Solutions for Common weaknesses of NGOs

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Solutions for Common weaknesses of NGOs

  1. 1. Solutions for Common weaknesses of NGOs An overview Planning and Fundraising as examples Prepared by Zdeněk Rudolský www.because.cz April 27, 2009
  2. 2. Introduction • This document was created to point out the most common areas with the greatest potential for improvement within NGOs in Central and Eastern Europe. At Because, we work together with our clients to improve. • Each of the following slides represents a high-level summary of – the current situation of NGOs in Central and Eastern Europe; – risk exposure the current situation generates; – suggested actions that will improve the situation and mitigate the risks; – costs and benefits for NGOs associated with the suggested actions. • The managerial scope of a suggested project is shown in the upper-left corner of each slide. Strategic Tactical Operational 2 Common weaknes ses of NGOs www.because.cz
  3. 3. Common NGO weaknesses An overview
  4. 4. Strategic Governance and Management Tactical Risk management, Management by objectives, Planning and Execution Operational Current situation Suggested action Costs • Temporarily unstable situation • Assessment of current situation • NGO: approx. 20- 80 man-days within some NGOs and identification of critical (first year only) • Abrupt major changes in the success factors • consultant: 10-40 man-days management or Board • Development of risk register for (first year only) • Lack of continuity the structure and design and • Mgmt:: supervision of the • Lack of strategic, tactical, implementation of risk mitigating project worth approx.3 - 5 man- operational and project planning activities days (first year only) • No framework of proper • Assessment of responsibility communication activities and ownership of • Lack of risk management and processes/issues management by objectives • Review of existing policies governing the Board and staff and testing if/how they are Risks followed Benefits • Review of existing and planned • Governance and management projects • Prevention of problems/risks risks (e.g. reputational risk, high • Development of an interim related to weak governance and turnover, miscommunication and business plan management personal problems, instability, • Review and adjustment of SP, • Stabilization of an NGO misaligned campaign activities) OP, PP, BDGT, and other major • Coherent strategic and tactical • Operational risk plans including definition and management tools • Financial risks (high sunk cost, evaluation of KPIs • Implementation of a transparent little or zero ROI, CF problems) • Assistance with the structure and accountable governance • Compliance risk recognition process model 4 Common weaknesses of NGOs www.because.cz
  5. 5. Strategic Communication and Process Optimization Tactical Operational Current situation Suggested action Costs • NGOs has: • Performing process mapping • NGO: approx. 5-15 man-days • unclear processes and gap analysis with (first year only) • unclear job descriptions recommendations for addressing • consultant: 5-15 man-days (first • unclear decision making the most important processes year only) policies and/or subprocesses • Mgmt: supervision of the project • weak/missing reporting worth approx. 3 man-days (first system • Defining roles, responsibilities year only) •mix of formal and informal and rights of all subjects communication • All the above-mentioned things • Defining communication are often incoherent and do not activities and channels between form a logical system all subjects • Decision-making process - Benefits Risks clarification of ambiguities, • Inefficient communication and implementation of missing • Boosted performance focused poor information sharing policies on NGOs objectives • Personal issues and high • Prevention of personal issues turnover • Setting up standardized • Unification of processes and • Wasting of resources for reporting system and its tools work to eliminate inefficiencies “reinventing the wheel” and to regain focus • Different type of work in each • Unification of reporting to country enfeebling AI impact encourage information sharing • Loss of credibility and decision making 5 Common weaknesses of NGOs www.because.cz
  6. 6. Strategic Human Resources Tactical Operational Current situation Suggested action Costs • Some NGOs have no staff • Review or establish the • NGO: approx. 10-25 man-days appraisal, staff satisfaction survey motivation system (first year only) nor integrated motivation and • Review of job descriptions, their • consultant: 5-13 man-days (first performance evaluation scheme alignment with processes year only) • Each regional/national section • Introducing HR • Mgmt: supervision of the project has different job descriptions planning/monitoring tools (e.g. worth approx. 2 man-days (first • Each regional/national section Timesheet system, Staff manual, year only) has no or different staff and volunteer organigram) planning/monitoring tools • Implementing staff appraisal • High staff turnover and motivation system • Organizing necessary trainings and compiling related documents: Time management, working with Risks volunteers, financial Benefits management, ethical and • High staff turnover independence codes • Clear job descriptions • High direct and indirect costs • Make sure human resources • Job descriptions aligned with related to high staff turnover goals are incorporated in the next processes • Staff doing work not aligned strategy/budget • Staff motivation is aligned with with main processes NGO goals • Unmotivated staff • Staff understands their roles • Staff that is not chosen well for and future prospects their work • Higher motivation, lower turnover 6 Common weaknesses of Gos www.because.cz
  7. 7. Strategic Internal Democracy Tactical Operational Current situation Suggested action Costs • Board roles are not defined well • Review of policies governing • NGO: approx. 5-15 man-days • Insufficient internal democracy relationships among key (first year only) development – members do not stakeholders (e.g. members, • consultant: 5-8 man-days (first take active role in decision- activists, local groups, Board, year only) making (e.g. when creating Supervisory Board, staff) • Mgmt: supervision of the project strategy or selecting campaigns) • Training of national boards in: worth approx. 2 man-days (first • Few people are willing to planning, agenda, reporting, year only) become Board members decision making, effective communication, segregation of duties, accountability • Clarifying board roles and board job descriptions • Design of activities supporting Risks internal democracy, sharing Benefits knowledge and good practice • Conflict between board and (e.g. mailing lists for people • Smooth board - staff management interested in strategy creation, cooperation • Insufficient number of Board Activism meeting, Meeting of • More candidates for board candidates threatening the quality Group Coordinators, AGM, members of Board‘s work Intranet, e-activism, Ideas • Proactive participation of • No participation of members in exchange conference, Groups members in decision-making decision-making potentially and activists meeting, Intl affairs process resulting in more stable causing loss of their support to committee) leadership the organization 7 Common weaknesses of NGOs www.becausee.cz
  8. 8. Strategic Project Management Tactical Operational Current situation Suggested action Costs • No project management or • Training in project management • NGO: approx. 30 man-days insufficient project management basics (first year only) • resources devoted to project ad • Setting specific, measurable, • consultant: 5-15 man-days (first hoc achievable, realistic and time year only) • insufficient project monitoring bound goals for projects • Mgmt: supervision of the project • insufficient reporting and • Review of existing projects worth approx. 2 man-days (first evaluation • Prioritization, setting the right year only) • little or no link between project cost/benefit mix of goals and goals and personal goals and means to achieve them performance evaluation • Alignment of project goals with operational plan and strategic plan. • Setting interim and final project Risks evaluation mechanisms Benefits • Review of cost allocation • project plan behind schedule procedures in place (e.g. • prevention of problems caused • goals are not set or measured allocation of direct and indirect by various types of project • project goals are not met costs to activities/processes) mismanagement • overloaded staff (e.g. with short- • Building relationships with • meeting project goals term or relatively unimportant project partners (support, one • reasonable allocation of tasks) time gifts, long term strategic resources to projects • failure of project partnerships, gifts in kind) • standardized reporting • no lessons learned from • costs related to activities are mistakes in previous projects known and analyzed 8 Common weaknesses of NGOs www.because.cz
  9. 9. Strategic Fundraising/Direct Dialogue Tactical Operational Current situation Suggested action Costs • Financial dependence on too • Performing a proper market • NGO: approx. up to 45 man- few resources analysis days (first year only) • No/useless database • Development of fundraising • consultant: up to 45 man-days • No or inexperienced Fundraiser strategy including appropriate (first year only) • No or insufficient FR strategy motivation scheme for the • Mgmt: supervision of the project • Missing or incomplete FR fundraiser and recruiters and risk- worth approx. 5 man-days (first budget mitigating tried-und-true controls year only) • No or little experience with DD • Coordination of DB • Lack of controls implementation • Lack of ownership and drive for • Recruitment and training of results Fundraiser • Setting DD budget assessment • Supervision over the 1st and Risks 2nd year of DD project Benefits • Sharing of best practice in the • Financial dependency region • Gaining financial self-sufficiency • low ROI of FR projects • Defining proper communication • Sound FR strategy and goals • Wrong FR goals and reporting roles and activities • Low risk of DD failure • DB will not cover FR needs • Introducing a quality • Proper planning and project • Inappropriate budget benchmarking management procedures in place • Difference btw. budget and CF • Securing support and ownership • Standardized database • High fluctuation from the respective board • Trained staff, tried&true practice • Miscommunication, fraud • Consultants provide fast and flexible assistance 9 Common weaknesses of NGOs www.because.cz
  10. 10. Summary The summary diagram shows how suggested Project size projects’ scope would impact respective management levels. 50 big project worth 50 man-days Strategic 8 quick win worth 8 man-days management Communication and Process Optimization Internal Democracy Governance and 8 13 15 41 Management Human Resources Tactical management 15 Project Management 45 Fundraising/ Direct Dialogue Operational management 10 Common weaknesses of NGOs www.because.cz
  11. 11. Common NGO weaknesses Planning and Fundraising as examples
  12. 12. Planning Quick win solutions Should you identify any of the above-stated weaknesses within your organization, there is usually a quick win solution for it. The following eight steps are ordinarily taken before the solution (change) starts to work: 1. Performing analysis of the As-is situation 2. Identification of weaknesses and related risks 3. Formulation of hypotheses for solution 4. Drafting new or changing the current strategic/operational/project plans 5. Acceptation of proposed draft/change 6. Preparation of proposal for change implementation 7. Acceptation of proposed implementation of change 8. Implementation of changes and verification of their impact The schedule is valid both on national and international level of an organization. 12 Common weaknesses of NGOs www.because.cz
  13. 13. Fundraising Example of a quick win project (I) Think it over before you start: Have you considered all the possible ways of Fundraising? What is the best way of fundraising for us? Where else should I look for money? • What everyone does.. and somehow good… („old FR“): Grants, company/corporate fundraising, gifts in kind. • What someone does.. somehow good… („old-new FR “): E-fundraising: DMS, SMS, mailing, social networking, support from individuals, running business, social enterprise. • What most of us forget to do… („forgotten FR“): Savings - change coming from inside, networking, synergy, improving and reviewing of FR, inheritance. • What all of us want have, or should want to have at least… (dream FR – need to bring it to reality): New magic form of fundraising, alignment FR, PR, campaigns etc…, approach- relationships-game. 13 Common weaknesses of NGOs www.because.cz
  14. 14. Fundraising Example of a quick win project (II) • Is it worth trying to save resources within the organization? Yes. Fundraising is not only about fund-raising, but about effective use of it too. Therefore we should try to save the resources within organization first: • Do we remunerate right our employees for their work? • Do we use voluntary work where appropriate? • Do we have the best possible suppliers‘/contractors’ prices? • Do we have financial reserves? Does it earn some money? • When was the last time we reviewed whether it still makes sense to continue with some projects? • How long will it take until our fundraiser has results? It used to be said: „We need a lot of time to explore the market, then to create a strategy, then a long period of time to contact donors, later on to approach them carefully and AFTER ALL THAT to ask for money… is should take more than a year …“ 1. Forget it. 2. Plan only what is really necessary. Then ask for money whenever you have a chance to do so. 3. Set performance measures for your fundraiser in such a way that you are able to monitor and pay for his/her performance from the very first day of work. 4. In this way it cannot happen that you would pay your fundraiser for ages and then he/she leaves without any results. 14 Common weaknesses of NGOs www.because.cz
  15. 15. Fundraising Example of a quick win project (III) we know all this… where are the new forms of Fundraising? 15 Common weaknesses of NGOs www.because.cz
  16. 16. Fundraising Example of a quick win project (IV) 7 Fundraising. The shortcut... 1. Plan 2. Save 3. Improve 4. Network 5. Build relationships 6. Play the game 7. When it s over, it is over • And do not forget: • It is still about a little bit of good luck. • Donors are just humans too, approach them that way.. • Thank you, good luck and good bye! 16 Common weaknesses of NGOs www.because.cz
  17. 17. Because Because s.r.o. Zdeněk Rudolský www.because.cz zdenek.rudolsky@gmail.com +420 608 95 64 54 17 Common weaknesses of NGOs www.because.cz
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