An appraisal framework for the sustainability of nongovernmental organisations

20 Jun 2017

This article supports an appraisal framework for the sustainability of nongovernmental organisations (NGOs). A theoretical analysis of existing literature on governance and the financial sustainability of NGOs have revealed that there is no generally agreed upon appraisal framework for assessing the long-term sustainability of NGOs. However, a number of NGO stakeholders would benefit from this type of framework. Research has revealed that, in terms of sustainability, it is particularly necessary to assess an NGO?s legal status, its leadership capacity, the roles and responsibilities of the executive management, the role the NGO board plays in its governance processes, as well as the extent to which principles of good governance are practiced within the organisation. These key criteria have proven to be the most important in the governance endeavours of NGOs. Therefore, it has become evident that fundraising strategies, good practices in financial management, sources of NGO funding and financial control mechanisms should be assessed, as these key aspects have proven to impact on the organisation?s financial sustainability. In the article, theoretical assessment and case experiences are used to develop an appraisal instrument. This appraisal instrument was custom-designed for the South African NGO sector in particular.