Nonprofit organizations need to demonstrate value

Letter to People’s Post, 26 April 2008.

The disbanding of the Fairest Cape Association due to lack of funding is very disappointing (People’s Post, 8 April 2008). Unfortunately, this is the plight of many nonprofit organizations(NPOs) that rely on the mercy of their funders for survival.

This is clearly not the way to sustain a nonprofit organization, especially since there are over one hundred thousand nonprofit organizations competing for the same pool of funders. NPOs need to change the way they think about fundraising. They need to learn how to demonstrate their impact and give funders value for money.. NPOs also need to start earning an income to supplement the donations they receive from their funders, and help them to better manage risk.

We have seen that funders and corporate companies are no longer supporting an organization merely for the fact that it is doing good. Instead they are looking for good investments. NPOs that fail to demonstrate their strategic value and social impact are quickly left behind for those organizations that provide funders with a credible account of how resources have been used.

We are confident that the Fairest Cape Association brought significant value to Cape Town. However, it might still be here today if the City of Cape Town, its major sponsor, still believed it was a good investment.

Marcus Coetzee is a business strategist who helps leaders to think clearly about the future. To find out more about how he can help you, call 0828799131 or visit

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