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Case Study

Core Administration Fundraising for Long-term Strength and Sustainability

Synopsis

Nigerian Conservation Foundation (NCF) is Nigeria’s foremost environmental conservation organisation. Established as a non- governmental organisation in 1980 and registered in 1982, NCF has a vision of a Nigeria where people prosper while living in harmony with nature. It is a membership organisation and maintains a leading voice on policy advocacy, environmental education and habitat/site conservation in Nigeria.

Fundraising and effective monitoring and evaluation of the Organisation’s activities critically challenges Organisational growth. In the past two years, efforts are being gradually being put in place to address these two issues.

Nigerian Conservation Organisation

Nigerian Conservation Foundation (NCF) has its headquaters in Lagos, Nigeria The Natioal Headquarters of the Foundation is located within the premises of the Lekki Conservation Centre (LCC), one of the major NCF Field Projects. With a vision of a ‘Nigeria where people prosper while living in harmony with Nature’ NCF has three main mission objectives:

  • To preserve the full range of Nigeria’s biodiversity which includes species, ecosystems and genetic biodiversity
  • To promote sustainable use of natural resources for the benefit of present and future generations]
  • To advocate actions that minimise pollution and wasteful utilisation of renewable natural resources.

To drive her mission objectives, NCF has a strategy that focuses on environmental education, policy advocacy, biodiversity conservation through establishment of field projects and protection of species, building of effective partnerships in support of biodiversity conservation and efforts on climate change awareness and mitigation.

Challenges

Fund raising for core administration – e.g. to cover salaries, allowances, insurance, office maintenance, communication, policy advocacy, awareness and public enlightenment, marketing and promotion – continue to pose serious challenges to organisational growth and sustainability. NCF normally depends on a 10% administrative fee charged to field projects, as well as membership subscription and donations from members of the public.

What we did

The process embarked on by NCF to effect a change for better future in terms of fundraising and financial sustainability is continuous and not a one-off activity. Firstly, we recognised the need to develop a Fundraising strategy as an integral part of the new NCF Strategic Plan. We are in the process of reviewing and developing a new Strategic Plan in 2012/2013 and Fundraising is a major component of this Strategy.

We have adopted a learning-by-doing process of broadening our fundraising approaches. In this way, we have categorised major organisational activities and linked fundraising approaches into them. Some of the new activities which we embarked on to re-engineer our fundraising styles are:

  1. Strengthening our membership base

Being a membership organisation and taking into consideration Nigeria’s large population, we concluded that we have not done well in membership development and we see the need for raising our membership capacity as a strategy for fundraising for conservation. We are engaging our members for subscription renewal and we are currently using media and public consultation for our membership development programme. We also opened up new categories of membership such as Gold, Silver and Platinum categories for Corporate Organisations in order to secure the participation of more Corporate Organisations in our activities.

  1. Better use of NCF events to raise funds

We are re-designing our Annual Dinner Dance as a fundraising event where pledges are made and project portfolios are developed for public support.

  1. Consultancy / Publications

We are opening up an Ecological Services Unit where expertise services such as training for focused ecological work and Geographical Information System are delivered, and field surveys and ecosystem assessment are carried out as part of service provision. We also market our publications and environmental education materials at moderate prices.

  1. Targeted promotion of NCF

We attend workshops, conferences and occasionally trade fairs and bazaars to promote conservation and get more members.

  1. Strengthening in-house fundraising capacity to secure core funds

We re-designed our Technical Programmes to make sure that each thematic desk is capable of developing proposals to seek for equipment, manage field projects and promote environmental awareness. We aimed at indirectly making every NCF technical Officer an Institutional fundraiser.

These processes are on–going and we intend to collate our efforts are part of our injection into the NCF new Strategy.

Results                                                                          

The first major result is that NCF is now very sensitive to fundraising issues as an integral aspect of our organisational growth and development. New marketing, promotion and direct fundraising ideas are arising from different sections within NCF. We are creating opportunities for identifying best practice and the most innovative approaches that are cost-effective, technologically easy and strengthen NCF’s vision, mission and objectives.

Lessons learnt

We have learnt that a re-orientation is necessary for all staff to be aware of our fundraising needs and to identify our marketing and promotion methods and styles.

We see fundraising as an important aspect of strategic planning and believe it is an important component of financial sustainability planning for organisational growth and development.

No one person alone can raise all the money needed by an organisation. The Fundraising Officer needs ideas and supportive efforts by all key members of the organisation in order to meet fundraising targets.

“Identifying organisational weakness is an in-house and genuine appraisal of performance. Organisations should not wait to see the effects of what is wrong but continue to think of how to sustain a strong group for a long time” Alade Adeleke, Executive Director

Want to find out more?

Contact

Alade Adeleke, Ag. Executive Director, Nigerian Conservation Foundation, Km 19, Epe Expressway, Lagos, Nigeria, Tel no: 234 -803 347 2636

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