Community Based Organisations (CBOs) role in the development sector, particularly in the field of HIV/AIDS is notable. However the existence of CBOs is challenging and they look forward for sustainability strategies. While the resources from funding agencies are depleting, we realized that cultural events is becoming not only a viable RM strategy but also a powerful advocacy strategy too! “While there are various methods of fund raising, as a Transgender CBO we would like to have alternate strategies for mobilising resources that are do-able and found to be useful for us” – Mx.Kaavya, President, CBO-Thozhi.
The Voluntary Health Services (VHS) who has been implementing VHS-MSA DIVA programmes among the marginalized communities realized the importance of CBO sustainability and has imparted the knowledge and skills on resource mobilisation to more than 50 CBOs in India.
VHS has mentored the CBOs on strengthening the systems, developing strategic plan, resource mapping, adopting various techniques like membership fee, user fee, one-student one-rupee concept, used paper collection drive, donation box, cultural events, income generation programmes, proposal writing, CSR, etc for resource mobilisation.
“In our experience, we realized not all the resource mobilisation strategies suited and were found successful with regard to CBO context” remarked Dr.Vijayaraman, Deputy Director – VHS-MSA DIVA Project. Among the various strategies, cultural events been identified as one of the appropriate strategies for mobilising resources for CBOs, especially Transgender CBOs.
“Transgender / Hijra people are already blessed with cultural skills and talents. Hence capitalizing their natural skills / talents through conducting cultural events is one of the best ways to promote their skills and also mobilize resources for the CBOs” shared Dr.Pannirselvam, Senior Manager – Programmes in VHS DIVA Project.
Under the VHS MSA DIVA Project in 2017, 34 people from 21 CBOs in 12 States have been trained on the techniques of resource mobilisation through cultural events and on devising workable action plans. The project has also identified Community mentors, capacitated them to build the skills of CBOs. “I have learnt in detail on the step-by-step process involved in pre-planning, implementation & post-event activities” – Mx.Nakshatra – Born2Win. The project has standardized a reference manual for CBOs detailing the steps.
We are happy to share the success stories of two Transgender CBOs - Salem Thirunangaigal Nala Sangam (STNS) and Thozhi - Tamil Nadu, India who has proven that corpus of the CBO can be increased by the resource mobilisation technique through conducting cultural events.
Following is the process followed by the CBOs in a nutshell:
The CBO-STNS has invested the savings amount as a deposit in their corpus. In that way, the short term deposit money started earning more interest. The interest earned out of the corpus amount has helped them to meet some of their day-to-day operational expenditures. Besides, it has quite a few time, helped the CBO to manage the staff salary when there was a delay in fund release by the donors. Thus the CBO achieved the momentum of their staff which was not possible even for bigger NGOs.
The CBO-Thozhi was operating in rented premises. With the resources mobilised through cultural events, they took office premise for lease, so that the CBO is operating in the same building without any worries about paying rent. Further, the amount intended for monthly rent will form part of their income.
“Not only the resource mobilisation exhibits community talents but also helps in mainstreaming, addressing stigma & discrimination, social acceptance, recognition of transgender community talents’, support groups formation, increase in the number of well-wishers and sponsors” remarked Mx.Sudha, Mentor for resource mobilisation activity.
“Many a times, it contributed for advocacy, policy level changes and identifying new sponsors. These events serve as bridges between CBOs & Government which helps for availing various government schemes for our people” added Mx.Pooja, President, STNS.
“It is equally important to invest the money that the CBOs have mobilised. Hence a proper business plan is essential” remarked Dr.Joseph D Williams, Director – Projects, VHS.
The process followed in Resource mobilisation through events can be viewed from the following video link Click here