Tips From Task Force Members on Financial Support and Sustainability
- Keep your task force members informed about what is going on financially.
- If formal fundraising is required, you can often work with a tax-exempt member as the lead agency to receive funds. If you enter this type of agreement, ensure that a relationship is established beforehand, roles and responsibilities are made clear, and MOUs are signed.
- Make connections with local community groups, even those that are not trafficking related.
- Collect data on victims identified and served through your task force, outreach efforts accomplished, individuals trained, perpetrators identified and prosecuted, and other impacts on the community. This can help with justifying re-allocation of tax revenue or help in preparing funding proposals.
- Make connections with local politicians so they understand your issue and its importance.
- Be consistent. As a task force, be clear and stick to your mission to help build your base and public understanding of your work, and why you should be supported with funding.
It is easy to be overwhelmed by the question, “How will we fund our task force?” When discussing financial support, it is important to remember that it is not simply about money. A financial sustainability plan will include other types of resources you might obtain, such as in-kind support, volunteers, or shared resources from other organizations. It may even include convincing another organization to take on leadership roles whether it is in a committee or on a case.
Below are some different ways to obtain resources that could pertain to your task force:
- Leveraging shared positions and resources;
- Becoming a line item in an existing budget;
- Applying for grants;
- Using existing personnel resources;
- Soliciting in-kind support;
- Sponsoring fundraisers;
- Using third-party funding;
- Acquiring tax revenues; and
- Securing endowments and giving arrangements.
Many of these ideas are activities individual task force member organizations will perform on their own to raise money; however, in the task force setting, it is important to work together to reach common goals. Different groups have different resources available that might be shared.
Organizations operating on a local, national, or global level can also be a direct source of financial support, or take on the role of fundraising in support of the task force. Engaging the community for financial support is particularly important for task forces that are not funded by state or federal agencies. Task Forces in this situation are encouraged to create realistic projected budgets for each area of services or capacities provided (or needed) so that potential funders can see the cost of providing assistance for victims of trafficking.
There are also task forces throughout the country that operate with very little, if any, additional funding. Task forces are successful because they have built-in methods of creating buy-in, have political will, strong leadership, and their collaborative strength and relationships with one another.
For additional information and tools, visit the Resource page for Section 3.4 Addressing Common Operational Challenges.