eWorkshop: Planning for Financial Sustainability
This online course focuses on building a financing strategy so that you can achieve your mission and objectives now and in the future. The course is run over six weeks (2 x 3-week modules), built around a series of themed topics with readings, individual activities, and group activities. The activities must be completed within the specified time frame and you can then move on to the next week when you are ready. The eWorkshop format is great for fitting the training into busy schedules but you will need to be disciplined to keep up with the work. We estimate that the coursework will take you between 5 to 7 hours a week, depending on your pace of learning and your language skills. You also need to make sure that you have access to a computer, a printer and the internet during the course.
Who Should Attend
- Senior managers (eg CEOs, programme directors, finance managers) of national NGOs
- INGO program managers who support local partner NGOs
- INGO country program managers who are responsible for developing a financing strategy for their programs
- May also be suitable for members of local board of trustees (eg Chair and Treasurer).
The training is especially effective if a program manager and a finance manager from same organization attend together.
What You Will Learn
During the eWorkshop, you will discover many useful tools and techniques including:
- The recipe for building a financially secure future for your NGO
- How to assess and manage the everyday financial risks facing NGOs
- How to become less dependent on external donors
- Tips for building a safety net of reserves
- Ideas on how to finance your central support costs
- How to create a financing strategy for the next three years.
Getting to know you and the course
- During the first week, you will get to know the other course participants and the case study NGO.
- You will also learn about and key financial sustainability concepts, and discuss how NGOs finance their work.
Where are we now?
- In this week, you will need your calculators at the ready as we use a variety of tools, such as financial ratios, to assess the financial sustainability status of NGOs.
- You will also discover how to use SWOT and stakeholder analysis tools to assess financial strengths and vulnerabilities.
- You will work in teams to help our case study organization, LiFE, assess where they are now. This is the first important step to building a strategy for financial sustainability.
Financial risk assessment and mitigation
- This week builds on the assessment tools in Week 2 to identify common threats to NGO financial resources and long-term security – and then what actions to take to minimize the risks and impact (ie ‘mitigation’).
- One of the most common risks facing NGOs is donor dependency, and you will get a chance to consider the pros and cons of donor funding.
BREAK FOR ONE WEEK
Where are we going?
- This week, you will look at options for alternative financing, and work in teams to help the case study NGO to work out financial targets for their financing strategy, including the type and mix of income they should aim for.
- In our penultimate week, we cover the key policies that you need to have in place to support your financing strategy. For example, a cost recovery policy to outline how to finance central support (overheads), an ethical fundraising policy, and a reserves policy.
- In the final week, we take a closer look at the financing strategy document itself. We will share the completed financing strategy for the case study NGO so that you can see how it all fits together.
- You will also share key discoveries and plans for your own organization’s financing strategies.