As a fundraiser, there is a little bit of the fairy godmother in you. Within your grasp you hold all the wishes of your organisation that, if funded, can improve how work is undertaken, and in some cases change lives.

You really should have a wand.

However, managing the wish list – the list of projects or items for which your organisation needs funding – can be fraught with difficulties. Everything appears to be a priority and the money was needed yesterday. Without clear direction on which are your most pressing needs, the demands of the wish list can become very challenging.

While there always needs to be some flexibility within a wish list to accommodate the unexpected and competing interests, managing priorities requires a practical and strategic approach.

Think of yourself as a bit of a matchmaker. Every project has a specific set of needs – funding amount required, geography, target audience, timeframe – and every funder has a specific set of criteria. Your job is to match them.

Always ensure each project has management sign-off before being placed on the wish list. Before you assign a project to a funding opportunity, check when funds are actually distributed – this will help determine whether it’s the right project to put forward, as grant-makers do not fund retrospectively.

By prioritising needs, undertaking project matching and ensuring all items on your wish list are approved, you can transform your grant-seeking program into a targeted and successful operation. Wishes will be granted!