South Africa's downgrade to sub-investment level, along with other developments that impact institutional and economic strength, could be particularly bruising for civil society and non-profits as their resources are already thinly stretched.
It is more important than ever for this sector to present an ethical, credible, professional and united front, says Jessica Rees-Jones, executive director of Inyathelo, the South African Institute for Advancement.
Given the current challenging conditions, some non-profit organisations (NPOs) will have to adjust, adapt and possibly gear up to an international level of expertise if they are to attract resources and survive. Those that have robust procedures in place should, however, be able to present themselves as low risk and resilient. They will be in a better positon to secure international donations and funding.
Good governance, credibility
“If this sector embraces and actively demonstrates good governance and credibility, it can attract foreign funding and support as donors are looking for low risk, credible beacons of light.” Rees-Jones reminds civil society organisations and NPOs that Inyathelo, set up 15 years ago as a non-profit trust, is well-placed to help them raise awareness, develop capacity and put sound systems in place to meet stringent funding criteria.
Inyathelo provides resources, publications, advice, training and support on how to attract and use funds effectively for the greatest social impact.
“We can weather the storm and even emerge stronger. Challenging times mean that robustly governed and empowered civil society organisations are more necessary and valuable than ever before,” said Rees-Jones.