Funding your social mission during critical times
According to GovAsia, a publication released by The Asia Foundation, civil society organizations in Southeast Asia supported the response efforts at the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, from providing relief assistance to providing health information and battling disinformation that causes divisions and panic among communities.
Despite these efforts, the pandemic has shown the perennial problems CSOs have been facing: the shrinking funding and increasing volatility of the political environments.
For the local CSOs and development organizations to respond and adjust to this situation more effectively, the Peace and Equity Foundation (PEF), in partnership with the Philippine Council NGO Certification Inc. or PCNC organized the #PEFtalks: Funding your Mission in these Critical Times last October 15, 2021 with more than a hundred development leaders participating in the learning event.
Navigating through a Crisis
Ma. Emilita Villanueva, Partner from the assurance service line of SGV & Co., shared financial management tools such as financial statement analysis, financial ratios, and liquidity risk that CSOs can use.
“The assessment of an organization's financial performance can be done through financial management tools,” she said.
After laying down the tools, Villanueva reminded the participants to always analyze the results for creation of their roadmaps for financial planning in the future.
“You should also ensure that your financial records are accurate and complete, and your reports should be generated in a timely manner,” she added.
Economist Dr. Emmanuel de Dios, meanwhile, gave a briefing on the current situation of the Philippine economy.
“The current crisis is primarily induced by the COVID-19 pandemic; resolving the former requires addressing first properly the latter,” he said.
While he mentioned that many of the economic fundamentals remain sustainable, like the continuing inflows of OFW remittances and increased government spending, he warned that the economic growth will have a hard time catching up with pre-pandemic levels.
”Regaining the income under the old growth trajectory requires time and effort,” he said.
Lessons from PEF
Cauchie Garcia, head of PEF Management Services, shared the Foundation’s lessons in managing their fund during the 2008 economic crisis and the 2020 recession caused by COVID-19 pandemic.
“We should save for rainy days. Our policy is that the reserve fund is able to cover three years of operation in an event of adverse situations,” she said.
She also advises to determine the returns from the expenses and create various scenarios when preparing for forecasts.
Garcia also mentioned emerging competencies organizations should foster.
“We should be agile thinkers. We should be change managers to adapt and accelerate activities that are considered critical. We should also be system thinkers to solve problems, formulate strategies; investigate factors and interactions. Lastly, we should have digital and IT skills as the future of work is digital,” she said.
Social mission comes first
PCNC Executive Director Felix Tonog closed the session with a reminder to the participants that the purpose of generating and growing funds is to fulfill the organization's primary purpose.
“It’s not a matter of generating money all for the sake of growing funds. This is all for the sake of our social mission,” he said.
#PEFtalks are online knowledge events, gathering fresh perspectives, expert advice and innovative solutions on real-time issues and events that will help PEF and its stakeholders in charting directions and designing interventions on the ground. The event is also in line with PEF's celebration of its 20th anniversary.