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 current use of the word implies something that continues for a long time.
Some ways to ensure Institutional and Organizational Sustainability are:
- Be flexible: Keep a flexible approach while looking for new opportunities you may have to modify your priorities to adopt to changes. If your NGO has been successfully implementing projects for several years, there are chances that the purpose for which you started the NGO does not exist. In such cases you will have to explore and look for options that could be integrated in your NGO activities.
- Invest in partnerships and collaborations: To develop a sustainable organization you should develop new partnerships. These partnerships will make you stable and will also help you in taking your mission ahead. You need to understand the social change is possible only when you scale up and replicate your projects. For scaling up you projects, you will have to partner with other NGOs, research organizations and government institutions.
- Boost existing relations: Maintain a congenial relation with your existing donors: You need to maintain a good rapport with your existing donors as well. Submit all the reports, financial documents and updates with them in a timely manner. It is important that you involve them in your organization and acknowledge them for their support. Developing long term relation with the donors will certainly increase the likelihood of repeat funding. While searching for new donors, do not forget the people who have previously funded your organization. You need to maintain a good rapport with your existing donors as well. Submit all the reports, financial documents and updates with them in a timely manner. It is important that you involve them in your organization and acknowledge them for their support. Developing long term relation with the donors will certainly increase the likelihood of repeat funding.
- Enhance your visibility: The chances of your organization to sustain itself largely depends on your visibility. In today’s time when everything is just a click away, it is essential that your organization is on the internet. It is equally important to make your presence felt in public domain.
- Improving online presence: In today’s time when everything is just a click away, it is essential that your organization is on the internet. There are several benefits that an organization can have through presence on the web, along with enhancing your organizations visibility it also makes you look more professional to donor agencies and potential partners. Internet has enabled producers reach out to millions of consumers and vice-versa. It has helped connect writers to millions of its readers. In recent years the world of internet has come up with another new communication and social channel. Social media is a catch-all term for sites that may provide radically different social actions. Through the use of technology, you can connect to a large audience spreading across the globe, within fraction of a second and spread your message.
- Diversify funding sources: The most important aspect of sustainability is to diversify your donor base and to develop long term partnerships with donors to support you in your endeavor. Do not just look at the traditional donor agencies but explore new opportunities as well. There are several new donor mechanisms in place viz. virtual funding platforms, crowd funding, CSR, individuals etc. Keep an eye on such funding windows as there is a huge potential to get funds from them. This will surely help you in engaging with multiple donors thereby enhancing your chances of funding.