Over the last decade, West African civil society organisations have been leveraging on digital democratisation to voice their constituencies interests to contribute to social welfare and to participate actively in democratic processes. Online tools have been increasingly utilised to raise awareness on issues of common interest and to attract funding.
However, they have not been fully able to develop strong and durable local fundraising and communication strategies that would allow them to increase both their organisational and financial sustainability and to reduce their dependency on external donors.
In this context, on 24 April 2020, the West Africa Civil Society Institute (WACSI) organised a half-day online training for civil society Global Network of Civil Society Organisations for Disaster Reduction (GNDR) members from West Africa and beyond. This was the last session in a series of online sessions that enabled members of the network to acquire skills and tools necessary to mobilise resources within their local context to promote their work.
Since August 2019, WACSI has been collaborating with GNDR through the delivery of training on local resource mobilisation for CSOs. The training addressed topics related to what is local fundraising, why is local fundraising important for organisations of the global south, steps in local fundraising, characteristics of local fundraising and communicating impact as a means to raise visibility and attract the interest of local donors to support the work of CSOs.
GNDR is the largest international network of organisations working to advance livelihoods of people affected by disasters worldwide. The training delivered by WACSI is in line with the organisation’s objectives of increasing the impact of civil society by providing them with access to the skills and tools needed to boost their resilience.
During the last training session, Jimm Chick Fomunjong, Head, Knowledge Management Unit, who facilitated the training for members of GNDR, explained why it is important for organisations to be able to communicate their impact.
“To be able to convince donors to donate, civil society organisations have to show that they are effective, credible and that when they say they are going to do something, they realise it,” he said.
During the training, he entreated participants to understand that, “impact is one way that organisations can use to boost their credibility and enable potential donors to believe in CSOs and support their causes”.
Through this session, WACSI hopes to increase participants’ understanding of the concept of communication, and impact and elevate the interest of staff of CSOs in actively contributing to communicating the impact of their organisation.
The insightful nature of the training was highly appreciated by participants. One of the participants, Parfait Blalogoe, Executive Director of the CREDEL NGO, commended WACSI for this “very nice training” and highlighted its relevance to his NGO. This training will surely have a long-term impact on participants. Balogoe further explained that he was planning to “organise a special training this week to talk to my [colleagues] about this aspect”.
This training is part of WACSI’s ongoing efforts to provide CSOs across West Africa and the global South with a deeper understanding of local fundraising and its importance for the development of the Global South.
The local fundraising training is part of a global programme, dubbed, the Change the Game Academy jointly developed and implemented by Wilde Ganzen and partners such as the Kenya Community Development Foundation, to expose them to resource mobilisation tools and to foster their operational and sustainability agendas.
If you would like to know more about how WACSI could support your CSO, please read about our five unique programmes that boost CSOs’ sustainability in times of COVID here.