Starting and managing ngo ebook


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I wrote this book as an answer to how Non-government organizations which are also called non-profit organizations should be managed to ensure that they realize their objectives and create their own sustainability.

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  • @drclmadrazojr Thanks for your comment. I wrote based on my experience in Africa. Now that I am in South America, and exposed to different culture, I see you have a point. Different educational approaches and culture may make some ideas not viable, but good to know them.
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  • Was once part of the Vegetable Crops Division, Department of Agrononmy University of the Philippines. As a student research assistant I was exposed to field demostrations no only in UPCA and neighboring towns but also in Batangas,Cavite and Mindoro. I witness the inception of the Los Banos Bush Sitao , a masteral work of now Dr Juan Acosta, formerly witht he Research Department of Del Monte Pineapple Corporation. After teaching there for a few years after graduation, I have started and participated in various FBOs and NGOs in the PHilippines, Nepal, Japan, Cambodia, Vietnam, Laos, Bangladesh, Washington State, China, Inodnesia and East Timor. Some ideas as presented are good but not viable in different cultures not to mention the differences in educatonal approaches to the issues of poverty and intervention.
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Starting and managing ngo ebook

  1. 1. [STARTING AND MANAGING NGONo patent liability is assumed with respect to the use of the information contained inthis book.The author assumes no responsibility for losses of any kind resulting from the direct or indirect use of the information contained herein.
  3. 3. [STARTING AND MANAGING NGO PREFACEI wrote this book as an answer to how Non-government organizations which are alsocalled non-profit organizations should be managed to ensure that they realize theirobjectives and create their own sustainability.This book comes in as a guide for those who want to start NGOs and those whocurrently manage NGOs so that they can maintain good image of their NGOs in theface of the worldwide outcry that NGOs are underperforming, corrupt and areunproductive.Throughout this book, emphasis has been on how to establish a professional,productive, growing and sustainable NGO.This book shows what it takes to build a true self-sustaining NGO and how to obtainfunds from donors, how to build excellent relationship with donors and other partnerswithout relying on them.This book will show you as a reader how you can be able to establish and manage: • NGO that understands very well the problem or challenge it is dealing with • NGO that understands very well the target group and other key stakeholders that it has to deal with • NGO that has short, medium and long term plans, well implementation and control of such plans. • NGO that is able to run on its own through enterprising projects without compromising its primary objective of serving a targeted community. • NGO that when it has to look for outside financial and non-financial assistance, it can make requests that are not easily refused, plus your NGO can manage such relationship with its stakeholders. • NGO that has excellent general and strategic management systems.JohnSeptember 5, 2012
  4. 4. [STARTING AND MANAGING NGO DEDICATION• To my father, Mr Gabriel Myungire. I admire him, for his love to me and making me discover my potential. Dad, I wish you many more years of happiness.• To all underprivileged people, may you find ways to solve your challenges, and that those who are entrusted to help you, do fulfil their promises to you.
  5. 5. [STARTING AND MANAGING NGO WHAT IT TAKES TO ESTABLISH A SUCCESSFUL NGOThe following points explain 7 ingredients of a successful NGO 1. Projects that match targeted groupsIt is a common mistake by many NGOs to introduce projects to certain groups ofpeople without extensive research on what really the groups want.Since it is not practical to say no to such projects, the targeted people will try to findtheir way out of such projects to earn their living and perhaps collect resources to dowhat they really need. For example, your NGO introduces entrepreneurshipeducation programme to young women. Requiring the women to attend classes tolearn concepts while what they really want is capital to establish their own businessor support their families.What happens is that they will be coming to classes only because there are someincentives you provided such as allowances and prizes, but in reality the project willnot help the target group. 2. The feeling of ownershipThough it is important to involve target groups when designing and implementingprojects, NGOs need to create a culture/feeling that the projects belong to thepeople, and the targeted people should be encouraged to innovate better ways ofimproving the projects.The feeling of ownership is important because there is a need for the people tobelieve that they are going to benefit not only in the short run but also in the long run. 3. Realistic ambitionsAn example of NGO that provides loans to disadvantaged group can explain thispoint well. The loans can be repaid only if it is provided to the right people; suchpeople understand the objectives of the loans and have means to repay the loans.
  6. 6. [STARTING AND MANAGING NGOThe means to pay the loans include the fact that such people have incomegenerating projects and the knowledge of how to run such projects.Administration of the lending is very important, there should be training for theborrowers before they get loans, and analysis is done on to know credit worthinessof the borrowers.Not forgetting that fraud, corruption and favouritism can take place during lendingprocess which in the long run will kill the project. 4. Continuous efficiency and productivityEfficiency and productivity depend on the management style and introduction of theproject. But continuous improvement and strategic thinking will help to ensureefficiency and productivity in the organization.Strategic thinking is necessary to solve unexpected challenges and problems whileprojecting the better future of the project. 5. Accounting:Common mistakes when working in NGO is that people don’t take accountingseriously. Accounting is assumed to merely for donor’s purposes. However,accounting if taken seriously will help the organization in improving its accountability.It will help to know where the resources are moving, and help the organizationimproves its operations for instance management reports may help the managementcome up with alternative ways to reduce costs of operation. 6. Marketing and Public relations managementEven NGOs, need to establish for themselves, good marketing and public relationsmanagement. Read more on marketing and public relations for NGO on page 27. 7. Operations managementThe areas that will need to be observed carefully on operations management includethe following: Membership enrolment and their activities within the organization,human resources affairs, Projects planning, implementation and controlling, recordsmanagement, information and financial matters.
  7. 7. [STARTING AND MANAGING NGO THE CHARACTERISTICS OF A SUCCESSFUL NGO OWNER/MANAGERThe people who are in charge of keeping NGO alive and functional need to have thefollowing characteristics: 1. CommitmentCommitted to see that the objectives of the NGO are met, by ensuring that they areavailable for NGO’s activities without unreasonable excuses. These people arecommitted enough to make the interest of the NGO and those that the NGO targetsfirst before their personal interests. 2. Entrepreneurial skillsInnovative, creative and ready to take risks type a guy is appropriate for making aperson a successful NGO manager.Entrepreneurial skills are necessary as most NGOs can no longer rely ondonors/sponsors.NGOs need to establish their own enterprises /investments to generate income tocover costs of their management operations and core projects expenses. 3. Management SkillsManagement skills required to run NGO include financial management skills, humanresources management skills, project management skills, strategic managementskills, marketing and procurement management skills.NGO manager is not necessarily the one with specialized knowledge in all of theseareas of management, but should be familiar with relevant management functions 4. Financial capacityThe primary aim of the NGOs is not to make profit, and in most cases it takes time togenerate income from external sources, therefore the founders/managers of the
  8. 8. [STARTING AND MANAGING NGONGO need to be financially well prepared to finance management costs and coreprojects before the NGO start to receive money from other sources. 5. VisionThe founders /managers should set long term rewarding goals for the NGO. Theyare supposed to create a picture of the organization in the near and far future, tomotivate themselves and those around them. 6. Knowledge of the subject matterIt is not a must that the manager/founders be people of a specialized field in whichthe NGO is dealing with – say it is not a must that the NGO that deals with HIV/AIDSbe formed and managed by doctors, but it is necessary that the managers/foundershave adequate knowledge of the challenge their NGO is trying to face and solve. Forexample, it is not wise to run a project that aims to provide HIV counselling serviceswhile you are not familiar with neither HIV nor counselling field.Experts may be sought, and research conducted by the managers to familiarizethemselves with the subject matter so that they can perform their duties well. 7. PassionTo establish and manage NGO takes time and need commitment. Success orachievement of objectives of the NGO may take a long time. To go through all thehardship of managing the NGO and serving the targeted audience, require peoplewith passion of doing what they have to do in the established NGO.
  9. 9. [STARTING AND MANAGING NGO THE FIRST STEPS IN ESTABLISHING NGO 1. Select target groupNormally NGOs are started to provide relief of life for a certain group of people, be itorphans, unemployed youth, people living with HIV, widows etc. Therefore the firststep in starting NGO is to think of a group your NGO will specifically direct its majorefforts.In selecting the group, you also have to decide geographical location of the groupbecause in many cases laws governing registration of NGOs require founders tostate in what geographical level the NGO will operate eg district, regional or nationallevel. 2. Defining the problemAfter choosing a target group, say orphans, you need to define exactly what specificchallenge the target is facing that your NGO wants to solve. This is important so thatyou can create an efficient NGO that really delivers value to its target group.In our example, the orphans have many challenges; therefore you need to specifywhat challenge you want to overcome.Example of challenges they face are daily food, shelter, school fees, school itemslike uniform and textbooks, they also have challenge of not getting the care thatother children with parents get. 3. Background to the problem:You need to understand the origin of the problem or challenges that your targetgroup face, examine previous efforts done by other organisations or individuals tocurb the challenges.It is also helpful to get an insight into challenges faced by individuals or other NGOsthat made efforts to address the same challenge that you want to address.Analysing the problem or challenge this way, will help your new NGO to fill the gapthat exist in addressing the challenge, learning from the past mistake, and be
  10. 10. [STARTING AND MANAGING NGOprepared for the challenges that are encountered when addressing problem orchallenges of that particular type.The analysis will make it possible for your new NGO to design solutions or projectsthat are more efficient. 4. Formulate proposed solutionsAfter careful and comprehensive background study of challenge or problems facedby the target group, you need to carefully formulate solutions to such challenges orproblems.NGOs implement solutions of challenges faced by their targeted groups throughdesigning and implementing projects or programmes.For example, for challenges faced by orphans such as uniform and school materialssuch textbooks and stationeries, your NGO will create a project title BACK TOSCHOOL with activities such as fundraising to obtain money to buy the books anduniforms, or even asking stationery stores to offer books for the orphans.You need to think of solutions for your target group before you start your NGObecause formulating the solutions give you an idea of what type of NGO in terms ofmanagement structure, sources of funds and activities.This is therefore going to be considered when formulating bylaws or constitution ofyour NGO. For example in your NGO’s constitution you will need to outlinemanagement structure, types of meetings, sources of finance, and rules related tomembership. All these rules should be in line with the works or plans that your NGOhas to accomplish. 5. JustificationHow do you justify the existence of your NGO and its plans?You can understand justification of your .NGO’s activities by considering the existinglaws, regulations and policies in the country. Consider also various independentreports about the problem/challenge you want to solve. Are the solutions and yourNGO’s activities in line with such laws, regulations, policies and independentreports?
  11. 11. [STARTING AND MANAGING NGOYou can also consider your own mission in life, future plans of other members of theNGO if they are ready to discuss.Assess if these individuals missions and plans are in line with the activities that thenew NGO you want to form.You need to assess such missions and plans because your new NGO needscommitment of the founders, so that it can grow and be a sustainable one. 6. Define scope of your NGOBy scope of your NGO, it means the level of work that your NGO is going to beengaged with.Let’s consider again the case of NGO that wants to solve challenges faced byorphans. The following questions will help to identify the scope of the NGO: Are we going to establish foundation that will collect money, and let individuals submit requests for school fees? Are we going to work with already established foundations to distribute funds to orphans that we have identified? 7. Formulate bylaws (constitution) to govern the NGOA broad look at what bylaws/constitution mean to NGO: Constitution is a collection of rules that define procedures, powers and limitations of staff, members and management. The constitution defines vision, mission and scope of the organization. Constitution is a very important document, and needs to be well prepared, well understood, and approved by members. Constitution is also a document that communicates what your NGO is to the public. It is important to note that your NGO’s constitution/bylaws are not secret document, but rather public documents. Members of your NGO, donors, partner organizations, government and any individual from the public may require reading your NGO’s bylaws/constitution.
  12. 12. [STARTING AND MANAGING NGOSo, don’t fall into a trap of just copying and pasting other people’s constitution. Youcan however use other organization’s constitution as template.You should also note the first constitution your organization created for registrationpurpose is not necessarily the final one.In its life, your organization can have as many changes as necessary.Important contents to consider in your constitution Name and Abbreviation of the organization: This part is important as it shows consent of the members on what name and abbreviation should be used. The name and official abbreviation are going to be used by registrar of the organizations, to register your NGO, and they are also used in other registrations with authorities and in opening bank account. Some organizations may opt to include their official logo in the constitution. Head Office Location: Normally you would be required to mention region, city, and country where the head office of your organization would be situated. If you already have already located an office premise, you can write full physical address of that office. Vision and Mission: Again these too are very important as they tell registrar what your NGO is about and what is dreamed to become. It is very important to mention these as they help the registrar to justify his or her decision to register your NGO. It is also important to consider vision and mission in your constitution because Vision – the dream of what the NGO will accomplish and Mission – what the NGO is going to do, are key reasons why the members join together to form that particular organization. If these two key reasons are not understood and not consented by all members then to run the NGO will be very difficult. Objectives: Just like vision and mission, objectives – which mean specific targets that your organization seek to achieve, should be very well understood and agreed by all members. These objectives are the ones that set type of activities your organization is going to engage itself with. Some legislation like Children’s Homes Act in Tanzania requires that any NGO which wants to
  13. 13. [STARTING AND MANAGING NGO operate a children’s home should mention this fact expressly in its objectives. For this fact, it is important to consider your short and long term objectives and express them in writing in the constitution so that to conform with certain legislation. Scope of the organization clause: This is the part where you state geographical boundaries of your organization operations; it can be district, regional or national level. Activities clause: In this clause, you list down specific and general activities that your organization will be doing in order to reach its mission and realize its dream. For example to conduct research, to conduct seminars and workshops, to do fundraising, to advice, etc. Management structure clause: This is a very important clause that will have its sub clauses. The purpose is to explain duties of managing the activities and resources of the organization so that vision and mission can be achieved. In this part, powers and limitations of power in the organization are clearly stated. The choice of management structure depends on many things including type of activities, scope of the organization, skills of the people to hold such positions, finance capacity and strategic plans of the organization. It is also important to take note of legal and donors requirements when prescribing the management structure. For example some donors would prefer to deal with an organization, whose management is independent of found members, and there is clear of limits of power and in some cases there is a board of directors.Some legislation like Children Homes’ act in Tanzania requires organizations to havespecific persons with skills in social welfare, therefore when designing amanagement structure, a social welfare officer or another title should be taken intoconsideration if the organization is aiming at operating a children’s home. Membership clauses: These clauses are important as they set rules, powers and limits of powers of the members. Typical clauses mention such information as qualifications of a person to be registered as a member, rights and duties of members, termination of membership, types of membership,
  14. 14. [STARTING AND MANAGING NGOmembership fees and mode of payment of membership fee, disqualification ofa member.Meetings clauses: It should mention in the constitution, types of meetings –members and management meetings. Important rules regarding the meetingssuch as who will chair the meetings, quorum for meetings, voting, how manytimes in a year will the meetings be called up, and notice for meetings.Sources of finance clause: This clause mentions different sources fromwhich your NGO is expected to generate its financial resources. It is safe tomention as many sources as possible, but also limit if it is found necessary.Such sources could be members’ contribution, loans, grants, profit from profitgenerating projects, gifts etc.Finance control clauses: This clause is about rules and procedures to befollowed to ensure that organization’s resources are used properly. Yourorganization can set general rules such as who can be a signatory of chequesand financial reporting arrangements. More specific day to day financialcontrols can be set later, by management through financial policies. You mayfind it helpful to mention in the constitution that financial policies and otherpolicies will be formulated.Interpretation and changes of the constitution clauses: These clausesoutline who has the power to clarify clauses of the constitution when there is aproblem of interpretation, plus how changes to the constitution should becarried.Dissolution clauses: You need to agree on what will happen if your NGOgoes to an end. The rules that set procedures to be followed in dissolving theorganization are set in these clauses. Typical information in these clausesinclude circumstances under which the NGO will be dissolved, quorum formeeting to dissolve the NGO, payment of liabilities of the organization anddistribution of its resources of the organization. Normally the residual of theresources of the NGO after paying all liabilities will not be distributed tomembers; instead it is given to government or other organizations.
  15. 15. [STARTING AND MANAGING NGO 8. Registering the NGOWhen it is time to register your NGO, you should understand type of documentsrequired by registrar of NGOs. For example in Tanzania (Consider NGO Act 2002,sect12), the following documents must be available: Curriculum vitae of office bearer(s )for the proposed NGO this means even one person can apply for registration , provided that it is mentioned that the NGO has more than one founder member-names and signatures of such founder members to be shown in the constitution. Two (2) Passport photos of office bearers Constitution of the proposed NGO Minutes of meeting of members to resolve the establishment of the proposed NGO NGO registration forms duly filled Proof that payment for registration fees has been made- receipt for the amount paid. Information about address and physical address of the head office.After the registrar of NGOs is satisfied with the proposed with your documents, theNGO will be registered and you will obtain certificate of registration.When you submitted documents for registration, you must have left certified copiesof constitution for yourself, because the registrar will not return copy of constitutionthat you submitted on registration. (Copies of your NGO’s constitution should becertified by an attorney)It is therefore wise to keep at least two copies of constitution with your organization.Together with the certificate of registration they form basis of legal existence of yournew NGO.
  16. 16. [STARTING AND MANAGING NGO COMPLIANCE IN NGOsOVER 350 NGOS MAY LOSE INTERNATIONAL AID: MUMBAI: The functioning of 352 non-governmentorganisations (NGOs) based in Maharashtra have been hit after the Union ministry of home affairs cancelled acrucial registration needed for overseas funding. Around 100 of these NGOs are based in Mumbai.The ministry last month cancelled the registration of over 4,000 organisations over violations in the ForeignContribution (Regulation) Act (FCRA). As the registration is mandatory for getting overseas funds, its cancellationwould mean that the NGOs will not be able to receive funds from abroad for the next three years………From The Times of India (online) September 4, 2012. Available at: are typically required to: 1. Conduct meetings – at least one general meeting for every year. 2. File annual reports – these reports include audited financial reports and reports of activities conducted by the organization for a specific reporting period. In Tanzania, NGOs are also required to pay annual fees to the registrar of NGOs. 3. Registering with tax authorities and Filing tax returns – NGOs are required when they qualify for employees’ tax collection, to collect taxes such as SKILLS AND DEVELOPMENT LEVY (SDL) and Pay As You Earn (PAYEE) from the employees, and submit to tax authorities. For this reason the NGOs are also required to submit monthly and annual tax returns for respective taxes. 4. NGOs if the happen to engage themselves in a profit making project, they should also remember that profit making projects (business) are in many cases subjected to paying income tax. 5. Licences – In some cases NGOs are required to obtain licence to allow them conduct certain activities. A good example is in Tanzania, where NGOs that want to run a Children’s Home for orphans /vulnerable children must obtain licence to do so from Ministry of Health and Social Welfare. The NGOs also need to obtain business licences and permits to conduct specific profit making projects.
  17. 17. [STARTING AND MANAGING NGO6. Compliance from various memberships – If your NGO is a member to a certain association then you should remember to adhere to what members have to qualify to.7. Compliance concerns from partners and donors – Donors and partners may also require your NGO to fulfil certain requirements to ensue transparency, accountability, commitment and professionalism. They may require period reports, audits, or more critical bylaws.8. Other legal Compliance concerns – apart from the NGOs being required to comply to the acts under which they are registered, they are also required to comply to other laws such laws governing employment and workplace relations, laws governing environment protection, laws governing business and contracts, laws governing land management, intellectual properties, mass communication, laws governing international trade, laws governing health and security issues at work places etc. You can see the example from India, in the beginning of this chapter where legal compliance failure may result into NGO to lose funds.
  18. 18. [STARTING AND MANAGING NGO HOW TO MAKE BENEFICIARIES OF YOUR NGO HAPPY 1. Understand the beneficiaries well and their challengesIf your NGO is targeting a certain group of people in a society as beneficiaries, itshould attempt to understand such beneficiaries very well so that you can come upwith projects that can really solve or reduce challenges faced by those beneficiaries.Areas to put emphasis on during studying the beneficiaries are: The group’s culture. The past and current success and failure stories of the group Specific and related challenge faced by the group. For example, if your NGO is going to focus on HIV/AIDS, you need to get deep into the HIV/AIDS problem of the society, but also learn the other associated challenges such as unemployment and education though your NGO may not be involved in these, but you know they may affect your efforts with the HIV/AIDS. 2. Effective communicationMake sure your organization opens as many channels of communication as possiblesuch as formal meetings, telephone calls, emails, text messages, suggestion box,visits to the communities houses, and public announcements using available massmedia.Never underestimate the power of feedback from your target group. 3. Be innovativeTreat your target group as customers just like businesses treat their customers.Learn what they really want, and find better ways to satisfy them.You know that you can always improve your services.Create an environment whereby your staff can come up with new ways of solvingchallenges.
  19. 19. [STARTING AND MANAGING NGOSome members of your target group can also help to suggest ways to improve howyour NGO performs. For example you may suggest changes in service deliveryschedules, or quantities of items your NGO supplies to them because the targetedthemselves know better about the problem than you do.Innovation can be implemented by learning from other organizations around theworld, read success stories and techniques from organizations such as NGOManager ( and Funds for NGOs ( 4. Maintain strong management systemTo be able to serve well your target group, your NGO needs to have competent andadequate number of people to do the job.The aim of this book is to help outline some of possible best management practicesthat your NGO may follow to ensure that it maintains strong management system.
  20. 20. [STARTING AND MANAGING NGO SOURCES OF FINANCEMain challenge in operating NGO is how to obtain finances to run and make theNGO grow.Founders of NGO should clearly analyse possibilities of raising finances even beforethe start their NGOs.They should understand that there are internal sources of finance and externalsources of finance.You must rely mostly on internal sources of finance rather than external sources. 1. Internal sources of finance for NGOs: i. Membership fees; Your NGO should structure membership fees in such a way that it generates enough amount. It should be a practise that membership fees are not just fees, but should be amount of money that can help to further certain objectives of your organization. The amount and timing of payment should consider desirable cash flow position of your NGO. ii. Members’ contribution; Apart from fees, members may be asked to contribute money or other resources like furniture and volunteer services to the organization. iii. Members’ fines; as a way of encouraging discipline in the organization, members may be fined when they act against rules and regulations of the organization. Typical cases where a member could be fined is when without prior notice he or she fails to pay membership fee in time, fails to attend meeting or arrives late during meeting .iv. NGO’s profit making projects: Being a not for profit organization doesn’t limit your organization from conducting profit making projects. Your organization can establish profit making projects as a way to generate income to run its main activities.
  21. 21. [STARTING AND MANAGING NGO Important thing to note here is that the profit from such projects should not be distributed to members of the NGO inform of dividends. Instead the profits your NGO obtains will be used in furthering the objectives of the NGO. Note here that if your NGO decides to establish profit making projects (business) it should follow all procedures of establishing businesses in your country. The procedures that your NGO should follow if it wants to do investment in business include but not limited to acquiring business licence, registering for Tax identification number and filing tax returns.v. NGO’s fundraising initiatives: From time to time, your NGO can conduct fundraising activities to raise income. Fundraising initiatives should specify:- Purpose of the income generating eg to buy text books for new academic year for orphans Targeted audience: Private companies and government agencies or people from certain geographical location. Type of fundraising events: For example a night meal, public walk, trade shows, etc Location of the fundraising events: Where will the fundraising events take place – public halls, NGO’s office etc. 2. External sources of finance for NGOsi. Donations and gifts: Your NGO can obtain gifts and donations from ‘friends’ of your organization or friends of individual members of the organization. A good example would be you personally can have a friend who is wealthy and could provide some resources for your NGO. There are also opportunities to obtain donations and gifts from companies and government departments.
  22. 22. [STARTING AND MANAGING NGO ii. Grants:Unfortunately, grants seem to be the main source of finance for many NGOs.However there is no guarantee that your NGO will be awarded the grants it isapplying for.A number of criteria must be fulfilled by your NGO to deserve award of such grants.The following is a list of common criteria by grants providers: A complete filled application form Recent audited financial reports Project proposal write up Recent bank statement for your NGO Qualified and competent key staff and management personnel- hence Resumes of your NGO’s staff may be required Project must be authorized (endorsed) by Government and other key project stakeholders’ Your NGO’s personal financial commitment in the proposed project – hence your NGO should specify how much it will contribute to the project, and how much it requests from grant provider.
  23. 23. [STARTING AND MANAGING NGO FINANCIAL MANAGEMENT1. Why Bookkeeping and Financial Reporting a must in NGOs There is a need to have knowledge of flows of resources of your NGO NGOs are also required by laws to prepare financial reports. Bookkeeping and financial reporting is also needed to comply with donors’ conditions for grants.2. The components of a Bookkeeping system Proper bookkeeping system should be designed and implemented to ensure that: Information about flows of resources for individual projects separately and correctly captured and accounted for. Information about all administration costs such as cost for meetings, office stationeries, electricity, rent, marketing costs, and transportation Information about all flows for investments Information about all funds received, each type of funds well analysed, for example members’ contribution, members fees, gifts, donations, grants, loans, profit as income from profit making projects etc.3. Your NGO’s financial reporting should ensure that: All financial records captured are correct, and have supporting evidence. Appropriate accounting standards and guidelines have been followed in the recording and summarizing the financial records, and in the preparation of financial statements. All financial statements are timely prepared, audited and they are available to stakeholders. The available financial records are not only prepared because of external stakeholders’ pressure such as to fulfil a donor’s conditions, but the financial records are also used as management tool to know how the NGO is performing , to make appropriate decisions so that your NGO can move forward. It is a good practice to have your NGO’s financial/accounting policies plus procedure manuals.
  24. 24. [STARTING AND MANAGING NGO PROJECT MANAGEMENTA project is group of activities which are directed to achieving a common goal. Thismeans that a project has its beginning and end – the end being the achievement ofthe goal or cancellation of the project.Therefore to manage a project we have to: Identify all activities and all resources needed for a particular project Arrange, implement and coordinate the activities and resources as identified above Consider how to obtain resources for project and how to ensure such resources are used properly Monitor the implementation of the project Evaluate the progress and achievements of the project Take appropriate measures for outcomes of the project Projects planning, monitoring and controllingThe areas that your NGO should pay more attention in managing its project include:- 1. Project Planning:The final result of your NGO’s project planning is the project proposal.The proposal therefore should well be prepared by identifying the purpose of theproject, activities in the project, how the activities and resources will be implementedand managed.A well designed management structure for specific project should be identified tomake sure that human resources are well managed for each project.Project financier /sponsor should be well identified, how much resources is expectedfrom this sponsor, how much will be contributed from the NGO.Record keeping for project, risks involved in the project and how to overcomechallenges of the project should be well considered during the project planningphase.
  25. 25. [STARTING AND MANAGING NGO 2. Project ImplementationIt makes no sense to have a project proposal which is not implemented; thereforethere is a need to have a careful approach of implementing activities according toproject proposal, and the use of resources accordingly.If there is any need to change project scope and use of resources, then this needshould be communicated appropriately.Your NGO should oversee the implementation schedule according to the action;ensure the budgeted resources allocation is followed, with appropriate authorization. 3. Project ControlProject control involves three groups of activities; Project monitoring: This involves all approaches to ensure that what has been planned is being implemented. Therefore during project monitoring the following activities may be performed; a) Taking record of all relevant information about the progress of the project such as bookkeeping, b) Conducting of meetings and taking minutes of such meetings, c) Managing time sheets, d) Implement feedback and complaints system. Project evaluation: In project evaluation, you compare the plan of the project and the actual results of the project. Project evaluation is not just about comparing the actual with what was planned. It goes further into analysing the differences between the project plan and actual project results. Looking into reasons for such differences regardless of whether the differences are favourable or unfavourable. Taking appropriate action: Knowing the favourable and unfavourable differences between what was planned and what actual results of the project alone without taking appropriate measures doesn’t help much. For example if the variance shows that the budget was followed properly and that the
  26. 26. [STARTING AND MANAGING NGOorganization has saved money, then people responsible should be positivelyrewarded to motivate them and let others have a challenge to do the same inthe future projects.When the variance is unfavourable, corrective actions should be takenaccordingly. For example when funds have been misappropriated, thereasons for such misappropriations and who is responsible should beunderstood and appropriate disciplinary action must be taken.
  27. 27. [STARTING AND MANAGING NGO MARKETING YOUR NGO 1. Understand what marketing is:Marketing can simply be explained as a mix of activities that are intended to make aproduct reach, satisfy and make a target audience continue to look for that product.For this reasons a product has To be carefully produced taking into consideration the needs of target audience, Be priced well enough to attract and make it possible for the targeted audience to purchase the product, To make the targeted audience know about the product and give them reasons as to why they should buy the product – for example by explaining the benefits and features of the product etc. 2. What is your NGO’s product?You should know that your NGO needs marketing too because it has ‘product’ that itintends to ‘sell’ to certain target audience. The product in your case may be a project proposal Invitation to a fundraising project, Goods and services from investment that your NGO has such as selling clothes etc. 3. Why marketing your NGOIf you wonder why marketing is important to your NGO study the following points: a) To create awareness: Your marketing activities will create popularity of your organization, will raise image of your organization. People or other organizations would like to do business with a well-known organization.
  28. 28. [STARTING AND MANAGING NGO b) To reach out target audience: You can reach large audience with a well design marketing plan. Have appropriate marketing tools and strategies. Your target audience could be the people your NGO is mainly serving like orphans, youth, widows, our just strategic business partners and donors. c) Compliance: Marketing and public relations can help your organization in complying with common requirements of transparency and responsibility. For example, having a website that you use to publish periodic financial reports is a good way to show transparency. d) Strategic Advantage: Your organization can make itself a more favoured NGO compared to other NGOs through its well-designed, well implemented, well controlled marketing plan for example the plan may be used to make your NGO more popular, more engaging with the public. This way your NGO shows that it is better than other NGOs. 4. Ways of Marketing your NGO a) Create a brand for your NGO:In marketing, brand refers to unique mark associated with a product and anorganization.Brand includes name, letters, groups of words or specially designed trade mark.The concept of brand applies to your NGO by: Creating a unique name or abbreviation for your NGO A wonderful distinguishable logo and use of unique colors for to identify your NGO.Brand serves a purpose of distinguishing your NGO from other NGOs and makes iteasy for the public to recognize your NGO. b) Publicity: In marketing, publicity refers to an organization’s undertaking to carefully plan and prepare information that will be used as news by the mass media such as TV, newspapers, blogs, radio,etc.
  29. 29. [STARTING AND MANAGING NGO Mass media will cover the planned ‘news’ for free. For example when an organization conducts press conference to explain its new services to the public.Typical publicity for your NGO could be: An article in newspapers, blogs and magazines about issues and solutions related to the target audience your NGO is serving. Your NGO can also submit articles describing its success stories that may attract and inspire public –this way the mass media will love to publish for free. Your NGO’s leaders or key persons can appear on TV shows or events where they can be providing expert contribution or experience on important issues to the public. When your NGO has to undertake a project, find a way to notify press, arrange a good story about your project so that the press find it as news worthy story for them to report. c) Business cards: never under estimate the power of business cards as marketing tool. Business cards when well-prepared they save as a mark of professionalism that your NGO has. Make sure that the business cards contain all important contact information about your NGO –email address, phone numbers, website. Plus what the NGO is all about. The business cards can also contain mission of your NGO. d) Website/Blog Website or blog for your NGO is a gateway of information about your NGO’s activities, successes and the challenge that your NGO is working to overcome. Useful information to include on your NGO’s website: Strategic Direction of your NGO – Vision, Mission and Values Management structure and profiles of key people staff in your organization Your NGOs projects, success stories Information about your target group
  30. 30. [STARTING AND MANAGING NGO• Mention your NGO’s partners and donors (Only if they agree that you mention them)• Mentioning of your NGO’s presence on social networks –tell viewers to follow your NGO on Facebook, Google plus, Twitter etc.• Expressly show that your NGO needs sponsors, partners, volunteers, or donors.e) Introducing your NGO to different stakeholders: You can write business letters to different organizations and individuals who have some influence in the public or to your NGO. For example you write short but comprehensive letter explaining your NGO’s mission, target audience, project and success stories if any and direct such letters to appropriate government agencies, local governments, associations of NGOs, professional associations, and other NGOs. This way you make those who receive your letters aware of presence of your NGO. Remember nice letter head design with all important contact information and website is essential. You can attach your NGO’s profile to give the readers more insight of your NGO.f) Strategic Partnership: Your NGO can create partnership with other NGOs and business organizations. The partnership can be for doing certain activities that are of mutual benefit to both your NGO and the partner of your NGO. This way, you send out message that your NGO is reliable plus you create awareness to the public.g) Membership with various associations : There are different associations that your NGO can join to create awareness to the public and get ‘friends’ who may later be helpful. Your NGO can also use such associations to promote its products from projects such as selling of clothes etc.
  31. 31. [STARTING AND MANAGING NGOh) Advertisements: Different forms of advertisements can be used by your organization depending on financial capacity, management capability and other factors. You can use radio, TV, billboards, social network adverts, Google, Yahoo adverts, local newspapers etc. Your NGO may also consider use of flyers and leaflets to send message about its business projects and simply create awareness about its existence to the public.i) Presence on Social networks such: Opening a Facebook fan page, Twitter account or Google Plus account for your NGO is a good a way to increase awareness of the public about your NGO. It is also a good way to share information about the challenges your NGO want to overcome for the respective target group, this way more support can be obtained from the public. This guide from is helpful:
  32. 32. [STARTING AND MANAGING NGOj) NGO’s profile: This document is like a resume of a human being. It is a document that is intended to give more details about strength and opportunities available to your NGO. The contents of your NGO’s profile may be; Strategic Direction statements such as vision, mission and values NGO’s activities and projects, Management Structure and profiles of key personal, Legal status of your NGO such as information about registrations as required by various legislations, Information about financial matters – summary of recent incomes and expenditures, financial position, information about any partnership that your NGO has etc. All contact information.k) Newsletter Your NGO can publish period newsletter to contain information about its activities and upcoming events. The aim of the newsletter is to keep stakeholders up to date about the progress and events that concern the NGO.l) Location and physical environment: Your NGO’s office should be at a location where it can easily be reached, where infrastructure allows smooth running of day to activities – for example electricity and internet is reliable. Your office layout and arrangement should look professional, taking into account factors such as cleanness, decorations, equipment and necessary furniture.m) Redefine your NGO’s ‘Product’: You can periodically define the product your NGO is going to provide. Your NGO’s product is the services that you want to offer to your target group. Consider how you will measure quality of search services, consider feedback and challenges from the target group and make improvements. This way your organization will shine in front of the people you serve, hence the image will be enhanced.
  33. 33. [STARTING AND MANAGING NGOn) Events Your: NGOs can create different kinds of events that their staff and members can participate. Members of the NGO and the community may be involved. Example of events includes cleaning streets in a town where your NGO is situated. The events when they are well managed can help to improve the image of your organization.o) Manage communication professionally: The way your NGO manages communication has an impact on its image and success. It is good practice to understand different needs, culture and level of understanding of your NGO’s stakeholders when communicating with them. Understanding and adhering to set standards of communication and business ethics are vital to success. Your communication should be clear, complete, correct, understandable, and concise.
  34. 34. [STARTING AND MANAGING NGO MANAGEMENT OF EQUIPMENT 1. What equipment to buy:Price, uses of equipment, quality of the product, after sell service from the supplier,availability of spare parts and experts for repair and maintenance are some of thefactors you should consider before you purchase equipment. 2. How to use the equipment:In order to manage your NGO’s equipment make sure that people who use suchequipment have appropriate skills on how to use.Make sure that there is control of who is using what equipment and when, where andwith home equipment is located. 3. How to maintain the equipment:In order to make sure that equipment for your NGO stays for a long you need tomake sure that there are periodic services and check-ups plus handling theequipment with care every time. 4. How to dispose the equipment sellProper management of equipment involves consideration that a time will come whenyour NGO will need to dispose its equipment.Reasons for disposing the equipment include the fact that the equipment are out-dated, or because of the structural changes within your NGO which make theequipment to longer be needed.Your equipment therefore needs to be maintained well for any possible sell to thepublic, or replacement with other equipment.This involves good accounting practices to understand the carrying value of yourNGO’s equipment.In this case, your NGO’s accountant has to maintain a fixed assets register.
  35. 35. [STARTING AND MANAGING NGO MANAGING YOUR NGO CULTURE 1. What is culture?Culture refers to totality way of doing things and relationship within your NGO.It covers values that your people as organization what to live by.If not well managed your NGO’s culture may be poor and hence become obstacle tothe success of your NGO. 2. How your NGO’s culture is displayed? To understand this answer the following questions: How plans and decisions made in your NGO are: How long it takes, who participates, what is the feeling after decisions have been made. How implementations of plans and decisions are take place: Do you have cooperation, who implement the plans and decision, which monitors implementation. How results of your NGO measured: What is in place to know the level of achievement of your NGO’s plans and strategy, how are the results communicated to stakeholders. How is communication managed: Do you have systematic ways of managing communication in your NGO; How feedback is obtained? How are plans and strategies communicated? How are complaints acknowledged, how are orders given? How are disciplinary hearing carried? How requests and permission given out? What level of respect is there between individuals within your NGO? How is quality and value defined and managed: Is quality and value of your NGO’s activities managed seriously? How do you measure that there is quality? What actions are taken for if results don’t show quality and what happens if results are of quality intended or exceed expectations?
  36. 36. [STARTING AND MANAGING NGO How power and responsibilities are shared in your NGO: Do the staff and founders feel that they are a team or just a group of people? Remember teams have a common goal; team members understand they need each other and they recognize and respect each other’s roles.3. Effective ways of building appropriate culture:- Define and communicate vision and mission: Vision and mission should be defined and be understood by all members, staff and management so that unity and common direction is nurtured in the organization. While vision states what the dream is/what the organization wants to see, or become, mission on the other hand is states exactly what the organization is doing, the organization is all about. Define and communicate values of your NGO: Values are what your organization wants to live by, it is that behaviour or way of life that you think will make it possible to achieve vision, mission and objectives of your NGO. For example your NGOs values can be; professionalism, innovation, commitment, transparency, accountability. It is not enough to just mention that your NGO’s value is for instance innovation; you should go further into explaining how your NGO is prepared to live by with such value. Set and communicate management structure: Management structure is an outline of duties, responsibilities and distribution of power in the organization. An organization structure tells it clearly who does what and reports to whom. A well prepared management structure will help to clear misunderstanding as to who has to do what, it is helpful in understanding a person responsible for a particular outcome in your NGO. When management structure is well prepared and implemented it helps your organization to conduct its operations quickly and smoothly because jobs are already analysed, job descriptions are provided, and hopefully competent people will take the positions according to the management structure.
  37. 37. [STARTING AND MANAGING NGOSet and communicate code of conduct: Code of conduct refers to anoutline of what has to be done, and those things that must not be done.It is directed to the behaviour of the people that is why it is called code ofconduct.The aim of having a code of conduct is to create an environment ofresponsible staff in the organization, create good image and an identity tooutsiders.Matters to be considered in your code of conduct include but not limited to;Dressing code, Communication, Authority issues, NGO’s procedures andexception to the rules.Set and communicate policies: Policies can be defined as set of respectedguidelines in your NGO explaining how to perform operations, making choicesand decisions.Normally policies will be set for major management functions such as financialpolicies, human resources policies and marketing policies.Policies aim at giving direction on important matters and areas whereindividual judgement may not be suitable.Policies tend to speak for your organization in such areas where confusionmay happen or individual person’s decision may not be adequate.Set and communicate bylaws/constitution: Clauses of your constitutionshould be well understood by members.Efforts to make members participate in setting up the constitution are vital sothat they can provide cooperation in the implementation of the constitution.Remember constitution is the basis for your NGO’s existence, so don’t justcopy and paste from other organizations.Training and development: Staff and leaders of your NGO should haveappropriate level of training to equip them with competency needed in fulfillingtheir duties and produce value.Continues training, workshops and seminars are useful in order developingyour NGO’s human resources.
  38. 38. [STARTING AND MANAGING NGO RECORDS MANAGEMENT 1. What records should your NGO manage?In order to be able to manage your organization’s records you need first to identifytypes of records you will be dealing with when you establish NGO.Here is an outline of main types of records you should identify and keep properly: Records about projects: In this category you may have information such as project plans, project proposals, and project reports. Records about key stakeholders: In this category you may have information such as, website addresses, physical addresses, types of assistance from other organizations and their conditions. Information about donors, government, business and other NGOs fall in this group. Records about members: Information such as full name, contact information, profiles, contributions, membership fees, and individual’s members’ services and activities in your NGO have to be separately and well kept. Records about staff and volunteers: Information such as job description, date of appointment, remunerations, personal information, individual performance reports and copies of contract are important to manage your human resources. Financial records: It has been explained above on Bookkeeping and Financial reporting types of information your NGO should keep. Refer to page 23. Marketing records: You need to prepare and keep a number of records for your NGO marketing campaigns. Note that once you have used certain materials for marketing, it is wise to keep copy for future references. Records to prepare and keep for your NGO marketing include NGO profile, NGO’s website content, Business cards, Brand information- logo design, feedback from ‘customers’ of your NGO, success stories, photos and videos.
  39. 39. [STARTING AND MANAGING NGO Records about meetings: Meetings are important occasions for your organization. Again separate records for each type of meetings should be well kept. Meetings in your NGO include members meetings, meetings of management team, meetings with donors and meetings with strategic partners. Records related to meetings include minutes of the meetings, notes to the meetings, and follow ups of resolutions /outcomes of the meetings. Literatures/References: These are documents such as books, research papers, articles from sources such as websites, blogs, newspapers, magazines, newsletters and other internal works that can be used as reference reading materials. To be aware of such type of documents, and have a proper way of managing them, will help your NGO to perform efficiently because information is power. Administration records: These are records produced and supplied for internal administration of day to day activities of the organization not mentioned in above categories. Administration information includes memorandums, announcements, policies, controls and correspondences.2. Key things to consider in record management: Correctness of the information, Suitable form of storage – electronic or hard copy, Make sure that the information is clear, Establish access control to monitor who has gets hold of the information for security purposes and for efficient distribution of the records, Ensure there is back up for the information so that one set of records is lost or destroyed, your NGO can still have the information. Have an appropriate way of discarding unwanted records to ensure there is no redundancy of information and that information is not mistakenly destroyed.
  40. 40. [STARTING AND MANAGING NGO MANAGEMENT OF MEETINGSManagement of meetings in NGOs involve the following: 1. Documentation: Outcomes of meetings should be communicated to respective audience for effective implementation of such resolutions. The outcomes of implementation of resolution of the meetings should also be communicated. All information related to meetings should be well documented as suggested in the section about Records Management. 2. Compliance management:There should be clear procedures and guideline on how meetings are managed,stipulating important issues related to meetings such as: Duration for notice ofmeetings, who should attend, quorum, leadership of the meetings, documentation ofthe resolution, and financing of the meetings. 3. Managing meeting sessions:The following are suggested areas to watch in order to make sure meetings are wellmanaged: Time management: There should be properly scheduled time for opening and closing of the meetings. Leadership: Who leads a meeting, who takes notes and who monitors time, Agenda: What has to be discussed in a meeting should be known and well communicated to attendees before the meeting to ensure they prepare themselves so that they can be effective in giving their contribution in the discussions. 4. AccountingIf there are any costs related to meetings, your NGO should account such expensesaccordingly.Expenses related to meetings include communication, transportation, stationery andprinting and renting of a meeting room/hall.
  41. 41. [STARTING AND MANAGING NGO HUMAN RESOURCES MANAGEMENT 1. Sources of human powerFor effective management of human resources, we need to know the sources ofhuman resources for your NGO. Here are few examples:- Volunteers: These are non-paid staff who may opt to work on permanent or part time basis. However, being volunteers do not mean their participation should not be planned, coordinated and controlled. Volunteers may be called to fill up specific job positions in the NGO’s management structure or they can just be called to assist those in the specific positions within your organization. Since getting volunteers is very difficult, your NGO needs to have a strong strategy to motivate qualified people to volunteer. Therefore, volunteers are part of your main target of marketing and public relations strategies to ensure that your organization has strong public image so that it becomes easy to attract competent people to volunteer in your organization. Employed staff: For a small NGO, employing its own staff can be very challenging because of lack of funds. However, in many cases in order to perform efficiently your NGO needs services of competent, full time or part time staff that are paid in order to motivate and establish control and accountability from such staff. Management team: This is a group of people whose role is to guide, monitor and evaluate day to day operations of the organization. The management team has to be composed of people who are truly skilled in the matters of project administration, office administration, finance administration and human resources. The members of the management team should also identify compliance and risk management issues that they have to take care about.
  42. 42. [STARTING AND MANAGING NGO Supreme decision making body: This is a group of individuals whose job is to provide direction and advice on short, medium and more importantly long term position of your NGO. Some organizations would use board of directors, advisory body while other NGOs would use the term board of trustees to express their supreme decision making body. The members of this group may not have direct involvement in the day to day operations, but their decisions and advice on matters such as policies and strategic plans are vital for the survival of your NGO. Members: You shouldn’t under estimate members of your NGO as source of man power for your NGO’s activities. Members can be volunteers or they may become full time employees.2. What to manage when it comes to human resources? Compliance issues: You must be aware of what must be done right when it comes to man power for your NGO such as:a) Contracts of employment,b) Contract of service for volunteers,c) Memorandum of understanding for joint ventures,d) payment of government taxes such as PAYE, and SDL,e) Related tax returns to your country’s revenue authority.f) You should also check if you have to register with the labour department/ministry in your country. Performance: The human resource must be guided, monitored and evaluated to ensure maximum results of the activities of your NGO. Job descriptions and chain of command should be clear, expected results must also be clear, and how the people are going to measured should also be communicated. The people should be equipped skill wise and technologically empowered while establishing appropriate level of motivation.
  43. 43. [STARTING AND MANAGING NGOPeople Development: As your NGO grows, you will realize that demand fornew skills and competencies for your existing staff is around the corner, youmust plan to develop your people if you don’t want your NGO to be left out.Typical skills development areas could be technology, new processes,marketing, compliance, and finance.Skills development can be also be a way to prepare some of your staff tosucceed other staff whose time in the NGO is reaching its limit.Developing your staff could also enhance participative management as thestaff will have necessary skills that will give them voice to comment, correct orsuggest valuable input into the operations and success of your NGO.Developing your ‘people’ can also play a great role as a motivating factor anda way to build royalty on the side of your employees.Retaining: Your NGO human resources management should consider theways of making sure that the key and competent people stay in theorganization for as long as possible.Efforts to understand their demands, challenges and concerns must be doneby your management.Your organization should also maintain generally good public image, to makesuch key people proud to continue serving your organization.Acquiring: Your NGO’s management should periodically review its humanpower requirements to see what sorts of people are required so that yourNGO can be prepared in advance to make acquisition of the required people.Comprehensive job analysis should be done, and clear job description andkey qualifications pointed out, before the search of the right candidate begins.The method of recruitment and appointment should be transparent .Theselected candidates should be given all necessary prior work commencementinformation, and be familiarized with important processes and documentationsof your NGO.
  44. 44. [STARTING AND MANAGING NGO MANAGEMENT OF DONORS AND OTHER PARTNERSEffective management of donors involve three important elements which are (i)planning for engagement with them (ii) Searching and closing deal with them (iii)Techniques to obtain finances (iv) Effective management of relationship.The above important elements are explained below: 1. Be prepared/ plan for engagementYour NGO should be aware of what is expected by donors, sponsors and otherpartners.Typically, potential donors, sponsors and other partners prefer to work with NGO: a) Has reputable image; Here quality of service delivery of your NGO and marketing strategies is evaluated. b) Which is transparent and accountable; here financial records and registrations are used to evaluate NGOs. c) Has good track record of managing projects, d) The one that has competent human resource to undertake projects for which it seeks help from outsiders. 2. How to get donors, sponsors and other partners for your NGOYou can search for sponsorship or donations using online and offline methods. Online methods involve visiting government websites, individual donors’ websites, and companies’ websites and look for corporate responsibility pages such as this page for Microsoft- tools/nonprofits/get-inspired/. You can also visit other websites specialized with information about NGO funding such as You can also use Google and other search engines to enquire links for donors and sponsors, social networks and other forms of social media can also be good place for searching your perfect donor/sponsor.
  45. 45. [STARTING AND MANAGING NGO Offline methods of searching for donors include reading flyers, newspapers adverts and physical visits to organizations that are known as potential donors /sponsors. Your NGO’s membership in local and international associations of NGOs can also help to obtain information.3. Techniques to get finances for your NGO Be specific in your request: Say exactly what you need from the donor/sponsor, what you already have and what you would contribute. The problem/challenge you are going to address as well as the beneficiaries should be clearly identified and justified. Explain how the project will be implemented, monitored and evaluated. Think about other things, not money only: Donors or sponsors are not only for cash finance. You may obtain assistance of expertize, equipment, software, places for conference, or guarantee for a loan. Know what a donor/sponsor is ready to offer: It doesn’t help you to go the hustle of applying for funds from a donor /sponsor only to be replied that the donor/sponsor doesn’t fund the type of project you are applying for or the amount you applied is not what the sponsor can offer. Be sure to read eligibility criteria given by the donor/sponsor plus other directions such as the mode of application, content of an application, and deadline for submission of your application. Be organized and convincing: Your NGO needs to put together a strong well organized and convincing application that will make donor/sponsor ‘buy’ your request. To be able to do that, you should forward an application that meets requirement of the particular donor/sponsor, use clear but convincing language, organize your information logically, and make it possible for
  46. 46. [STARTING AND MANAGING NGO someone to see that there is ‘something big’ going to happen through that project you are looking forward to fund. 4. Effective management of relationship with donorsTo effectively manage relationship with donors and sponsors, you should ensure thefollowing are well managed: Procedures: Your NGO should establish procedures of handling many of the transactions in your organization. Such procedures many include not limited to: procedure of managing incomes, procedures of handling payments, procedures related to employment, producers related to distribution of services to targeted beneficiaries, procedures related to your NGO’s members and meetings. Accountability: As an organization, your NGO is expected to provide explanation to a number of its stakeholders. It is important to know how your organization can balance the demands or meet expectations of its stakeholders. a) To the beneficiaries: Your NGO is responsible to make sure that it delivers what it promises, and there is quality in its delivery. Therefore you NGO is answerable to the beneficiaries, meaning that it has to answer to such beneficiaries how it uses its resources to reach out to those beneficiaries. b) To the donors: Your NGO should show that it has met the expectation of donors by being able to use the funds according to the agreement set. The NGO meet the accountability to the donors through quality service delivery and proper financial reporting. Make, understand and follow terms of agreements with donors/sponsors: Another way of making sponsors/donors happy is by making sure you have official agreements or memorandum of understanding. Your NGO should then make effort to understand and follow the terms of such contracts/MOU.
  47. 47. [STARTING AND MANAGING NGO Communicate effectively: Your NGO should maintain effective communication, observing professionalism in all communication with donor and understand any cultural differences that might exist between your NGO and the partners. Keep your NGO’s image high: Donors/sponsors like to be associated with well performing partners. If your NGO performs well and keep its image high, you are likely going to make your relationship with the donors strong.Here is a list of some websites with information about funding for NGOs 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. ngos/ 8. 9. st-of-donor-agencies-for 10. 11.
  48. 48. [STARTING AND MANAGING NGO SUSTAINABILITY CHECKLIST POINTSYou may assess ability of your NGO to create its own sustainability by going throughthe following points.The points listed below will help you know better whether you are doing good or bad,whether you can survive and grow or not: 1. Bylaws:Constitution is the document that should provide a picture of the direction of theorganization, and how the organization is going to reach there.So, check the following: - Do the key people (Members of management team, Founders) in the organization understand the constitution? Is the constitution up to date – does it consider the current needs of the organization? Is the constitution strategic wise, or merely a document purposely formulated as a requirement for registration but nothing more?Suggestion: Have a deep look into the constitution /Memorandum of Incorporationin areas such as Management structure, Organization Objectives, Vision andMission, Financial Management and Winding up of the organization. 2. Financial records: Accounting has been described as the language of business meaning that the accounting information stand as medium of communication about events that are happening in an organization.So, check the following:- Does your organization produce documents to justify internal transactions such as payment of wages, allowances, and contributions from members?
  49. 49. [STARTING AND MANAGING NGO Does your organization obtain and keep documents to justify its transactions with the public, such as purchase of equipment, furniture, stationeries, refreshments, etc.? Do you have a designated person for keeping the financial records? Do you have a system of keeping record? note that even if you have a donor that requires you to prepare certain reports in a certain stated format /style, you should have an appropriate individual organization’s system of recording to ensure that at the end of one financial period, your organization can produce financial reports for the public and authorities that govern conduct of your organization.Suggestion: Proper financial records keeping is essential not only because donorsrequire financial records, but it is for individual organization’s success as the financialreports provide managers and founders with useful information on how theorganization is run, hence they can make better plans for the future.Get qualified personnel to do the financial records keeping and have the financialreports audited. 3. Performance reports: Your organization has probably done a number of projects.So check the following:- Do you have reports of how your organization performed in such projects? Can you account for what happened on such reports? Do you have a system or culture of preparing and keeping reports? Are the results of the projects communicated to key stakeholders of the project? Suggestion: The performance reports are very important tool that your organization can use for different purposes. For example you can review the reports to learn about previous projects, the challenges and how you overcame them so that in the next project you don’t experience the same problems or when they occur you can quickly solve them.
  50. 50. [STARTING AND MANAGING NGOThe performance reports can also be used as source of information when you writeproposal for funding another project.The performance reports are useful tools to motivate employees and managementas they provide a history of where the organization is coming from. Performancereports can also help new staff to learn operations and capacity of the organization. 4. Contacts Management: Organizations are started and run by people, hence contacts are important. How your organization manages its contacts is one of the key strength or weaknesses to analyse.So check the following:- Do you have a proper record of contacts your organization has? Is the record of your contacts complete? How do you use the contacts record?Suggestion: The contacts record can be in a form of spreadsheet where by namesof people, their titles and organizations are listed, or a business card holder.Include in the record the names of employees, members, and the clients (people)that your organization is serving. Remember it is not about keeping the contactsinformation but how you arrange them and use. 5. Marketing Communications and Public Relations: Some people think that marketing and public relations is for business organizations only. However the truth is NGOs that use marketing and public tools have seen great achievements.So, check the following:- What Marketing strategies and techniques does you organization use? Does your organization have a website or blog or Facebook page? If yes, does your organization maximize the existence of the blog, website or Facebook page? You may need to learn more techniques on this. Do you have competent person(s) for marketing and public relations management? Do you have a budget for marketing and public relations?
  51. 51. [STARTING AND MANAGING NGOAdvice: Marketing and Public relations do not only increase your organization’spopularity but also may improve the image of your organization.This way your organization may attract more volunteers, and strategic partnershipsthat may see your organization grow and be sustainable.Your desire to get big donors may be met as your organization’s image is improvedand popularity is increased. 6. Management Structure: Management structure is about who is doing what and reports to whom. But for a successful and sustainable organization, management structure should be viewed more than just description of duties and powers.So, check the following:- Does the current management structure fit the objectives of the organization, the economic and social environment the organization is in, the projects it is undertaking and projects it is about to undertake ? Do the people assigned to the positions according to the management structure know their duties and limitations of their powers? Do the people in the management position have the necessary skills and experience to perform their duties and exercise their powers? Do the people involved in the management of the organization actually have time and other resources to perform designated job descriptions?Suggestion: Your organization should have a system of assessing performance ofits management structure through periodic reports of individuals involved andthrough the annual reports by the board of directors. People should be given positionin the management and board of directors based on their skills and managementcapabilities not otherwise. Your organization should maintain a managementstructure which is as small as possible.
  52. 52. [STARTING AND MANAGING NGO 7. Knowledge Base: Dan Sullivan once said: “Success comes from two things, the thoughts that occupy your mind and the people that you surround yourself with”. This quote reminds us that the knowledge base you create for your organization is very important for your organization because the knowledge/information affects development of your organization, the organization is run, and how it will survive in the long run.Also the knowledge that people surround the organization (here we mean themanagement team, board of directors, staff and employees).So, check the following:- What sources of information your organization and its people have? – Internet access, newspaper, journals and magazines Do you have sound records management system? What skills and qualifications do the people in the board of directors, management and operations have? What training and other means like workshops and seminars does the organization have for its people? How does your organization use service of experts/professionals of a certain field from outside (outsourcing)? Is there any way, the staff and management team can learn from the people who from outside?8. Enterprising culture: An organization to survive, grow and be sustainable needsto have initiative to generate its own income through using opportunities that exist.So, check the following:- Is there spirit of innovation and creativity in the organization? What is the system of reward for creative or innovative attempts in the organization? What is the management style? Democratic, dictatorship centralized or decentralized?
  53. 53. [STARTING AND MANAGING NGO What does the constitution say about Income generating activities of the organization? What is the system of managing incomes and costs within the organization?Suggestion: If your organization does not have its own sources of income, youbetter start developing them now.As the financial and political crisis continue to rise in the world, getting funds fromdonors may continue to be difficult, hence your organization’s reliable source ofincome should be the income you can generate from within the organization. 9. Compliance: Your organization does not operate in Mars, it operates in the world, specifically it is registered and operate somewhere where laws, regulations and codes of conduct exist so as to monitor operations of the NGOs.It is better to follow the compliance requirements because without following them,you may cause your organization to be in trouble with respective authorities, theresult of which may be fines, suspension or total ban of operations of yourorganization.To other stakeholders, the way your organization follows the compliancerequirements may indicate the level of professionalism and accountability within yourorganizationSo, check the following:- Do you have a list of all compliance procedures and documents that your organization needs to follow? Do you have a system of monitoring compliance status of your organization? Do you understand consequences of breaching compliance requirements?Suggestion: Have a thoroughly review of all compliance issues and put strategieson how to tackle the issues.Start with reviewing your organization’s constitution and the law under which yourorganization is registered, check the other laws that govern your operations such as
  54. 54. [STARTING AND MANAGING NGOIncome Tax laws, if it is an orphanage check laws related to orphans and children,consider also different policies of the country in which your NGO operates. 10. Funding opportunities: As a non-profit organization, in many cases your organization will need funds from external sources. The ability of your organization to succeed in obtaining the funds depend on many things including; compliance, credibility as far as your past projects are concerned or strategic relationship management that your organization has created, and your organization should meet specific requirements for funding as stipulated by a donor.So, check the following:- Is your organization good at compliance? Does your organization have good team of strategic thinkers and project proposal writers or you may outsource the services? Is your organization well informed about new funding opportunities? 11. Strategic Thinking: Strategic thinking is about analysing the present, how it affects the future and how you can structure it, in search a way you create desirable future for your organization. It concerns analysing your organization’s capabilities, weaknesses, opportunities and threats. Your NGO needs to formulate plans and strategies to achieve the future that you wish your organization should have. Without planning, it is difficult to know what to control.So, check the following: Does your organization have strategic statements like Vision, Mission, Strategies, and Objectives? Are the strategic statements understood by key people in the organization? Are the strategic statements put into operations or they are merely there as a formality? Is there a system of reviewing the strategic position of the organization?
  55. 55. [STARTING AND MANAGING NGO Who is in charge of formulating and control the strategic plan of your organization?Suggestion: Get qualified people in your organization or outsource service ofexperts to do strategic plan for your organization and make sure the key people andmembers are educated about the strategic plan and they know their roles in thestrategic plan. 12. Client Knowledge: Fundamentally, NGOs exist to provide service to a certain group of people.So, check the following:- Does your organization have any established justification as to why it provides services it provides? How are clients involved in the decision of what is to be provided by the organization? Is there any feedback system that helps the clients say honestly how they feel about the services provided by the organization? Is their client-provider relationship?Advice: Have a database of the people your NGO is serving; conduct needsassessment periodically because needs and wants of people change.Establish and improve customer feedback system, conduct customer care trainingfor the staff of your organization. 13. Conflicts of Interest: NGOs have many stakeholders, main ones being Founders, Management and staff who may have different objectives as compared to what the objectives of the organization are.So, check the following:- Is there a procedure for founders and managers/staff to declare their conflicts of interests? Is there any procedure to identify areas of conflicts of interests?
  56. 56. [STARTING AND MANAGING NGOABOUT THE AUTHORJohn Gabriel Myungire is a freelance business and management consultant. Healso does training for small and medium enterprises and non-profit organizations.He has been performing the following duties for his clients: Business Planning,Strategic Planning, Preparation of Code of Conduct, Marketing Planning, andConsultation on Management structure, Website Layout Design and Content writing.John has also worked for several organizations as management coach.His qualifications? John holds Bachelor degree in Commerce and Management fromthe University of Dar es salaam. He is a blogger, author and social media strategist.John is the founded of two great sites: and www.unowbiz.comFeel Free to contact him at: Skype ID: john.myungireHis Linkedin profile is available at: