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Tlamela Newsletter – July 2018

 Aug 2nd, 2018


Life is a continuous learning opportunity, but sometimes the lessons come from unexpected directions. In this newsletter we’ll be focusing on Tlamela Workshops – where you’d naturally expect to pick up great advice and information – and sharing an important lesson learned by someone who walked many miles in his own shoes.

Writing Successful Fundraising Proposals

Writing fundraising proposals is one of the most important skills you can acquire, yet many fundraisers approach this task with a mix of trepidation and reluctance and end up producing sub-par proposals that don’t achieve the desired results.

Feedback from donors clearly shows that a poorly written or presented proposal is very unlikely to result in a donation or ongoing relationship, but by following a few simple guidelines, you can dramatically increase your chances of success. Remember that many donors receive a great number of proposals, so you need to make sure that yours stands out – for all the right reasons.

It almost goes without saying that your proposal should be concise and to the point. The donor’s time is valuable – never waste it. Proposals should be typed and printed (for legibility) and should always be accompanied by a clearly set out budget.

It’s important to find out if the donor organisation has a prescribed format for proposals. If they have, stick to it! Even if they don’t, be sure to include all the relevant information, such as full contact details for yourself and your NGO or NPO, your aims and how you intend to achieve them.

Never ask for a general donation or one towards a vague goal – rather, specify the amount you require and illustrate how it will be spent. You will have a much better chance of success if you address your proposal to the right person within the donor organisation, by name.

These are just some of the golden rules of writing a fundraising proposal. This is such an important topic that we’ll be holding a special one-day, limited-places Proposal Writing Workshop in Johannesburg on September 6th.

Keep checking our Facebook page and for details.

Tlamela Fundraising & Marketing Workshop – Durban

If you’re a fundraiser in KZN, you need to attend our one-day Durban Fundraising & Marketing Workshop at Mooi Hawens Ouetehuis on August 16th, 2018.

By staging our workshops in key locations around South Africa, we’re helping to spread the word about how to be a better fundraiser and marketeer – and how the two go together.

Our workshops are based on real, practical experience of fundraising in South Africa, and thanks to our expert presenters, they are uniquely engaging.

Reflecting the diverse reality of the South African fundraising environment, we’ve designed the syllabus of each Tlamela workshop to be suitable for anyone who is involved in fundraising, in whatever capacity.

Whether you’re a part-time volunteer fundraiser, or a full-time fundraising manager, you’ll discover much of value at this workshop. You’ll also make vital connections with fellow fundraisers, and understand how networking can multiply your efforts and make you more effective.

You’ll learn how to set a motivating fundraising target, and how to meet it despite operating in a very competitive landscape. We’ll teach you how to make more effective approaches to potential donors, so that you send each email, make each call and knock on each door with renewed confidence.

Cost: R1 499 per delegate (including lunch and refreshments).

For more information and to secure your place, please click here.

Alternatively, please call 074 035 7381 or email

Don’t miss out – book your place today!

For more details, visit or see our Facebook page.

Lesson from a Pair of Shoes

Sbongeseni Vilakazi of The Valley Trust shares an important lesson on personal relationships that he was recently reminded of – by a pair of shoes.

We need to actively feed, value and nurture relationships with those we care about, otherwise we may lose those relationships.

I have had my Dr. Martens boots for the better part of 10 years. They are my most comfortable shoes and I wear them more than any other pair. However, I no longer polish and shine them the way I used to. Having had them for so long, I am now more interested in using them than in taking care of them. In short, I now take them for granted.

I recently noticed that they have taken quite a beating from my heavy use of them. Because I no longer apply polish to them regularly, the leather is starting to crack and tear, and they generally look the worse for wear. If I continue with them like this, I will soon lose my treasured shoes.

Isn’t the same true for our relationships? If we take them for granted and stop looking after them, they soon crack and break. Nourishment for relationships takes the form of love, attention, quality time, appreciation, praise, affirmation – small and big ways to show we care.

I encourage you to take a look at those around you whom you care about and see where, like me with my Docs, you may be guilty of neglect or a lack of care. And I pray you’ll find the courage to apply the necessary “polish”, whatever it is for you, to make that individual know you care and treasure them. And may that relationship grow stronger and more rewarding for all your effort.