A workshop to help run NGOs with businesslike precision

In a world that is fast changing even large business houses have had a rude shock in the recent past forcing them to rethink and reorient themselves to survive global challenges. How comfortable then can Non-Government Organisations (NGOs) be, considering they depend entirely on donations for their sustenance ?

The ‘Green and Social Entrepreneurship for Inclusive and Sustainable Development in India’ workshop addressed these issues with emphasis on how NGOs can take a few leaves out of business manuals. Put together by Engineers Without Borders India (EWB), Centre for Social Initiative and Management (CSIM) and FAPCCI, the crucial areas of innovation, sustainability and impact mapping were discussed.

Broadly, the message of ‘innovation’ in every area and being open to moving away from traditional practices was highlighted. An example cited was of a group of rural women who make embroidery products in the districts of Andhra Pradesh and how getting them online connectivity is allowing them to share patterns with others thus empowering more women in the region. Though the crucial test for most NGOs is ‘sustenance’ which requires constant striving and changing, experts recommend that in the long run earned income is a safer bet than external funding. This translates into NGOs finding ways and means to generate their own income in the same way that any other business does, making them less dependent on donors. So along with social service an NGO should ideally include programmes on social commerce aligned to their mission. The new mantra is, “no social performance without financial performance.”

An NGO can be successful only when it has a strong foundation and a willingness to do what it takes, even if that means following some sound business practices. For more information contact 991 265 6112 or email klsrivat@yahoo.com.