Helping NGOs do more with their money

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Learning about Financial Sustainability

30 July 2014


Many NGO workers recognise how important it is to learn from experience when things don’t go to plan, and also that we’re not always good at honestly sharing this learning.  Senior leaders at DFID have admitted it's hard to fail and the Independent Commission on Aid Impact's report on how DFID learns highlighted: “The emphasis on results can lead to a bias to the positive.”

Learning from failure and success

Sometimes failure is due to poor project design, external factors outside our control or even poor financial management.  Many NGOs find it hard to be honest about failures in financial management as it can be so threatening to their reputation with donors and partners.  So we generally only hear a few big stories about failures in financial sustainability when NGOs go bust or have to merge to avoid going bust. 

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Strengthening civil society in Sierra Leone

30 July 2014

In 2013, Mango trainer and consultant Segun Olowookere spent 3 months in Sierra Leone. His job? To support effective financial monitoring of 243 recipients of grants ranging from £5,000 to £157,000. This phase marked the end of a three-year programme of support to local governance and community systems across the country. Read his story as told to CIMA.

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From grants to contracts: opportunities and risks

30 July 2014

The funding landscape for INGOs is changing.  What’s certain is that contracts (as opposed to accountable grants) are well and truly here, as are payments by results (PBR).  The Overseas Special Interest Group (OSSIG) meeting on 16 July focused on the growth of contracting in the funding landscape for INGOs.

We heard from International Rescue Committee UK on how they are adapting their processes and resourcing to handle the programme, legal, financial and governance considerations arising from contracting. Mango’s director, Tim Boyes-Watson, covered PBR models, risks and opportunities – which was especially relevant given  DFID’s recent strategy making PBR its “business as  usual” approach in contracts. Lastly, Crowe Clark Whitehill (CCW) covered the VAT and accounting implications of contracts and grants.

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