by Leslie Eldridge, Associate Private Development Specialist, Civil Society and Governance
With the global economy still weak and recovering, nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) worldwide are struggling to find sustainable sources of funding. To help them address this issue, we developed a new curriculum on resource mobilization—the process of identifying and raising essential resources (material, financial, technical and human) to further an organization’s activities toward achieving its mission. Resource mobilization expands beyond fundraising because it focuses on both tangible and intangible resources and is a continuous process.
In mid-June, I traveled to Jamaica and St. Lucia to pilot our new curriculum in three-day workshops as part of our Caribbean Grants Solicitation and Management (CGSM) project efforts, funded by the U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) and administered by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID). The 27 participants (14 in Jamaica and 13 in St. Lucia) represented nongovernmental, faith-based, and quasi-governmental organizations that serve people most at risk for HIV/AIDS and hailed from 10 countries across the region (the Bahamas, Jamaica, Grenada, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, St. Kitts, Barbados, Dominica, Antigua, Trinidad and Tobago, and St. Lucia). The workshops provided a great environment for sharing strategies and experiences, as well as networking across organizations and countries
The Resource Mobilization curriculum, developed by our Business Development Unit in conjunction with the Education team and our Jamaica Office, focused on developing a resource mobilization plan to further an organization’s sustainability. The plan can be seen as a continuance of the strategic planning process, but with more emphasis on the mechanisms and persons needed to acquire resources. Emphasis was also placed on the importance of planning and accounting for non-financial resources (human resources, infrastructure), as many NGOs do not realize just how rich they are in non-financial resources. Activities included resource provider mapping and research, developing a case statement, assessing resource provider motivations, and role-playing a meeting with resource providers, all aimed at drafting a sustainable resource mobilization plan to implement within their organizations.
The Resource Mobilization curriculum launch was a success, with participants calling the workshop “interesting, useful, and to the point,” “pretty intensive, but productive,” and “one of the best workshops I have attended for and on behalf of my organization.” And even though initial reviews were great, we recognize the importance of reflection and adaptation. With this in mind, we look forward to further developing our Resource Mobilization curriculum and launching Version 2.0.