Building a Stronger Civil Society in South Africa

em4 is a social enterprise whose vision for South Africa is a social impact sector that is thriving and sustainable

Building a Stronger Civil Society in South Africa

em4 is a social enterprise whose vision for South Africa is a social impact sector that is thriving and sustainable

Social equality is the only basis of human happiness

It is over five decades since Nelson Mandela used this quote to highlight issues of social inequality in his beloved country. Yet, these profound words are still very relevant and urgent today.

South Africa’s vibrant and extensive civil society and philanthropic sectors are maturing. Social partners, including Funders, philanthropists and civil society organisations, have been encouraged to nurture trust-based philanthropic principles and practices across the sector. Trust-based relationships require a common vision and understanding of the capacity requirements of individual organisations as well as of the sector in order to affect change in society, including in education, health, human rights and environmental causes.

There is growing acknowledgement that a narrow focus on restricted funding for ‘direct programmatic costs’ has significantly limited the social impact of civil society organisations and therefore the much needed and anticipated social transformation of the country. Increasing the levels of unrestricted funding requires trust, which can be accomplished through collaboration with reputable and effective civil society organisations who can demonstrate enhanced credibility, improved organisational practices, programmatic impact and visibility among donors.

Trust-based partnerships also rely on shifting the power – from Funders to implementing or grantee partners, helping to ensure that they and the communities are empowered in the philanthropic relationship. This requires a degree of transparency, accountability and an ethical approach to delivering their missions.

For a civil society organisation, achieving the position of balanced power and become a trusted partner, requires clarity on its internal strengths and challenges, with an ability to demonstrate resilience. Funders whose policies are based on community-led philanthropy and participatory grant-making expect their grantee partners to demonstrate robustness in strategy, governance, leadership and sustainability and a strong mission to deliver social impact.

em4 works with civil society organisations in South Africa and globally to help secure their sustainability and increase their social impact.

Strengthening Civil Society Organisations

If you are from a non-profit organisation (NGO) looking to strengthen your fundraising strategy and secure longer-term sustainability, then we would welcome a discussion on how we might be able to help. Please contact our regional partner, Sophie Olivier, based in Cape Town, South Africa.

Supporting Funders

If you are a Funder or philanthropist seeking a solution to support your due diligence process or secure the finance sustainability of your grantee partners, then our fully digitised and comprehensive organisational assessment may be the answer. You can reach us to find out more and discuss further.

Strengthening Civil Society Organisations

If you are from a non-profit organisation (NGO) looking to strengthen your fundraising strategy and secure longer-term sustainability, then we would welcome a discussion on how we might be able to help. Please contact our regional partner, Sophie Olivier, based in Cape Town, South Africa

Supporting Funders

If you are a Funder or philanthropist seeking a solution to support your due diligence process or secure the finance sustainability of your grantee partners, then our fully digitised and comprehensive organisational assessment may be the answer. You can reach us to find out more and discuss further.

em4 works globally with local capacity building experts and organisational development specialists, who share their skills and business acumen with organisations enabling them to achieve their missions sustainably and deliver greater social impact in the communities they serve. Currently operating in India, South Africa, Kenya, France and Switzerland, numerous organisations have benefited from developing a roadmap to sustainability.
Our aims are to work with organisations to build stronger, more sustainable structures, enabling them to develop and implement long-term planning and strategies. em4 does this by focusing on key capacity areas that are critical to enabling the organisation’s wellbeing and which ultimately lead to better outcomes for its service users and donors.

More than ever, organisations need the assistance, guidance and inspiration to plan for financial sustainability and accelerate their impact. This in turn should help funders to develop stronger relationships with their grantees and bring about collective change.

Testimonial

ASAP found the structured approach very helpful and is hoping that along the assessment it will be able to improve on some of the issues that came up. This is such a great process to help think about the organisation holistically. I am looking forward to using the tool again next year to see some changes.

Mada Seibert, African Solutions To African Problems (ASAP)