One of the biggest criticisms of NGOs and non-profits I have been exposed to throughout my college career has been related to their need for investment. Businesses, organisations, institutions and corporations need money to run. We all know this is the case but the thing that makes it supposedly wrong is the fact that funders often give their money to projects they think are necessary for the community or their portfolio. In other words investors give money to projects that will benefit them. This is a truth and fact that can’t be disputed. But it’s also one that trickles down to the individual level. How many people have or will buy a food, service or product that won’t benefit them or someone they love or agree with?
Many NGOs and nonprofits rely on grants from investors in order to be able to function and keep staff on board. Some of these organisations need more money than others, and once they’ve gained enough trust from funders then they will enter partnerships with their investors, meaning they won’t need to write grants every year because they have signed multi-year contracts with their investors. This give them enough time to focus on a variety of projects without worrying about how they will pay all the people who are part of their team.
It’s currently grant season. Nonprofits and NGOs around the world are working on funding proposals for the next fiscal year. They are taking stock of what they’ve done and thinking of what they would like to do with regards to future projects. If you’re reapplying for funding from past investors this means you have to show what you did with the money they gave you so that they can give you more to support your next or a different endeavour. Before starting my work at CSE I used to be under the impression that writing to appeal to investors was equivalent to selling your soul to the devil because you would have to do what he said. But now I am more fully aware of the parametres of the world we live in. NGOs and nonprofits propose ideas that they are passionate about and have interest in. These ideas may even be tangential to their initial vision but sometimes they come at the problem from a different angle and help solve it.
Funding money isn’t always a fair game. But beggars choose the streets they reside using very good reasoning.