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Explore 40 ways to mobilizing resources for for-purpose organizations

Resource mobilization cards
Impact cards: How to mobilize resources

In the non-profit sector, resource mobilization is a critical aspect of driving positive change and achieving social impact. However, generating innovative ideas for resource mobilization can sometimes be challenging. To overcome this hurdle, the Civil Society Academy (CSA) developed a set of impact cards as a powerful tool for ideation. Our impact cards on resource mobilization are designed to spark creativity and encourage out-of-the-box thinking, enabling teams to identify new strategies and avenues for mobilizing resources.


This article explores the concept of impact cards and how they can be effectively utilized to inspire fresh ideas.

What are Impact Cards?

Impact cards are a set of 37 cards containing various resource mobilization models from across civil society that have been proven to be successful and effective.  Each card features an inspirational leader who is famous for a resource model. These green cards have subsets which can be separated by hashtags: #funding, #partner, #people, and #inkind. Subsets can be used in specific workshops for example on fund-raising or partnership models. They are specifically designed to stimulate creative thinking, inspire brainstorming, and encourage the exploration of unconventional strategies.

How Impact Cards Work

Generating Ideas: Impact cards act as catalysts for generating ideas by presenting specific scenarios or examples related to resource mobilization. Non-profit teams can use these cards during brainstorming sessions or as a tool for individual reflection and idea generation.


Igniting Creativity: Impact cards help break free from traditional thinking patterns and stimulate creativity. They provide prompts that push individuals to consider alternative approaches, perspectives, and methods for resource mobilization.


Encouraging Collaboration: Impact cards can be used in group settings, encouraging collaboration and diversity of thought. Each team member can draw a card and share their ideas based on the prompts. This process fosters a collaborative environment where diverse perspectives combine to create innovative solutions.


Focusing on Impact: Impact cards steer discussions toward the broader impact achieved through resource mobilization. By emphasizing the outcomes and social change, they guide organizations to think beyond immediate funding needs and consider long-term sustainability and effectiveness.

Step 1:

During our workshops on resource mobilization, participants are asked to assess their current funding mix as well as their approach to mobilizing resources for their projects and organizations. After an in-depth internal and external assessment, the teams are invited to come up with SMART goals for their future resource mobilization efforts - keeping in mind their organization’s mission and vision. 


Step 2:

After being introduced to the resource deck, participants are invited to go through the 37 resource cards individually before picking out their top 5 most inspiring cards. The goal is to be open-minded and courageous. There is no good or bad idea.


Step 3:

Once the individual ideation is complete, all team members put their top 5 on a table and briefly explain why they had chosen these cards. This part of the session is about building empathy and synergies. While some ideas might have been similar, the team is encouraged to particularly look out for out-of-the-box ideas that can be integrated into their future strategies.


At the end of this session, the team agree on their best 5 resource cards.


Benefits of Impact Cards for Nonprofits

Unleashing Creativity: Impact cards provide a structured yet flexible approach to ideation, helping non-profit teams unleash their creativity and explore fresh ideas. By challenging conventional thinking, these cards can lead to innovative resource mobilization strategies.


Overcoming Stagnation: Non-profit organizations often face the challenge of idea stagnation, where they struggle to come up with new approaches to resource mobilization. Impact cards can break this cycle by introducing new stimuli and thought-provoking prompts that push teams to think beyond their usual limitations.


Holistic Thinking: Impact cards encourage non-profits to consider the broader context and implications of resource mobilization. They steer conversations toward sustainability, scalability, and the potential impact on beneficiaries, ensuring that ideas are well-rounded and aligned with the organization's mission.


In the non-profit sector, the ability to mobilize resources effectively is crucial for achieving sustainable and impactful change. Our impact cards provide a creative and structured approach to ideation, enabling non-profit organizations to generate ideas for resource mobilization. By embracing these cards, nonprofits can break free from conventional thinking, foster collaboration, and develop holistic strategies that drive positive social change. Incorporating impact cards into the ideation process can empower nonprofits to unlock new avenues for resource mobilization and maximize their impact in the communities they serve.

For more details on impact cards, please visit:


About the Author:

Trang Nguyen holds a degree in Social Sciences and has worked in different governmental as well as non-governmental organizations in Germany, Vietnam, and India. She joined CSA in 2015, where she initially overlooked marketing communication, and gradually moved over to facilitation, mentoring, and coaching. Her thematic focuses are innovation and social entrepreneurship, resource mobilization, and marketing communication. Trang is a creative and forward-thinking person who loves to learn, share, and connect with like-minded people. Since 2020, she is also a professionally trained Life and Leadership Coach.

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