Members can use business alerts to receive content like funding opportunities and funding news of relevance directly to their inbox each day or week. The goal of the Devex business development resources is to improve the efficiency of those that work in international development, setting up effective business alerts is key to achieving this.
This article covers the following:
- Create, save, edit, activate and deactivate an alert
- Setting up different business alerts
- Managing alerts with too many results or irrelevant results
1. Create an alert by firstly running a search, and then clicking “Create Alert” at the top of the page to save your search criteria. You then choose how often you would like to receive it, and name it.
2. Review your alerts, activate or deactivate them by clicking on the “alerts” button at the top of the list of search results. The blue icons on the right allow you edit and delete alerts.
- If you have a company rather than an individual membership, you can review your colleagues’ alerts by clicking on “Shared alerts”. You can even activate an alert based on the criteria they have set-up.
- It’s only possible to deactivate or delete your own alerts.
3. Update your alert by clicking on the blue icon beside "activate" or "deactivate" on the list, then making the necessary changes to the keywords or filters, and clicking “Update alert”.
Members take different approaches to tracking funding, some are focused on one donor in specific locations, and others want to diversify funding sources or expand into new regions.
We recommend new members to set-up a number of different types of alerts and monitor the results over a number of weeks to assess which work the best.
Here are some links to particular searches which members have based their alerts on:
- Use a combination of relevant keywords, filters and filtered by specific donors to track funding coming from particular donors, including tenders, grants, open opportunities, program reports, and funding activity feed entries in your business alert.
Note: you can choose to include or exclude program reports and funding activity feed entries alongside tenders, grants and open opportunities by ticking the relevant boxes
- Track funding of donors within regions they have experience in by using the region filter, perhaps you want to discover new funding sources to that region.
- Diversify funding sources and expand into new regions by using a set of keywords and filters, while leaving the donor and location filter blank unless there is a particular region of interest.
Firstly, it's worth keeping in mind that the evolution of the international development sector has resulted in more funding being directed to multi-sectoral projects than ever before. This has meant that sometimes it's more challenging to get business alert results that are 100% accurate to your interests. But with a bit of tweaking you can make them work well for you, here are some tips to help you along the way:
1. Avoid long strings of general keywords
For example if you are interested in funding opportunities related to education around gender equality, and also health related to youth or children you may type in education gender equality youth health systems young people and leave the funder and location filter open. It's likely you will receive many irrelevant opportunities that include these words, as they are common to many different types of funding opportunities.
What we recommend to people is to set-up separate business alerts on each particular topic so that they can review the results and refine them. So for example if you are interested in these topics, you could set-up two different alerts:
- education AND "gender equality" - note the use of quotation marks to avoid the words equality and gender being searched for separately
- health AND (youth child*) - note 1. the space between youth and child means it's searching for either youth or child. 2. Parenthesis are necessary to define it as a statement. 3. The * means it will search for all words with this root (children, child).
This article gives you a list of Boolean search term combinations that can help.
2. Exclude certain terms from your search results using AND NOT
For example if opportunities related to construction continue to appear within your results exclude all of these by typing AND NOT construction, i.e. health AND NOT construction.
3. Think like a funder
Use the terms that funders use to describe the topic you're interested in and test them by watching how the number of results changes as you add or remove keywords.
4. Start with your existing experience, visualize your results to identify other related opportunities.
If you are part of a smaller organization that has worked in one particular region, or with one donor before, it's worth starting by basing your search/business alert on this experience. Given that you may have a strong network there, know the funder and how projects work in this space you will have a better chance of expanding there to start with.
So if you input relevant keyword(s) and then specify this region, or funder, to then visualize the results you can see the other funders that have worked on that topic in the region, or if you have selected the funder you will see the other regions they have disbursed funding for similar projects.
See search below based on the idea that you are open to new funding opportunities across the world but you have experience working with partner organizations that have experience in West Africa.
Likewise, if you have experience working with a particular funder on a topic you can quickly see the top ten regions they are directing their funding to this way. This then allows you to focus your business alert on these areas or funders, while you can always create another business alert based on all regions and funders. When creating the business alert you may choose to receive it once a week rather than daily so that you're not overwhelmed with too many results each day.