Friends (of an institution)

The institution’s friends collect funds under the auspices of the institution, ideally under its direct control, for purposes such as to finance services or to enhance quality not funded by the institution’s budget, on the basis that the organization makes otherwise fee-paying services available for this group at a reduced price or sometimes free of charge. This creates a group of regulars around the organization, often characterised by a will to meet regularly and to do something.
One may become member of such a group usually after payment of a membership or sponsorship fee. Certain organizations may offer such membership to those doing volunteer service, but there are also examples of the other way round: people offering volunteer service may first have to prove their commitment by paying one year’s membership fee in advance.
Compared to volunteering, the most striking similarity is that both groups actively promote the organization’s cause, or sometimes their own or the community’s cause, but while members of a friendship group primarily contribute money, volunteers offer their working hours to support the organization.
Management of the two groups is significantly different due to this difference, as their motivations might also differ. However, members of a friendship group may also support the organization with volunteer work.

This article based on the following document: Community development methodological guide