Lot of passionate individuals, or groups of people wish to contribute their lives for a good cause, and many of them either join a charitable organization, or start their own. But, establishing and running an organization is not an easy task. One must first be confident and convinced, must have enough support in terms of technical, programmatic, and legal support to start a nonprofit. If you are a nonprofit organization, and you wish to acquire a 501c3 status in United States, let us … [Read more...] about How to set up 501(c) 3 non-profit in United States and what are its advantages?
When you contact or meet a donor for the first time, what are easiest ways to ruin your shot at getting funded? First impressions count, and avoiding these mistakes will help you put your best foot forward.Mistake #1: Not introducing yourselfDo not send an email to a donor without any introduction. Donors see many emails that only contain a funding request similar to this one:“Can you fund our work with children in Uganda?”Without so much as an introduction or explanation.Explaining who you are … [Read more...] about How to Impress a Donor?
Recent trends show that an increasing number of people are getting interested to work in the development sector. International NGOs offer the best opportunities for such people. NGO domain is a very vast and varied one, and one needs to find out which cause he/she relates with, which domain in particular would one want to work in, before exploring this arena to work.Undoubtedly, the international NGOs offer a huge scope for learning and gaining experience in the sector. Also, if someone wants to … [Read more...] about What career options are there in International NGOs?
The one ingredient that is essential for your organization to create long lasting impact is Sustainability. The term sustainability has gained significant popularity in policy-oriented research, business development and social sector over the last few decades. Sustainability, a word frequently used across several disciplines, has become part of our everyday lexis. Origin of the word Sustain dates back several centuries, from two latin words sus which means- up and tenere meaning to hold. The … [Read more...] about What are some ideas for developing organizational sustainability for my NGO?
Here are some tips on how to manage fundraising.1. Building TrustIn all aspects of grant management, problems can be avoided with clear and regular communications with grants officers. Put everything in writing!2. Observe project start and end dates for spendingDon’t make payments or enter into commitments before the agreed contract start date. All invoices must be dated between the official start and end dates. It is OK to spend right up to the of the end of contract date as long as the invoice … [Read more...] about How can small NGOs manage their fundraising?
NGOs are diverse entities and their features are mostly shaped by the socio-economic, cultural, political and legal situation of a country. However, generally speaking, we can list out the following features that are common among NGOs in most of the countries around the world.Non-Profit in functioning: An NGO is not meant for making profit for personal gain. In case a NGO conducts some revenue generating activity, the profit earned should not be distributed amongst the board members, instead it … [Read more...] about What are the main features of an NGO?
Below is a list of methods through which NGOs can become accountable and transparent.Registration: Make sure your NGO has a legal status and is registered under a relevant legal framework. Registering your NGO will not help you in enhancing your accountability but would also enable you to interact with government agencies and diverse donors. Your chances of getting financial support and assistance will also increase.Accreditations and certifications: This refers to an external agency certifying … [Read more...] about What are the methods NGOs can adopt to become transparent and accountable?
The Vision statement describes the goal that an organization aspires to accomplish in the long run. In other words, the vision statement is the summary of changes/impact you would bring into the lives of the community you work for. The vision statement should be expressive and well drafted so that it appeals to people and at the same time also gives direction to the NGO. While drafting the vision statement keep the following points in mind:Use simple language that can be understood by people of … [Read more...] about How to develop the Vision and Mission for my NGO?
Starting an NGO is a time-consuming process and requires a great deal of research, discussions, paperwork and expert advice. So before investing your time and energy into it, make sure that this is what you want to do. Devote time in meeting people who are engaged in NGO work and seek their help to understand all aspects of NGO management from them.Starting an NGO requires dedication and devotion towards the cause, so unless you are prepared to give in your best, do not start an NGO.Answer the … [Read more...] about How to start an NGO?
Foreign embassies under various development cooperation programs organize small grants funding for NGOs in many countries. They can be a significant source of funding to address various socio-economic issues. Besides, their funding programs are usually small in scale but most flexible to implement. In this guide, we take a quick look at top foreign embassies and their grant programs and how your organization can learn more information on identifying and apply to such funding opportunities.US … [Read more...] about Which Foreign Embassies should approach to apply for grants?
Articles of Incorporation provide legal description to your NGO by establishing the existence of the organization as per government rules. The articles of incorporation define the purpose of your organization, along with describing the operational processes and membership details. The number of articles required will largely depend on the country laws. While drafting the article of incorporation, check with the government authorities about the various forms that you require to fill. Depending on … [Read more...] about How to write the Articles of Incorporation for my NGO?
A NGO board comprises of individuals who are appointed to provide oversight to the organization. As you proceed towards establishing the NGO, you will require advice from people who are experts in their respective field of work. To start with you can establish an initial board of comprising of 4- 5 individuals who are passionate about your cause and are willing to support your organization.The role of the initial board members will be to:Establish the organizations value, mission and vision … [Read more...] about Why is it necessary to have a Board of Members in an NGO? What are their functions?
Board members play a crucial role in the functioning of an NGO, and therefore, one should be careful while appointing them. It is a good practice to develop a systematic process for their appointment and selection.The board recruitment plan should clearly indicate the following:Number of board membersCriteria for selection of Board membersKey QualitiesTenure of a board memberTerms of Reference for the job.You can develop the recruitment plan to suit your organization's objectives. For instance, … [Read more...] about How can I form an NGO Board?
As project activities influence the budgeting of your project, it is important to gain greater clarity about them. If you know the specifications of your project activities, then budgets can be developed more easily and more frequently. We will understand this from the following example.Let us say that you, as an NGO in Nepal, are proposing a project about building the capacity of civil society leaders in the country. One of the activities you will mention under this project is:‘Organize … [Read more...] about How can I use Project Activities to prepare my project’s budget?
This article we will help you learn the basics of Donor Relation Management.What is Donor Relationship Management?Donor relationship management (DRM) is the process in which an organization strengthens the relationship with donors to enhance donor engagement and donor retention.DRM is a comprehensive approach that considers a lot of factors, taking note of which facilitates long term donor engagement leading to sustainable resources and funding opportunities.Methodology for effective DRMEngaging … [Read more...] about How to build long-term relationship with donors?
Here is a short and simple guide about the process and steps to plan one:Planning the campaign: Every successful activity has undergone meticulous planning first. So plan your campaign well in advance to make it successful. Plan the campaign timing, duration, and other details. Plan for human resource, which would mean both picking a team with suitable and enthusiastic people from your organization, and involving volunteers also. One can really say that in case of crowdfunding effort, ‘the more … [Read more...] about How can NGOs participate in Crowdfunding?
What Is a Communications Plan?A communications plan is a document that guides the external communications efforts of an organization. It helps an NGO strategically focus its communication and outreach efforts around a certain set of goals – usually the mission and objectives of an organization. A communications plan is necessary to help an NGO effectively promote its work in the public and donors eyes.Communications plans help NGOs accomplish this in a number of ways. First, a plan assists an … [Read more...] about How to Create a Communications Plan for Your NGO?
Here is how to form a strategic plan for your NGO:Decide who will facilitate the discussions and who will participate. Ensure all key stakeholders participate in the process, as that is the best way possible to devise a strategic plan.The analysis must begin with an attempt towards understanding the internal environment, which means identifying strengths and weaknesses of the organization. What are the core strengths, core competencies of your NGO? Why are donors giving to your NGO? What makes … [Read more...] about How NGOs can form a strategic plan?
A concept note is the shortest expression of your project idea on a paper. It is a brief written note, giving an introduction to your project and your organization. If your NGO is seeking to raise funds for a project, then the first thing you would do is develop a short note of this project, explaining what it is and why it is required.Most donor agencies interested in providing funding support to NGOs prefer to receive an outline from them about the prospective project. As proposals are lengthy … [Read more...] about What is a Concept Note and why NGOs are required to develop it?
The term "Non-Governmental Organization" (NGO) first came in to use in the year 1945. The term was coined during one of the conferences of The United Nations, as a measure to distinguish organizations from inter-governmental and member organizations.Though the term NGO received recognition only after 1945, studies suggest that several organizations were actively engaged against slavery, racism and women suffrage during the late eighteenth century.NGO is a broad term encompassing organizations, … [Read more...] about What is an NGO?
Develop a financial plan outlining the various options available for expanding your resource stream. You may have to undertake proper research to understand about the various options that can be used to maintain a steady flow of funds. Also this will help you to understand your potential donors and their priority areas. Some of the options that can be used by you are:Sale of product: Some of the products that your organization produces can be sold in the market. This may not be a huge amount but … [Read more...] about How will you ensure financial sustainability?
You can draft the proposal using this template and then customize it to suit donor guidelines. For helping you develop your proposal, suitable examples have been used to describe the content of each section. Title Page: The title page typically contains the project title, along with contact details of the organization and the donor. Remember that the title of the project should be catchy and should capture the essence of the project proposal. The project title should provide a general idea of … [Read more...] about How do I Write a Master Proposal?
A project proposal has several components such as project goals, objectives, results, strategies and activities. With so many sections, how and from where you can start the process of developing a project budget.An ideal way of starting to develop a project budget is to look at your project activities. Although the project development process requires you to go back and forth from goals, objectives to strategies and activities and back again, but once your activities are ready, then you have … [Read more...] about How can I start developing a project budget?
In these unprecedented times when COVID-19 continues to spread and to impact almost every individual and organization across the world directly or indirectly, non-profit organizations or non-government organizations (NGOs) are also deeply affected now and in the times to come. As it is not yet clear what the current pandemic situation holds in future, it is important to balance the scale between panic and carelessness. Preparedness is key.Before we discuss how you may ensure the above, here are … [Read more...] about How to manage an NGO in the time of COVID-19
If you are submitting a concept note to an organization as per the call for proposals or if it is a solicited concept note, they will have their templates to be used. If not, you can use the outline and sample template given in this book. But in either case, the outline and template given in this book will help you in putting the concept together, as most of the sections are certainly to be included in a concept note. While the outline can vary depending on the type of opportunity, type of … [Read more...] about What goes into the content of a Concept Note?
Proposals are lengthy documents with various components, comprising of the background information, current situation analysis and the future projections. NGOs are expected to write every part of the proposal carefully with in-depth research, knowledge and detailed planning. In this free guide, we cover information about the various elements of a standard proposal to help NGOs apply for their grant funding.1. Cover PageA cover page is sometimes also referred to as the title page and as the name … [Read more...] about How to easily Write the Various Elements of Your Project Proposal?
Online fake offers of grants and similar scams are widespread across the NGO sector around the world. With so much information reaching them from all sides, it is often difficult for NGOs to identify the genuine grant offers from the fake ones.Below, we are providing important tips that NGOs can use to identify whether a piece of certain grant information is genuine or not.All Grant Programs have an Application Process. Did you apply for it before getting the Grant?If you receive an unexpected … [Read more...] about What are the some of the common signs of a scam to trap NGOs?
Below are the steps you need to take if you think you have come across a scam.Never Ever respond back to a Scam emailAs fraudsters send millions of email messages, they want to make sure if the email addresses they are sending to are real and active. If you respond back even with a “No”, it is evidence enough for them to target you again, another day with a different type of scheme. So, NEVER respond to a scam email. Just delete it.Report to the Agency whose identity has been misusedIf a … [Read more...] about What can NGOs do if they come across a scam?
USAID has field offices in many developing countries for providing technical and financial aid for above stated purposes. So, it follows a decentralized approach for tackling the development issues globally. Partnering with NGOs:USAID partners with NGOs to achieve its strategic goals and objectives for providing assistance across the world. It partners with international and local NGOs, networks and groups, and civil society organizations in various ways, for the belief that the complex … [Read more...] about How does USAID support NGOs?
By-law is a rule established by an organization to regulate its activities and manage internal affairs. Well defined and clear set of by-laws provide a clear structure to the NGOs and facilitates in smooth functioning. Along with providing consistency in working, by-laws also help in developing networks with local organizations and government entities. It is important for your organization to have a set of by-laws as they will guide you in operating and managing all your activities. Just like … [Read more...] about How to develop Bye-laws for my NGO?
Historical records suggest that the term Non- Governmental Organizations (NGOs) came in to use in 1945. The term was coined during one of the conferences of The United Nations, as a measure to distinguish organizations from inter-governmental and member organizations. Though the term NGO received recognition only after 1945, studies suggest that several organizations were actively engaged against slavery, racism and women suffrage during the late eighteenth century.Source: … [Read more...] about What is a Non-Governmental Organization?
Phishing emails are one of the most common ways to dupe NGOs with false promises of grant money offered by unknown individuals. Here are some tips on how NGOs can avoid falling into phishing email traps.Do not expose your email: Online scammers hunt for your emails everywhere. Unfortunately, these scammers even pay some individuals in poor and developing countries to collect emails and put them in a database targeted for these scams. If you wish to stop getting phishing emails, avoid posting … [Read more...] about How NGOs can avoid falling for phishing emails?
Over the last few years, social media has emerged as an important medium of communication globally for reaching out to a vast audience. Currently there is a plethora of social media sites and applications that are being used by diverse organisations. The main purpose of using social media is to connect to a large audience spreading across the globe, within fraction of a second and spread your message.Just like any business house or academic institute, NGOs can also take advantage of social media … [Read more...] about How Social Media is helpful to Enhance NGO Visibility?
So here are a few tips for creating successful partnerships with NGOs:Find the ‘cause’ your company is going to support and then choose:In your boardroom discussions, your company’s strategies are decided, and CSR strategies are no different. Once you are clear about what cause aligns with your business values, do your research and find your potential partners.Look for an alignment of mission, vision and values:An NGO with aligning vision and core values, with professional staff and expertise is … [Read more...] about How to create successful partnerships with NGOs
Fundraising is one of the most important tasks for an NGO. Donors’ funding will ensure that your planned activities take place and that your organisation can pursue its main long-term goals. As such, to select the right candidates for a fundraising team is of utter importance. The main aim of this short guide is to advice NGO members on how to advertise a fundraising job vacancy, how to shortlist and select the right candidates, and how to manage the created team to improve the overall … [Read more...] about How to Identify, Manage and Motivate Fundraisers for Your Organization?
Here is what the sector experts and trends as observed over the last few years reflect.Sectors attracting more funding:With global changes taking place around the social, political and environmental issues, and giving preferences of individuals and donor agencies, the sectors that attracted more funding over the years are bound to shift. The last two decades saw a huge amount of funding in the health sector, HIV/AIDS and related areas, and then gradually education, skill-building and livelihoods … [Read more...] about What areas of work will attract Large Funding for NGOs?
Here is a video that offers some tips that have worked for some organizations and will surely help you to maximize your funding efforts. To help you in various methods of fundraising we have divided the guide into two sections; the first section deals with tips to help with conventional fundraising methods while section two deals with tips to enhance online fundraising. … [Read more...] about What are some online and offline fundraising tips for NGOs?
Most often fundraising efforts of organizations go futile because of improper planning and lack of effective fundraising strategies. No matter how effectual an organization is in implementing field projects, they generally have to struggle when it comes to raising funds.Section 1: Tips for enhancing conventional methods of fundraisingPlan well in advance: Planning is the key and that’s why do not wait till your project comes to an end. Start planning at least a year in advance, so that you have … [Read more...] about What are the tips to boost funding efforts?
Donor relationship management (DRM) is the process in which an organization strengthens the relationship with donors to enhance donor engagement and donor retention.Most often NGOs hire fundraising officers or consultants to take care of resource mobilization, but neglect the area of donor retention or relation building. You don’t have to hire any expert to manage your relations with Donors, all you need is a clearly defined plan and possess effective communication tools. With the advances in … [Read more...] about What is Donor Relation Management?
Non-profits have so much to worry about these days, like finding funds, acquiring and retaining donors, core work, projects and activities. Being occupied with so many things at once does not let the non-profit organizations ‘think’ like an organization sometimes. People working at non-profits end up feeling that they have much more to look for outside the organization, rather than inside it. Management pioneers have stressed on the need to develop strategic thinking, developing and nurturing … [Read more...] about What is Succession Planning?
Transparency and accountability are core values deeply embedded in an NGO. Since NGOs exist for carrying out voluntary work, it is expected that their actions demonstrate honesty, responsibility and answerability.According to Transparency International, "Transparency is about shedding light on rules, plans, processes and actions. It is knowing why, how, what, and how much. Transparency ensures that public officials, civil servants, managers, board members and businesspeople act visibly and … [Read more...] about Why are the concepts of transparency and accountability important for NGOs?
Here is a checklist of policies and other management systems necessary for NGOs to run effective organizations and mobilize resources for development work. Organizational Chart for your NGOEqual Employment Opportunity and Affirmative Action Statement in NGOsLeadership Succession Plan for your NGOHuman Resource Management System for NGOsJob Descriptions for NGO StaffPersonnel PolicyCommunications PolicyComputer PolicyProcurement PolicyFixed Assets PolicyFinance PolicySource: … [Read more...] about Can you give me a list of management policies used by NGOs?
What is core funding?Core funding is usually defined as financial support that covers basic “core” organizational and administrative costs of an NGO, including salaries of non-project staff, rent, equipment, utilities, and communications.Why is core funding important?Core funding is important for the long term financial sustainability of an NGO and its effective functioning. There are many important long-term benefits of core funding to consider:Improving project quality.Help reduce staff … [Read more...] about How to Get Core Funding?
Before developing your program idea into a concept note, it is worthwhile to invest time and energy into conducting proper research. Research plays a vital role in enriching your concept note and brings depth to your writing too. Typically, you might need to put in some research on the following aspects:Context setting and needs assessment: It would mean using primary and secondary research to build the context, to define the problem and to establish the need for the solution that your program … [Read more...] about How to research ideas before writing the Concept Note?
Below are some of the standard systems followed and mentioned in the financial policy manual:Bank Receiptsa) All receipts are to be acknowledged by issuing an official receipt. The date of receipt, its accounting and the date of deposit of the check/draft to the bank account should be the same. The relaxation can be only in view of banking hours or bank holidays.b) The bank deposit slip should be attached with the Receipt Voucher.c) No receipt should be issued on the last day of the month if the … [Read more...] about What should one keep in mind while managing NGO finances?
Marketing mix is used as a tool by the managers to design marketing plans and to achieve desired results. It comprises of 4 Ps: Product, Place, Price, and Promotion. Drawing a parallel with NGOs:The Product for an NGO is the cause or idea it supports or a core programme or project. Price is the budget to be asked to the donor, the project or program cost. Promotion refers to all the methods of communication that a marketer may use to provide information to different stakeholders about the … [Read more...] about How Marketing and Communication Strategies can help NGOs achieve Fundraising Success?
The principles of good governance hold true in the dynamic environment the NGOs face today as the issues of accountability, transparency, responsibility, disclosure practices and organizational relationships among the board and stakeholders have come to the forefront in the case of NGOs.It is thus advisable for NGOs to follow good governance practices, to strengthen its own internal structure, to avoid any crisis arising out of poor governance, and to establish the public image and credibility … [Read more...] about How to establish Effective Governance in Your NGO?
All grant making organisations have their own ways of working, but almost all of them approach the grant making decision process in a relatively similar way. All funding organisations want to know certain pieces of information such as how your organisations values align with theirs, your track record and the impact that your proposed project will make on the community. This short guide will provide you with an insight into how grant makers reach decisions and how you can position your next grant … [Read more...] about What do funders look for in a grantee?
Grant proposal writing is the “Go big or go home” of the fundraising world. When successful it can regenerate entire organisations and communities. When it goes wrong you have potential lost hundreds of hours of work and investment with very little to show for it.Our experience actually shows that in some cases receiving a letter of rejection from a grant making foundation is not always the end of the road. We’ve compiled a series of actions you can take to revive your application if you receive … [Read more...] about What to do if your grant proposal is rejected?
Problems in Writing ProposalsThe following are the common problems we face while trying to write a proposal:Confused about the format?There are as many proposal formats as there are a number of donors and each donor as a different format. Although the basic information requested by various donors is generally the same, yet we often encounter snags that make the entire process confusing.Planning problems?Although a good idea exists, yet when we try to plan it out extensively, we face many … [Read more...] about What are the challenges and problems in writing proposals for raising funds for my NGO?