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Why institutional well-being of CSOs is key determiner of their success

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Naghma Mulla’s article underscores the pivotal role of institutional well-being in the effectiveness of civil society organizations (CSOs). CSOs are crucial in bridging gaps in public service delivery, especially for underserved communities, and in informing government policy. However, their ability to achieve these outcomes is deeply rooted in their organizational resilience, including staff well-being, independent operations, and crisis management capabilities. The article highlights a critical funding challenge: the predominant focus on direct program expenses often neglects the essential indirect costs like administration and staff development, which are crucial for organizational sustainability.

This funding gap became evident during the COVID-19 pandemic when many CSOs faced financial crises due to halted regular programs, making it difficult to pay employees and continue providing aid. Mulla advocates for a balanced approach to funding that includes support for CSOs’ administrative and support functions. Stable, long-term funding is necessary for CSOs to build resilience, enhance their operational capacities, and ensure effective service delivery. The GROW Fund is cited as an example of collaborative philanthropy that supports the institutional needs of CSOs, enabling them to strengthen their structures and processes, thereby enhancing their overall impact and sustainability. Click here to read more