A review of the most common challenges in the sector
A dynamic and competitive environment generates challenges for all the participating organizations. Nevertheless, non-governmental organizations face specific obstacles regarding its particular nature. Some of the most frequent challenges are the following:
- Difficulties to get funds: The majority of NGOs have experienced difficulties in getting enough, and continuous funding in order to do their work. Getting donors is a hard task, and sometimes dealing with some specific donor’s funding conditions can be an enormous challenge for NGO’s. Additionally, most of the non-governmental organizations have a high level of dependency of donors’ funds, that makes them even more susceptible to donors’ behavior.
- Lack of proper networking: For some NGOs is difficult to network. Having poor network with pairs can lead to lack of communication, if non-governmental organizations do not disclose what they are doing for a certain community, efforts could be duplicated, conflicts about the ways a certain problem should be faced in a region could arise, and they could be missing the opportunity to learn best practices from other NGOs.
- Lack of governance: Many non-governmental organizations do not have a Board. One of the main reasons for that is the difficulty to attract board members without paying them or providing them some benefits. Having a Board is one of the best ways to achieve good levels of governance, nevertheless, there is a significant number of NGOs that does not have a good understanding of governance, and does not think governance is relevant for their organizations. Additionally, some non-governmental organizations mismanage their funds because they spend the money according to the NGOs’ owner directions, without adequate levels of accountancy and analysis.
Non-governmental organizations face multiple challenges, nevertheless, one of the most important steps to overcome these obstacles is identifying what are challenges that an organization is facing, and the areas where there is a room to improve, after identifying these key areas organizations can design a plan to improve, and hopefully overcome the obstacles they are facing.