Planning for financial sustainability



Planning for financial sustainability

November 15, 2017 - 8:30am to November 17, 2017 - 5:00pm

Nairobi , Kenya

Offering Organization: Mango

Language: English

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The purpose of this course is to build the confidence and skills of NGO leaders to improve the financial sustainability of their, or partner, organizations by:

  • assessing and managing critical financial risk and
  • developing a financing strategy and associated policies.

Target Audience

This course is aimed at policy and strategic decision-makers of small to medium-sized NGOs, including Board members. The course is also suitable for international NGO program managers who advise local partners on how to plan for financial sustainability.

Previous financial management experience or training is not a requirement for this course although it is advantageous to complete the Essentials of Financial Management course (FMD) first if you are completely new to financial management.

During the course, there will be an opportunity to practice key planning tools using your own organization’s situation, so it is important that you are familiar with your organization’s strategic objectives and are in a position to implement the learning after the course. The course will have the most effective outcomes if two people from the same organization are able to attend at the same time.

Key Discoveries

By the end of the course, you will:

  • Describe the components of a financing strategy for an NGO including the four key features of a financially sustainable NGO
  • Outline options for building up unrestricted reserve funds to create a safety net and support future development
  • Outline options for financing and managing central support costs across the organization
  • Carry out a financial risk assessment using selected analysis and mapping tools to identity critical threats facing your or partner NGOs
  • Analyze financial statements using financial ratios to assess the donor dependency and reserves status of your or partner NGOs’ current and desired financing mix
  • Carry out a resources audit to establish the potential for alternative financing options in your or partner NGOs
  • Create an action plan for the next steps to finalize your organization’s financing strategy.

Learning Approach

Our training puts the learner at the center, using practical and fun learning activities supported by easy-to-use materials. We share tools and techniques that can be immediately used in your work.

Day 1

Welcome and Overview 

  • Introductions, expectations and program overview
  • What is financial sustainability and how do we achieve it?

Assessment Tools

  • Financial SWOT analysis
  • Stakeholder analysis – the Mendelow matrix
  • Financial statements – financial ratio and trend analysis

Day 2 

Mapping Income 

  • Where do NGOs get their money from?
  • The financing mix matrix
  • Challenges of donor dependency

Risk Assessment 

  • Financial risk mapping
  • Financing strategy document

Income Policy 

  • Resources audit
  • Financing options
  • Charging for services
  • Desired funding mix
  • Review of the day

Day 3 

Reserves and Targets 

  • What are reserves and different types of reserves
  • What level of reserves?


  • Generating reserves
  • Reserves policy
  • Central support costs policy and apportioning costs
  • Ethical policy and unrestricted funds policy

Action Planning 

  • Stakeholder action plan
  • Next steps for your financing strategy
  • Certificates and close