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In Africa, many civil society organisations (CSOs) depend on donor funding to sustain their work. However, over the last decade, donors have started reducing their financial support as a result of shifting priorities. In order to be sustainable, CSOs are now being challenged to find alternative means of generating funds for their activities.
It is within this context that, the West Africa Civil Society Institute (WACSI) and Innovation for Change (I4C) – Hub Afrique organised a Shared Learning Convening on Alternative Funding Models for Civil Society in Accra from the 26 – 28 November 2018. The convening attracted 25 civil society actors and organisations from Africa, Latin America and Europe to share strategies, models, experiences and lessons learnt from the implementation of non-traditional approaches to generate financial resources.
A key outcome of this convening is the Alternative Funding Model Guidebook for Civil Society Organisations in Africa. The guidebook aims to raise awareness, broaden the understanding of financial sustainability, promulgate best practices for the civil society sector in Africa and improve the practice of sustainability of CSOs.
In total, feedback from over 20 organisations from 10 countries across the continent was used to develop this guidebook. Information was collected from the organisations using questionnaires specifically developed for this purpose. These organisations were deliberately selected to represent a range of sectors, sizes, and types, ranging from large national-level organisations with annual budgets in the millions of dollars to small community-based organisations (CBOs). It is important to note, that these organisations should not be considered a representative sample of CSOs, as they were selected for specific characteristics useful for this guidebook. However, given the range of organisation types and backgrounds represented in the sample, we believe that the experiences of these CSOs provide valuable and transferable lessons to organisations across a variety of contexts.
This guidebook will help CSOs to explore the existing models that are being used, understand them and know how to implement a given model that aligns with the mandate of their organisation. This resource highlights the conducive factors that CSOs need to cultivate their financial sustainability and to advance their development objectives.
The guidebook is structured into two sections. Section 1 presents funding models based on resources internal to the organisation, while section 2 regroups models leveraging on external resources.
We trust that this guidebook will be a useful resource for CSOs that are committed to achieving their sustained financial prosperity.
Access the full guidebook here!