Partnerships for Development: Building Financial Resilience for Civil Society Organizations

To commemorate 25 years of working with local communities in the civil society sector, Kenya Community Development Foundation (KCDF) organized a webinar on Building financial resilience for civil society organizations. The conversation revolved around various experienced experts in the field sharing and reflecting on their organizations’ experiences and journey towards building financial resilience whistle supporting communities and making an impact in the lives of communities.

Cyprian Kirera Riungu Chairman South Imenti Sustainable Education Fund (a project of SIDA) shared experience in the power of communities’ resource mobilization and how communities have made social developmental changes, “Local resources don’t mean money alone, Human Resources are very important. Fundraising strategies support communities and have impacted communities. SIDA tried different methods of raising local resources however we came across the concept of building a community endowment fund which worked’’

Kgotso Schoeman, CEO of Kagiso Capital in South Africa shares the growth & sustainability Journey of Kagiso Capital. Kagiso Trust Group is valued at 935 mil rand and has deployed over a billion rand on development work in SA since 2005 to date.” Early on in Kagiso Trust’s journey, it became clear that to continue serving underprivileged South Africans we would need to find mechanisms to ensure the organization’s sustainability. To deliver social development and impact, civil society must adopt an entrepreneurial perspective. Civil society organizations underestimate the goodwill they have created in communities. The trust we build can be monetized’’

With the experience of more than 16 years in the civil society sector, Francis kiwanga, FCS Executive Director called insisted on the CSOs building resilience through learning. ‘’Learning is important. We need to learn and unlearn. We need to work together as a sector and build alliances. We need to learn from other entities which is beneficial to us and the Civil society Sector. Governments are learning from each other why can’t we do the same. In 2017, began conversations on diversifying resources. We approached & learned from KCDF& Kagiso Capital. He urges CSOs to learn from other organizations & think about long term organization sustainability so that CSOs can build financial resilience”

Speaking on FCS’ experience in building financial resilience he said that the organization has deliberately created a strong mechanism for accountability to its donors, government & partner organizations that are funded by FCS. He also shared that FCS has been keen on diversifying its resources, for instance by founding FCS TRUST limited, its sister organization that is working on building financial sustainability.

Catherine Kiganjo, KDCF Team Leader for Institutional Strengthening & Capacity Building of Communities said Fundraising has been key for KCDF and that the organization is focusing on long term sustainability, having resources when things are rough and having resources to be able to do its work in Communities despite the disruptions.