Innovation is Key to NPO Sustainability Says Fundraising Leaders

npos donors sustainability
Wednesday, 11 February, 2015 - 10:48

This article emphasises the need for nonprofit organisation to consider innovative and creative ways of sustaining themselves beyond donor funding 

Nonprofit organisations (NPOs), who depend on public and private donations to fund their work, will need to be innovative and creative in order to survive in an increasingly challenging economic environment.
 
“With the decrease in international funding, lottery grants as rare as hens teeth and corporate donations stagnating or allocated to own projects,  nonprofits need to look at diversified income streams,” says Ann Bown, who will be presenting a workshop on “Fundraising Trends in 2015 and beyond” at a Durban conference next month.
 
This sentiment is echoed by Kelvin Glen, chief executive officer of Methodist Homes and president elect of the Southern Africa Institute of Fundraising.  Glen added that NPOs must be aware of how important it is do systematic research before submitting proposals to companies and to meticulously align programmes with corporate social investment (CSI) criteria.
 
Glen also warned that the sector must get to grips with the new Broad-Based Black Economic Empowerment (B-BBEE) score cards as this will be another wake-up call for nonprofits.  
 
Bown encourages South African NPOs to shift away from a proposal writing mentality that builds unrealistic expectations of ‘pennies from heaven’. She explained that fundraisers sometimes have to take risks and explore other avenues such as considering a social enterprise. The Liv Village, a residential facility for orphaned and vulnerable children situated on the outskirts of Verulum in Durban, is now self-sustaining thanks to leader Tich Smiths vision and strong leadership.
 
A well-known documentary photographer, Mathew Willman, believes in the power of a picture being worth more than thousands words, “stories must be told and shared so issues that exist within our communities can be addressed.”  One of his greatest achievements and one that plays a significant role in contributing to the recording and preservation of South Africa’s democratic change is Willman’s work as commissioned photographer to the Nelson Mandela Foundation and for 10 years with former president, Nelson Mandela himself.
 
Linda Hill who is hosting The SAIF #wecaninnovate Convention says technology is playing a major part in the way NPOs are raising funds today, we can definitely innovate, build thousands of new relationships with individuals ranging from the mature generation to the thumb generation – it’s an exciting time to be a fundraiser but also very challenging.
 
For further information contact: www.saifundraising.org.za or rashilla.francis@sos.org.za.
 
Prepared by:  KwaZulu-Natal Committee and Sarah Scarth of the Southern Africa Institute of Fundraising. 

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