NGO’s by their very nature are not concerned with the accumulation of wealth. Whether you are classed as charitable, community based, national or international, the outlook and goals are usually far more long term.
Financing these goals usually takes a lot of effort and commitment from dedicated people within the NGO whose passion drives the project forward. This leaves little funding for anything other than the absolute essentials needed to fund the NGO itself, and while many have operating budgets of 100’s of millions, many also rely purely on volunteers.
This can create a conflict between the general ethos of an NGO, and their potential to utilize training to become more competent and efficient, ultimately helping them to increase sustainability and growth. Fortunately there are many options open to an NGO that wishes to broaden the skillset of their staff and volunteers in relevant and practical ways.
Possible ways to fund training
The options available to your NGO will in part depend on the nature of the organization. No matter what source of income you rely on, private donors, public or government grants, membership fees, or just simply the goodwill of others, we have purposely selected ways to raise funds or reduce costs that will work for the majority.
Proposal: Put together a small proposal to submit to donors or government to raise sponsorship. The benefits of training are well documented, and a very strong case can be made that’s equally as beneficial to your donors or supporters.
Reduce the cost: When you are organizing training why not reach out to other NGO’s that would also benefit from the training. This allows you to split the cost between the organizations, and makes the training even better value for money.
Network: Larger NGO’s will usually have a primary supporter, or a board full or people that aren’t being fully utilized. Don’t be afraid to ask about potential companies or sponsors they may be aware of.
Incorporate Training: In the longer term it is advisable to incorporate training into the grants you seek for projects. The training will be relevant to the project, and help the effectiveness of the NGO in achieving its goals. Funding training this way can also help with keeping the overhead percentage to a minimum.
These are just a few general suggestions. There may be other ways that are more specific to just your NGO. For example, if you have membership fees you could ask your members to contribute an extra (possibly optional) nominal amount as part of the fee to fund the training. Nobody knows your NGO as well as you so get creative. NGO’s who are funded by corporations may be able to leverage plain old-fashioned good will. Companies like a return on the money they invest, even if that return isn’t financial. Showing the many ways the training will benefit the NGO, and ultimately the beneficiaries of the NGO’s work can create a feel good factor for donors.
Why is it worth all the effort?
The advantages of training are well documented, but many think that because they already have experience and everything is working, it is an unnecessary expense. Every industry is continually progressing, and if you’re standing still you’re effectively going backwards.
At Maximpact we specifically tailor the training to the specific needs of the organization. This makes a persons level of experience far less relevant, as the training will be customized for their specific needs. If this isn’t incentive enough then here’s just a few of the other benefits of continued training.
- Increased morale among employees and volunteers
- Increased motivation
- Higher capacity for adoption of new methods and technologies
- Reduced level of personnel turnover
- A higher level of efficiency in their role
Ability to provide training as a service by the NGOs creates an extra revenue stream and decreasing their dependency on donor funding.
The primary goal of all of this is to strengthen the potential of your NGO to achieve its goals. Whether the purpose of your NGO is to help your local community or change the world, the environment you work within is fluid and ever evolving, so make sure your NGO stays as relevant and capable as it possibly can by evolving along with the world around it. The best way to ensure this is regular and tailored training specific to your employees and your goals. Lets make our efforts as sustainable as the world we are working towards building.
Interested in providing your own training programs but need training on how to create training programs? Contact firstname.lastname@example.org