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How can on-purpose organizations become better at securing more resources for their organizational development and building up their resiliency? The 10% budget for administration will never get you there.
1. Change your mindset
This practice has been ingrained in your psyche long enough that it becomes the proverbial truth. Far from it, this practice squeezes out the smaller organizations from existing and thriving. Anything that involves being strategic will require financial investments. It may not be a large amount but it should be sufficient enough to build capacities through systems and processes that have direct benefit to staff well-being, Board strengthening, and programs and impact-generating activities. You need to educate yourself, build a business case and build a team to champion it. It is an investment, not as cost to control.
2. Link to strategic objectives
Your strategic plan spells out clear alignment over goals and objectives, measures, activities/program, budgets, and performance evaluation. Institutional activities that support strategic aims should be supported by budgets and clear metrics. If the links are clear and well-established, flows out are part of the strategic management.
3. Support from the top leaders
Nobody cares whether your organization exists tomorrow, but you do and you must lead this conversation inside and outside your organization. Your Board, executive team, and staff have a stake and roles to play to make this happen. Organizational sufficiency is worth the struggle and effort so you can build a generational impact around your mission. In the end, everybody benefits.
4. Get donors who understand
You might say 'our donors insist we keep lean as much as possible.' Lean doesn't mean bare bones structure. Your survival is at stake. Get out from the group that rewards this mentality and reach out to funding organizations and donors who have a broader and progressive outlook on sustainability economics. When you're ready, fire the ones that will block you from achieving success in this direction.
These are easy to say but hard to do. Like with everything, getting there takes effort and courage. Don't be proud to tell the world that you have a 10% budget on administration and that you have great volunteers who help out. You're lucky but it's not the route to real sustainability. Get on the right road.
If you're interested to deep dive into your strategy, change, and engagement issues, reach out to me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Don't wait for the perfect time, situation, or budget.Read More