In a charity organisation, membership can be of various forms. It also depends on the structure of the organisation. In some cases, membership is referred to as trustee and in others as supporters. Having membership for supporters is beneficial in various ways: Fees against specific benefits: One can charge membership fees, which could be monthly or annual, depending on how extensively members are involved. Thus, this is an additional income. However, there need to be specific benefits … [Read more...] about How does membership for supporters in your charity organisation is Beneficial?
The issue of raising money to support operating costs and staffing has always been challenging for NGOs. If you are applying for funding to a grant-maker, it is important to not under-estimate the hidden costs which should also be included in the budget. For example, rent, rates, IT, utilities, support staff etc. For staff whose salary is to be supported by the grant, then it would be expected that you consider a level of effort for certain roles and budget for these. This might include a … [Read more...] about What is the best way to raise unrestricted income for staff and overheads?
Change management is a difficult aspect of a Director’s job and needs to be handled with sensitivity, especially if you are to take your staff with you rather than create upset and discord. Overall, most people do not like change. They feel threatened by it and often can feel unsettled and insecure because they are entering unknown territory. Basically, managing change is being able to move an organisation forward from its current state to a desired future state. The challenge is that as you … [Read more...] about I am a new Executive Director in an established NGO but changes are needed internally to improve upon old, out-dated practices and staff who are reluctant to change their behaviour and attitudes. What is the best way to handle this situation?
There are a set of core values that every NGO should adopt when thinking of setting up an NGO. NGOs are voluntary organizations dedicated for a cause and it is essential that they follow a belief system that reflects their approach.Following are some of the core values, NGOs should adopt when establishing an NGO:Service beyond self: The very purpose of NGOs is to serve others. Integrating this value in the overall working of the NGO not only makes them socially acceptable, but it also makes them … [Read more...] about What are the core values one should follow when establishing an NGO?
Explore new opportunities: Keep a flexible approach while looking for new opportunities you may have to modify your priorities to adopt to changes.Develop new partnerships: 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.Boost existing relations: Along with investing time and energy on developing new partnerships it is equally important that you manage existing relations with … [Read more...] about What are the ways to achieve Institutional and Organizational Sustainability?
Accountability basically refers to an organization being answerable to a third party. It refers to the obligation of an individual or organization to account for its activities, accept responsibility for them, and to disclose the results in a transparent manner.Aspects of AccountabilityAs an NGO you are accountable to donors, project partners, local communities and considering these, experts have suggested four aspects of accountability for an NGO.Upward Accountability: This refers to the … [Read more...] about How can we make our organization accountable?
In some project proposal formats, you may have come across ‘staff time’ or the number of ‘man-hours’ required in the project. Large donors are very meticulous about these details and require minute calculations for the money they are going to give to organizations. So they expect budgets to be clear to the last detail.Salaries are a very sensitive part of the project budget – even for the donors. More and more funders are resisting allocating money for salaries and overheads. As they tend to … [Read more...] about How to calculate staff time in a project budget?
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?
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?
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?
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
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?
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?
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?
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?
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?
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?
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?
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?
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?
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?
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?
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?
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?
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?
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?
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?
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
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?
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?
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?
Financial Management is a vital activity in any organization. It is the process of planning, organizing, controlling and monitoring financial resources with a view to achieve organizational goals and objectives. It is an ideal practice for controlling the financial activities of an organization such as procurement of funds, utilization of funds, accounting, payments, risk assessment and every other thing related to money.In other terms, Financial Management is the application of general … [Read more...] about Why is financial management important for NGOs
An online scam is a fraudulent activity carried out over the Internet by providing incorrect information for the purpose of stealing money or assets from victims. Online scams are one of the biggest threats to businesses and governments around the world as they end up with severe financial losses and mental and emotional harassment of victims.According to the Consumer Sentinel Network, which is maintained by the Federal Trade Commission of the United States Government, there were 535,000 … [Read more...] about How NGOs can identify Genuine Grant Opportunities and Donor Organizations and avoid Scams?
False Promise of Grant Funding or Award to NGOsThis is one of the most popular scams going around the internet. NGOs unexpectedly receive an email or a social media post or a WhatsApp/text message which says that a certain Foundation has selected your organization to offer grant funding and you just need to respond to this email. When gullible NGOs respond back and start a chain of email communication with the fraudster, they end up paying some money with the hope of getting this ‘large’ … [Read more...] about What are the types of Scams NGOs should be aware of?
Significance of a great project title:It gives a glimpse of the project described in the proposalIt informs the donor about the project aim, location, focus and beneficiary (or need)A great title captures the donors’ attention with its uniquenessIt makes your proposal memorable and keeps it on the top of donors’/ selectors’ minds when making the decision.All these qualities can bring your project proposal a notch higher than the rest, given that your proposal is already among the best ones in … [Read more...] about What type of Project Titles Could impress a Donor?
Below are some steps for achieving programmatic sustainabilityCommunity involvement: involving the community is the key to have long term impacts from any projects. Make sure that your project involves the community at various stages, this will give them ownership of the project and there are high chances that they may continue with some project aspects even after the project duration. As the entire process will be participatory the skills and knowledge gained by the present group of people, … [Read more...] about How can NGOs ensure that they achieve programmatic sustainability?
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. Steps to sustainability Before you start writing the sustainability plan, discuss with your project team about the various processes and mechanisms that can be utilized for ensuring … [Read more...] about What steps do NGOs need to follow to remain sustainable?