Challenges facing local NGOs in resource mobilization

Humanities and Social Sciences
2014; 2(3): 57-64
Published online May 30, 2014 (
doi: 10.11648/j.hss.20140203.12
Challenges facing local NGOs in resource mobilization
Rehema C. Batti
Ongoing PHD student in the School of Management, Atlantic International University, 900 Fort Street Mall 40 Honolulu, Hawaii, USA
Email address:
[email protected]
To cite this article:
Rehema C. Batti. Challenges Facing Local NGOs in Resource Mobilization. Humanities and Social Sciences.
Vol. 2, No. 3, 2014, pp. 57-64. doi: 10.11648/j.hss.20140203.12
Abstract: Development organizations need resources to help them continue providing services to the community. Non
Govermental Organizations (NGOs) for a long time have relied on the generosity of donors to support their project activities
through grants and donations. However organizations have realized that such funding sources are often insufficient to meet
needs and rising costs for project implementation. In Africa despite vast differences among the NGOs most share a common
challenge of unlimited needs chasing limited resources. Local NGOs face difficulties securing enough funds because the
projects undertaken require substantial amounts of resources, both financial and non-financial due to high poverty levels in
most parts of the continent. Resource mobilization requires a lot of time and skills to seek resources from different sources
and the pressure to mobilize resources may lead the organizations to use methods that compromise the values they are
fighting for through their work.
Keywords: Resource Mobilization in Local NGOs, Fundraising in NGOs, Challenges in Resource Mobilization
1. Introduction
Resource mobilization is a valuable component for
strengthening an NGO. Unfortunately there is a lot of
competition for donor resources and in many cases for an
organization to secure resources it depends on how well it can
compete with other organizations to raise funds; and on how
good it is at exploring other ways to source for resources.
Those NGOs fortunate enough to have adequate resources
to support their current operations still face uncertainty over
future funding. Many organizations wonder whether the
donors will keep supporting program costs or will they shift
their focus to other more pressing needs. At times a donor
runs out of business and can no longer provide resources.
These are some of the scenarios that create uncertainty over
donor funding and makes it extremely difficult for NGOs to
plan and implement their project activities consistently.
The uncertain continuity of donor funding, forces an NGO
to live a project to project existence, which makes it difficult
to design and expand project activities to improve the
quality of services. However the common mistake that local
NGOs make is to become over dependent on a single source
of funding. When that source reduces or dries up the
organization struggles to generate new funding when it is too
late, hence programs are compromised or terminated.
Therefore, the task facing NGOs currently and in the
future is and will be to explore additional mechanisms to
boost financial stability without sacrificing the mission of
their organizations. This paper seeks to highlight the
challenges currently faced, make recommendations and
share emerging trends in resource mobilization that
organizations can use to build a more sustainable resource
2. Perspectives in Resource Mobilization
2.1. Definition Resource Mobilization and Fundraising
Resource mobilization is a process whereby resources
both financial and non financial resources are
mobilized either externally or internally to support
organization activities.
• Fundraising is the act of persuading people or
organizations to raise money for a cause. Fund-raising
is the activity of collecting money to support a charity
or political campaign or organization.
Fundraising means that funds are elsewhere and
approaches need to be explored to access the funds.
Resource mobilization has additional two concepts; one is
that non‐financial resources are crucial and secondly some
resources can be generated by the organization internally
rather than sourced from others.
Rehema C. Batti:
Challenges Facing Local NGOs in Resource Mobilization
2.2. Sources for Funding or Resources
There are two categories for sourcing of funds or
2.2.1. Conventional
Individual philanthropy, Private foundations, corporate
agencies, government and foreign development agencies
2.2.2. Non Conventional Means
Membership fees, businesses, income generating
activities, Prizes/Awards;
It is important for organizations to understand funding
sources within categories that they have not fully explored
and design mechanisms of accessing them. There are three
ways to mobilize resources as follows; accessing existing
resources through private and public sources, generating
new wealth and capitalizing on non-financial resources
2.3. Resource Mobilization Framework
Resource mobilization process is made up of 3 aspects as
follows the resources, mechanism and the providers
• Mechanism:
These include submission of grant proposals, special
events, small business and application for donation.
• Means/Resources:
These include the following cash, technical support,
human resource, subsidized service and facilities, equipment,
information and goods.
• Resource Providers:
These may include; International NGOs, bilateral and
multi-lateral agencies, cooperatives, government and
businesses among others
3. Sustainability and Resource
3.1. Concept of Sustainability of Organizations
There is a lot of talk and literature on what, how and whys
of organization sustainability. Many organizational leaders
are striving to understand and explore ways to build a
sustainable organization that will ensure they are making a
positive impact on the society and the environment in which
it works.
There is evidence in literature that shows that
organizations are struggling to grow consistently over a
period of 10 years. Many local NGOs in Africa are smaller,
privately-owned, group owned or family-owned and are
short-lived as they are unable to achieve long-term,
consistent growth or improve performance.
For many local NGOs in Africa, there are high rates of
senior management turn-over, internal wrangles caused by
power structures, poor financial reporting and the intense
scrutiny of financial expenditures by donors and
governments hence management focus remains biased on
short-term performance. This happens because the reward
systems do not recognize and value performance in the long
term and this means these organizations have objectives
which were never intended to be sustainable in the long-run.
This scenerio makes one to conclude that the way
organizations are managed is quite “unsustainable” and
unfortunately has an impact on how an organization
mobilizes and manages resources. It is vital for
organizations to consider sustainability in a new more
comprehensive way if they are to succeed in the future.
Sustainability is not only linked to how an organization is
able to mobilize and generate ongoing resources required to
sustaining its mission and undertaking quality work but also
there is a link between quality and sustainability.
Quality of services is often one of the critical ingredients
in achieving an organization’s sustainability. Organizations
are required to adopt crosscutting quality assurance systems
to ensure quality of services is not compromised overtime as
this is key to ensuring that services undertake by the
organization remain on demand.
Many people equate an organization’s sustainability with
its financial strength, but this alone becomes irrelevant over
time. Mavuto (2013:88) 1 lists some characteristics of a
sustainable NGO which include strategy, established
constituency, sound organizational governance, enlightened
management, learning culture and good public relations.
3.2. Resource Mobilization the Key to Sustainability
Organizations without a strong sustainability culture will
not grow. A good sustainability culture exists when all staff
respect their donors and want to understand and meet their
needs. A good culture exists when staff members value
program and sustainability as two necessary components of
a successful organization and appreciate their
An organizational culture that is flexible helps an
organization in looking for ways to maximize resources, in
finding innovative ways of raising funds, or carrying out
programs in challenging environments.
However it is important for organizations to realize that the
sustainability of an organization does not only depend on the
resources an organization has but it is also affected by the
following: existence of competent staff, supportive policies,
internal systems to manage assets, an organization’s ability to
establish relationships with individuals and organizations and
organizational culture that reinforces sustainability efforts.
When an organization is competing for resources and
other support in a very tight market place the organization’s
appeal has to be different, better, “cheaper” and unique. A
donor has no reason to select an organization over another if
there no evidence of innovativeness or value in supporting
an organization and therefore it is crucial to view an
organization’s mission from the perspective of current and
potential donors and emphasize those aspects of an
organization’s work which are appealing from a donor’s
Mavoko Kapyepye (2013), Resource mobilization for NGOs in the developing
world. London. Adonis and Abbet Publishers Limited
Humanities and Social Sciences 2014; 2(3): 57-64
4. Challenges Facing NGOs in Resource
NGOs are operating under a highly resource competitive
environment. The challenges that NGOs encounter in resource
mobilization efforts can be divided into external and internal
4.1. External Challenges
4.1.1. Donor Country Priorities Changing
Many at times NGOs face dictation of priorities from
donors hence organizations shift focus or are not eligible to
apply for the funds as they are not meeting the donor
priorities. Thomas Parks (2008:213)2 noted that an NGO
faced shortfalls when the major bilateral donors were
shifting priorities towards economic development and others
outside the traditional scope of the organization.
4.1.2. Criteria being Used/Applied to Organizations
Donor’s preferences have continued to change and they
have become increasingly selective. One notes that different
donors apply different conditions on aid, for example
specify projects that can be supported within their budget,
working in partnership or collaboration with others,
geographic cover, sector and a properly constituted
4.1.3. Donors Conditional Ties
In the donor world the funding trends are changing. We
see donors are using basket funding or sometimes shift in
funding from NGOs to focus on government institutions and
hence the NGOs end up competing for the same funds with
the government institutions that have resources and capacity
to mobilize for resources. Mavuto (2013:23) 3 states that
restrictions given to organizations for example not allowing
them to engage with another donor during the period they
are funding the organization also affects NGOs from
diversifying their donor sources.
4.1.4. Political Interference
Government policies and political climate increase
bureaucratic red tape for NGOs mobilizing resources
externally. Where there is political instability donors will
either not release funds or they reduce or enforce stringent
Government attitude and perceptions of NGOs have not been
good in many African countries and some organizations
have been considered by the government as a threat. This
has led to some being deregistered or been given restrictions
for sourcing funds from external donors for example in
Parks Thomas (2008), The Rise and fall of donor funding for advocacy NGOs:
Understanding the impact. Development in Practice, Volume 18,No2 April 2008 funding for NGOs.html
Mavoko Kapyepye (2013), Resource mobilization for NGOs in the developing
world. London. Adonis and Abbet Publishers Limited
4.1.5. Rules and Regulations within a Country for
Accessing Government Funds
The rules and regulations that govern accessing and
applying for government funds and resources make it
difficult for organizations to access resources. For example
in Kenya a policy of funding one CBO/NGO bi-annually per
division is seen as an obstacle to the resource empowerment
4.1.6. Donor Prejudices
Organizations that have a good track record can easily
access resources. Cases of funds or resource embezzlements
are very serious and donors talk on who has done what and
good track record is important. According to an article
published by IRIN (2011)4many young organizations face
the challenge of not being known and donors do not give
money as they are not aware of the organization
competencies or track record.
4.1.7. Natural and Manmade Occurrence e.g. Floods,
Earthquakes, Wars
When natural disasters occur most donor funds get
diverted to support relief programs and many local NGOs
lack the capacity or expertise to undertake relief projects and
during this time fewer funds are directed to normal
development programs.
Countries that are experiencing conflict experience a
decrease in resources available to NGOs as donors do not
want to fund NGOs in areas of conflict as perceive the funds
will be diverted and purchase of weapons or it will become
difficult to attain results in conflict prone areas.
4.1.8. Competition from “Political NGO”
Some NGOs are directly or indirectly linked to political
parties within their countries country and because they are
politically connected they easily lobby for development
agencies for funding to ‘alleviate poverty’ in their
constituencies and hence those with no political association
end up not accessing the much required funds to support
genuine cases of poverty.
4.1.9. Competition among NGOs in the Same Sector
Duplication of resources is seen in the activities of some
NGOs. For example where there are about ten or more
NGOs within the same geographical area and alloffer the
same services at the expense of other areas that require equal
attention. This raises competition among the NGOs instead
of cooperation and unfortunately at times these are not the
areas where the donors what to focus on.
There is also a challenge of increased competition
between NGOs for funds especially against larger,
established NGOs that are known by international donors
due to their involvement in relief activities during famine or
floods. This puts the emerging NGOs under immense
IRIN (2011),Foreign funding critical for NGO survival. Nottingham
University centre for Research in Economic Development and International
Trade.(October 2011) funding for
Rehema C. Batti:
Challenges Facing Local NGOs in Resource Mobilization
pressure to prove themselves to international donors of their
capability to manage resources where aid flow is declining.
4.1.10. Type of Network Involved in
Networks that NGOs are engaged in may hinder their
ability to access and mobilize resources effectively. This is
because some networks are not well thought out and hence
organizations do not gain visibility, experience or access
new avenues for resource mobilization. In this case, the
networks that the NGOs joined did not add any value in the
area of resource mobilization.
4.2. Internal Challenges
NGOs are expected to initiate, design and implement
projects that can be scaled up by governments and donors.
However, in addition to external challenges, NGOs also
have major internal challenges
4.2.1. Capacity Limitation within Organizations
There is significant capacity limitation among indigenous
NGOs in terms of human resource and due to having
insufficient staff then to pursuing appropriate funding or
resources remains elusive to many. For example in Kenya, it
was noted that Isinya division had about 484 CBOs of
various types formed to address the poverty/household ill
health experienced in the area. However, only 25% of these
CBOs were found to be actively implementing projects at
micro level, the rest remained inactive due to inability to
mobilize the required resources for implementing their
mandates. (Beverly etal 2012:128)5
4.2.2. Accountability and Transparency
Many organizations fail in the two central pillars of good
governance that is transparency and Accountability. NGOs
sometimes fail to meet the requirements imposed a country’s
or donors legal system and this makes them lose the public's
trust. Many organizations lack sound systems for financial
management, program monitoring and evaluation and
managing overall program performance that ensure they
consistently earn stakeholders trust. For example
organizations have been accused of excessive or improper
compensation for chief executives and board members,
conflict of interest in organizations transactions, non
remittance of taxes and unethical behavior. These
accusations bring suspicions on the transparency of NGOs
and stringent measures are imposed that make it even more
difficult to get resources.
4.2.3. Founder Syndrome
Many local organizations’ leadership face this syndrome.
This is whereby the founder or founders tend to control and
manage the affairs of the organization with minimal
participation from other members. For example a CEO or
board members will not allow other staff to engage in
resource mobilization or the leaders become too comfortable
with the current methods of resource mobilization and are
not willing to explore other new ways.
4.2.4. Inadequate Strategic and Operational Plans
No strategic plans that guide the organization to know
what the objectives are and enable the organization identify
the resources needed. Most strategic plans developed are for
donor purposes only and do not reflect the actual needs to be
addressed by the communities.
4.2.5. Inadequate Networking Skills
Networking is a common term frequently used by NGOs
sector in many African countries, but rarely practiced. Many
NGOs lack networking skills and instead are seen competing
for resources than working together towards common
interest. Many donors are currently looking to fund
organizations that are in networks or working together.
4.2.6. Inadequate Awareness on Available Opportunities
There are windows of opportunities that exist within
countries that sometimes NGOs fail to exploit due to lack of
awareness that the opportunities exist. For example
according to Beverly etal(2012:129) 6 indicates that
government funds available were not accessed by civil
society organizations due to inadequate awareness about the
availability and the procedures required to access the funds.
4.2.7. Governance
NGOs in many countries do not have effective
governance structures and where a board exists, they are
rarely effective in providing strategic leadership in ensuring
resources are mobilized. Mavuto (2013:86) 7 states that
boards are supposed to provide guidance and oversight to
the operations of the NGO. However many boards are not
aware of their role in resource mobilization.
The presence and extent of involvement of management
and governance structures in NGOs influenced their ability
to mobilize resources. Many times NGOs did not have
governance instruments such as constitutions, policies and
guidelines and this tended to scare off potential donors.
4.2.8. Minimal Communication and Branding
Many NGOs are not able to communicate effectively who
they are, what they do, and their achievements. This inability
to communicate means the visibility of the organization is
poor and they are not able to effectively market their
programs. This eventually affects their capacity to mobilize
Many at times organizations lose the opportunity to get
resources as donors or stakeholders are not aware of the
presence of the organization within the area, sector or
5. Conclusion and Recommendations
Beverly Otieno, Strapola Mala, Hazel Mumbo, Fredrick Aila and Odhiambo
Odera (2012) Factors affecting mobilization of Kenyan resources for health and
development. International Journal Social Science and Education(2012) Volume
3:Issue 1
Ibid(2012:129 )
Mavoko Kapyepye (2013), Resource mobilization for NGOs in the developing
world. London. Adonis and Abbet Publishers Limited
Humanities and Social Sciences 2014; 2(3): 57-64
Currently in the African continent, many local NGO
depend on external donor funding and resources to run their
organizations but unfortunately there is also a lot of
competition for the money and resources. In many cases the
survival of an organization is dependent on how well it can
compete with other organizations and on how good it is at
finding other ways to source for resources.
5.1. Recommendations to Address Challenges
The following are some recommendations to address the
challenges NGOs face:
5.1.1. Understand the Resource Mobilization Cycle
The resource mobilization cycle is a tool used by strategic
organization to help plan, monitor and develop their
resource mobilization activities. It involves 3 phases
• Planning-assessment and design element
• Act-implementation(identify, engage, negotiate,
manage and report and communicate results)
ongoing process
• Reflect on the lessons learned and revise strategy for
purposes of redesign. The action plan and strategy
are monitored and the organization reflects on
successes and challenges then through the lessons
learned they tailor and refocus strategy for greater
5.1.2. Understand the External Environment
Organizations need to critically understand and evaluate
the external environment to understand the factors that affect
their resource mobilization efforts.
5.1.3. Appreciate and Analyze Competition
Increased competition for scarce grant resources requires
organizations to start thinking of new options for diverse and
multiple funding streams that will support organizations to
undertake their projects. According to Li Yuwen (2011:15)8
raising funds has become an important aspect for NGOs. For
many organizations competition has a negative connotation
and is reserved for use by private or for the profit sector. It is
often seen to mean dominating the market by destroying or
engulfing your competition. For those that see themselves as
collaborative and sector building being competitive sounds
unethical and they wonder why they have to compete.
However ,understanding organizations within one’s sector
or other sectors needs to be an integral part of an
organization’s environmental scan. In doing so an
organization may discover what the other organization does
threatens the sustainability or presents new opportunities for
mobilizing resources through doing a joint program.
5.1.4. Develop and Manage a Resource Mobilization Plan
Organizations need to envision where they want to be in
three- five years and design and implement programs based
on the genuine needs of the target stakeholders or community.
Yuwen Li (2011) NGOs in China and Europe: Comparison and Contrast.
Farnham, Surrey, England. Ashgate
Organizations need to consider resource partners interests
in terms of thematic focus and geographic coverage. The
identification of resource partners should be seen as an
ongoing process and organizations need to continuously
update details and focus of the potential resource partners.
Resource mobilization from various kinds of sources and
diverse types of resources will decrease an organization’s
financial risk. One of the gap that many organizations have
is too rely heavily on one mechanism for mobilizing
resources. Organizations need to determine and set resource
mobilization targets and thereafter select mobilization tools.
The resource mobilization strategy should be monitored,
discussed and documented and improvements made to the
strategy and action plan developed.
5.1.5. Formation of a Resource Mobilization
Organizations that have an active resource mobilization
committee seem to be effective and successful in their
resource mobilization efforts. This is important especially
where NGOs do not have a systematic practice of resource
mobilization because of limited staff who are busy doing lot
of work at the implementation level.
The organization should consider selecting staff and other
interested stakeholders with experience and expertise in the
field to form a resource mobilization committee. At another
level, the board should form a resource mobilization team
that over-sees resource mobilization efforts and commits
itself to ensure board member involvement.
5.1.6. Enhancement of Organization’s Internal Capacity
Resource mobilization is a continuous process and it is
important for an organization to build its internal capacity to
mobilize resources. Organizations sometimes underestimate
the time, resources and skills involved in resource
mobilization and also maintaining good communication and
relations with donors. It takes resources to raise resources
and organizations need experienced and skilled personnel
and board members in resource mobilization if they are to be
successful to get resources.
5.1.7. Leadership Role in Resource Mobilization
Resource mobilization is a strategic process within an
organization carried out at the executive level and should not be
looked at as a different or minor task within the organization’s
management team. According to Susan DiMattia (2008:26)9 it
is important to have someone at the top with the belief, energy
and time to spearhead fundraising efforts.
NGO leaders are sometimes forced to follow the money
and this allows donors to dictate the scope and direction of
their activities, or else receive no funds at all. Hence it is
crucial for an organizations leadership to articulate the
vision for what they want the organization to achieve and
what will be the impact of the success and how the interest of
the potential funders will be realized without compromising
DiMattia Susan (2008) Getting the money you need .Relationship fundraising.
Online January 2008;32(1) 22-26.
Rehema C. Batti:
Challenges Facing Local NGOs in Resource Mobilization
the organization mission.
5.1.8. Transparency and Accountability for NGOs
A good reputation is linked with integrity and the
reputation of an organization’s and its individual players are
its most valuable asset and its highest risk.(Pettey J
2008:5) 10 An organization having an accountable style of
working can expand its relations and contacts quickly.
It is common knowledge that the NGO sector in many
countries is being watched by government, donors, press,
and the general public and creating and maintaining a good,
credible public image in such an atmosphere of suspicion
and cynicism is a tremendous challenge for many
organizations. According to Pettey Janice (2008: xv) 11
without public trust fundraising cannot happen and if people
don’t believe an organization will use their money
appropriately, they will simply not give.
5.1.9. The Quality of Financial Management and
Organizations that have financial management systems
that meet the standards required by external donors is
another factor that contributes to an organizations ability to
mobilize resources. Donors are comfortable with an
organization that has clear financial reporting and auditing
arrangements and where adequate monitoring and
attribution of costs to activities and results exists.
Clear accounting systems to distribute and track that
resources get to where they are intended are things that
donors appreciate. Acknowledging a donors resource
contribution through managing, monitoring and reporting on
the use of resources vis a vis agreed mechanisms which are
often spelled out in the agreements is crucial to maintain
good relations with the donor and forms a foundation for
potential ongoing resources and must not be overlooked.
5.1.10. Continuous Learning and Improvement in
Resource Mobilization Strategies
Frostein Sarah (2013:21)12 states that organizations need
to base their fundraising on the behaviour of donors by
monitoring feedback and appeals sent to them. This means
planning an event where donors have an interest.
One organization reviewed their process of conducting
first time meetings with potential donors that was initially
done by staff and instead used a consulting company and set
up first time meetings with potential donors this freed the
staff from organizing such events to concentrate more on the
follow-ups and deepening relationships with donors.(Hall
Other methods would include tracking fundraising
success and providing rewards or bonus to individuals and
Pettey Janice (2008) Ethical fundraising: A guide for nonprofit boards and
fundraisers. Hoboken N.J Wiley,
Ibid (2008:xv)
Frostenson Sarah (2013) Don’t think weekend appeals don’t work. Chronicles
of Philanthropy (serial online) June 27,2013:25 (15)21.
Hall Holly, Big changes help hospital attract more big gifts faster. Chronicles
of Philanthropy (serial online),2013: 25(10)8.
teams once the goals are achieved or exceeded(Berkshire
2013:20)14 .For example Save the Children found a creative
way of saying thank you to its donors by using the fastest
talking woman to say thank you. (Flandez 2013:17)15
5.1.11. Sustainability and Relevance of the Project to be
Strong relationship with donors is important, however as
organizations seek resources they should be aware of the
possibility of getting one time resources or a donor and
hence there is need to ensure that the project will be self
sustaining once the donor support is over.
There are evidences that indicate that NGOs programs
have the problems of phase-out and sustainability which are
terms frequently mentioned in development programs. NGO
projects undertaken are ideally expected to bring change
among the needy people. However change will only be possible if
NGOs are able to sustain their programs and this is possible
when NGOs start their programs with good phase-out
Organizations need to realistically plan to see whether the
cost of the project can be absorbed into the regular budget in
the future fiscal years and this provides a basis of negotiating
with the donor on how long an organization needs
support.(DiMattia 2008:26)16
5.2. Emerging Resource Mobilization Trends
5.2.1. Internet Fundraising
Organizations in Africa could consider using internet as a
fundraising mechanism. This allows the funder the
possibility of giving continuously and costs less. For
example Network for Good raised $300 million from more
that 50,000 different nonprofit and a total of $7 billion was
contributed in 2008(Hoefer 2012:362)17
According to Hoefer (2012:364)18 affiliate marketing can
also contribute to bringing in new streams of contribution
and unrestricted funds.
5.2.2. Developing Social Enterprise Using the Social
Business Model
According to Yunus (2010:1)19 social business involves
solving a social problem by using business methods which
include creation and sale of products and services. In starting
a social business, one does not start with a focus on the
business, but identifies a social problem and then tries to
Berkshire Jennifer (2013) A university offers Flexibility and financial rewards
to keep fundraisers happy. Chronicles of Philanthropy (serial online) Jan 17,
2013: 25(5)20.
Flandez, Raymund (2013) Fundraisers find success with simple appeals, wild
ideas and off beat campaigns. Chronicles of Philanthropy (serial online) Jan 17,
2013: 25(5)17.
DiMattia Susan (2008) Getting the money you need .Relationship fundraising.
Online January 2008;32(1) 22-26.
Hoefer R.( 2012) From website visitor to online contributor. Three internet
fundraising techniques for non profits. 57(4)361-365
Muhammad Yunus (2010), Building social business. New York. Public
Humanities and Social Sciences 2014; 2(3): 57-64
address it by incorporating a business solution for it. (Yunus
I believe this is an interesting area that NGOs can explore
that will help them address a social need but have income
that will ensure the projects is sustainable. Yunus
(2010:58)21 advises in his book that to start a social business
one needs to identify a need and match it with the
capabilities and talents. An organization needs to clarify the
objective of the business and make sure they get the desired
result from the project then come up with a product or
service to serve as a vehicle for achieving this objective.
5.2.3. Local Resource Mobilization
The generation of local resources through saving and
investing wisely is the essential foundation of sustained
development for any organization. The high dependence on
external resources puts limits on organization’s policy space
and creates some vulnerability.
Local resource mobilization is gaining popularity and is
becoming necessary as donor resources continue to decline.
NGOs typically benefit from local contribution of time from
communities, manual labour and cash towards a
development project however this is normally not given
much weight when it comes to resource mobilization
mechanisms. In future local resource mobilization will
provide a crucial viable long-term financing basis for
development projects undertaken by local NGOs.
5.2.4. Resource Mobilization from Private Sector
Organizations and Individuals
Many resource mobilization efforts of organizations are
focused on fund raising from international institutional
donors. If organizations desire to diversify their sources of
resources, they may have to revise their current approaches,
which are only focused on attracting external grants and
accommodate options of sourcing resources from businesses
and individuals.
Organizations in their bid to diversify funding resources
will need a paradigm shift to tap into corporate philanthropy
and individual donors. According to IRIN (2009),22 Fifty
one percent (51%) of humanitarian funding for 114 NGOs
came from private sources and it also cites that Medicines
San Frontier (MSF) received 86% of its funds from private
sources. Private sources allow organizations to respond
quickly and they have fewer restrictions.
According to Bray (2008:86-87)23 organizations should
also consider recruiting individual supporters as it is
worthwhile as they come with few strings attached. While
grants from a foundation maybe much more than from
individuals, but they may come with many restrictions.
Corporate social responsibility is an emerging field in
many African countries and gradually catching up with
international standards. Local organizations will benefit
from this trend of corporations donating to local
In conclusion, an important part of planning for an NGO
is increasing financial security and becoming independent of
donors. This may be a realistic goal for some NGOs who
have the ability to self-generate funds to cover overhead
costs yet others may still legitimately continue to rely on
grants and donations, at least for now, as this may be the
available approach.
There is no right or wrong answer and therefore it is up to
each organization to review the options available and to
choose the most appropriate mechanism for resource
mobilization and move from only focusing on mobilizing
financial resources.
Organizations as they pursue resources from donors and
others sources they need to recognize that sustainability is
not only about getting resources/funds but also requires a
solid organization, strong programs that determine which
project activities and implementation strategies are most
appropriate to achieve an organizations mission and
objectives and ensure it remains relevant year after year.
An organization cannot market itself and what it does
unless it has good programs. On the other hand, if no one
wants to invest in an organization’s programs, they have
little chance of benefiting society and being sustained.
I would like to appreciate the invaluable support I receive
from my University advisor Dr Valcin and the university team.
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