Civil society must become more resilient during these increasingly troubling and uncertain times. It will require creative leadership, organizational agility, and effective and efficient advocacy in sequencing skills, leadership and quality service delivery.

This paper from West African Civil Society Institute (WACSI), authored by Charles Kojo Vandyck and Christian Elongué, draws insights from the inaugural Shared Learning Convening on Alternative Funding Models for Civil Society Organisations, organized by WACSI and Innovation for Change (I4C) in November last year. It explores ideas for creating more financial sustainability and effective civil society space in Africa. Civil society organizations can only be sustainable if they become relevant enough for their constituencies to fund them.

Some participants thought income generation activities were a threat to the non-profit character, the focus and ethics of their organization. Others felt that CSOs should focus on selling their skills through training and capacity building activities that do not disrupt their work. In any case, CSOs’ self-financing — be it partial or full — needs more careful consideration before it can become a dominant approach to financial sustainability among CSOs.

The full article can be found on the website of the West African Civil Society Institute.

Photo by Wynand Uys on Unsplash