South Africa is now formally in recession – for the 2nd time in a decade. This can only negatively affect the funding of not-for-profit bodies. Companies, individuals and trusts (unless interest rates rise substantially) will have less to give away.

For the over three decades that I have worked in non-profit sector, people have lamented that ‘fundraising is hard’. It will, however get harder now. Also, new organisations spring up constantly. South Africa has way too many non-profits. Donors hate replication. Please! Before diving in and starting yet another new organisation, look for one with which to join forces. Over 160 000 registered organisation (plus tertiary institutions, schools, clubs and faith base bodies) is too many. They cannot all survive.

How can NPOs be resourced and strengthened, not exclusively by fundraising? Generating income is vital too. How can your organisation make or generate money via some form of trading? Innovation is called for now more than ever. The sources of funding (not just donations) must be broadened. At last count, I had a list of 36 (with companies, trusts and embassies, for instance, being just three of these). How many sources do you have resourcing your organisation?

Monitoring and evaluation to demonstrate impact has now become non-negotiable. Most (corporates, trusts, embassies and foreign donors) will no longer give to organisations that cannot tell them (in proposals/application forms) how they will measure change brought about with their money). Impact is not about number gathering!