NGOs or non-profit organizations are here to solve the problems of the world. But often times NGOs fail due to reasons such as:
- Over reliance on external funding sources
- Failing to demonstrate value and accountability
- Lack of branding
- Late adoption of technology
- Only skilling and no selling
Strategic changes can create a lasting impact on the NGO and its beneficiaries. Read on to see which pitfalls you can avoid for your NGO:
Over reliance on external funding sources
NGOs depend on many funding sources including government grants, private donors, foundations, CSR, etc., to sustain their daily operations. Relying on external sources means that the NGO is at the mercy of others to make it financially stable. Things are good while they last, but the moment a funding cut is introduced or a foundation decides to divert their funds elsewhere, your NGO can be left high and dry. Not to mention the fact that external sources require time, energy and investment on a regular basis to keep recurring donations coming. NGOs need to look at innovative ways to sustain their financial needs which do not involve external sources but leverage the NGOs internal resources for income.
Failing to demonstrate value and accountability
NGOs work really hard for their beneficiaries and many are successful in reaching their goals. But they can lose out on recurring or potential funding without a proper system of demonstrating the value they are bringing to the community. Displaying up-to-date results of an activity or a fundraising campaign in a clear and transparent manner will keep donors in the loop. It will also demonstrate accountability on the part of the NGO.
Lack of branding
Branding, marketing and advertising are considered taboo words for NGOs and yet, in this day and age, any organization which wishes to reach its target audience, requires a marketing and branding in order to sustain itself. Social work requires solving problems in the real world, and the best people to help an NGO to do so are its volunteers and donors. In order to keep in touch with existing and potential volunteers and donors as well as the larger community, it is important that there is regular communication. NGOs need to start thinking of themselves as brands which need to build brand awareness and brand recall through messaging.
Late adoption of technology
NGOs are community led initiatives that usually start small and but eventually grow into larger organizations. With growth come many challenges including administration, budgeting, expense tracking, volunteer and donor relations, etc. While all of this can be kept on track manually, NGOs can use technology to automate tasks and keep things in order. This way, information can be available at a short notice on your fingertips. It will also free up staff to do things that more urgent or productive.
Only Skilling and No Selling
Training and skilling can prepare beneficiaries for the world. But to take them to financial freedom, we need to give them employment opportunities. Selling products and services can ensure that beneficiaries have a sustainable income, and the NGO sustains itself too!
NGOs are a gift to beneficiaries and the community. While it may seem difficult to keep an NGO afloat, it is not impossible. Giving Circle’s Advisory and Selling Strategy services can help you with a strategy that helps you become sustainable and scalable, so that your NGO can thrive and survive.