South African NPOs (not for profit organisations) will continue to access vital advice and support from Inyathelo, the South African Institute for Advancement, thanks to a generous grant of US$150 000 (about R2 million) from the Charles Stewart Mott Foundation.
This US philanthropic private foundation has supported non-profit trust Inyathelo since the latter’s founding 15 years ago. Inyathelo has leveraged the funding to run a capacity building non-profit clinic that provides a one-on-one advisory, training and support to NPOs. It also advises individuals who are social innovators and opens up opportunities for peer learning and exchange.
Average Inyathelo clinic participation rates for the past three years (2014-2016) were 63 new client organisations per year, and 112 sessions annually, said Programme Director Nazli Abrahams.
“Capacity building is one of the least understood, yet most important, aspects of development work,” she said. “It requires careful planning to build the right skills at the right time and over time. Such initiatives tend to be more effective when they are conceived as an ongoing, strategic commitment.
“It is exactly this kind of commitment that the CS Mott Foundation has made to Inyathelo’s capacity building work. Mott’s investment is critical and works well because it is conceived as part of a longer term programmatic intervention that is both targeted and integrated.”
Jessica Rees-Jones, Executive Director of Inyathelo, said: “We are delighted to receive this funding. Many NPOs are under immense pressure and struggling to survive. This extremely welcome donation will enable us to continue offering our advisory services, with a specific focus on NGO long-term sustainability. We value our long-term relationship with the Mott Foundation and are extremely appreciative.”
She added that, given the loss of investment grade for South Africa ‒ and other developments that have impacted institutional and economic strength ‒ this support was highly encouraging.
“It underlines how important it is for the NGO sector to present an ethical, credible, professional and united front. Those with robust procedures in place should be able to present themselves as low risk and resilient and will be in a better positon to secure international donations.”