illusions which are not you.

2. Discover what you are, by understanding what you aren’t!

You are not your things, your titles, your status, your bank account, your IRA, your portfolio, your credit score, your degree, your intelligence, your feelings, your occupation, your town, your sports team, your nation or your religion. You are not even your emotions, judgments or your fears. You are something much deeper and much more wonderful. You are something that intellect and science can never even begin to fully describe.

3. Don’t blame yourself for stress or feelings of weakness!

There is a vast war against life, beauty and nature unfolding in this world. You are a part of that nature which is under great strain.

5. Be consistently and peacefully there — for yourself!

Sit with yourself, face yourself, and make peace with yourself, because you cannot escape yourself. You can’t run from thing to thing and person to person and expect to create anything meaningful in your life. No matter where you run, to a rural village or a big city, to a new job, or a new partner — there you are, the same you. Without inner tranquility and wisdom, we are tormented wherever we go.

6. Look for the beauty in life to find beauty within!

Beauty is everywhere, speaking to you and trying to remind you who you really are. Noticing the beauty will begin to heal you. Notice the beauty everywhere. Notice the beauty within you.

(You are reading a portion of writings from the #1 National Best-Seller, “Simple Reminders.”)


Organizations should know about some facts before applying for any Government fund. In this video you find needful information which you must do follow before applying for any Government fund.