6 Challenges for a Philanthropist – By Harish Jagtani

As a philanthropist, I have been running a non-profit organization for some time now. And, since its inception, we have been working very hard to do everything we can for society
and achieve a world of good. If you are planning to start one, I would like to tell you that running
such an organization is much harder than it seems to an outsider

Individuals working in non-profit organizations are fortunate enough to take up worthy causes. It can also be exciting to consider the innumerable ways this money can be used wisely. Let us look at some of the challenges non-profits face.

Besides the issues that a for-profit company faces such as staying up to date with regulations, policies and accounting needs and implementing new technologies charitable institutes have to face a number challenges. Here, I will discuss some of the most significant issues such organizations face, so that you can be ready to deal with them if you are planning to walk this road…

Limited Government Funding

Most charitable organizations depend on government help. This can be in the form of grants or some matching scheme, or can just serve as a precautionary to fill the void when there is a funds crunch. Dwindling budgets at the national, state and municipal levels means there is less to go around. Most non-profits end up getting much less funds than they really need. At times, some even have to go without any funding at all.

Lack of Steady Income

It is very difficult for charitable organizations to have a stable flow of income, which can make budgeting a big challenge. Besides, donations may come in fits and starts throughout the year, so that your focus may fall on securing enough to cover your administrative costs before looking at project funds and the organization may have to run on a shoestring budget.

Stress on Showing Results

Earlier, non-profits used to focus on showing that programs were being used and accessed by those they wanted to support. At present, the pressure has shifted because there is much less to go around. So, your non-profit has to show that its objectives of social impact are being accomplished, which can be a much difficult estimation.

Not Running Like a Business

Now, the emphasis is so much on performance that you may try hard to remember that you are running a business, too, which has a bottom line in the black. Charitable organizations often put their social impact goals at the forefront and their business objectives second, which is fine until there is not enough coming in to cover what is going out.

Cost and social impact must match to deliver true, life-changing results across activities. To ensure that your mission never loses sight of its capability or reach, you have to use the right techniques. This will make your people and processes more agile and adaptable and ready to meet the changing circumstances within the resources you have. This will help you track the bottom line in real-time. Besides, people working for non-profits may wear many hats.

Additionally, without expertise, no one may have the specific knowledge that detailed business and finance analysis functions need. It is necessary to find the tools that empower you to analyze information and make decisions based on important data.

Attracting, Retaining Talent

Non-profits usually have to fight to get the right kind of talents while competing with other sectors. People working with non-profits are, essentially, dedicated to the larger cause and prove to be an asset to the sector. But such people are rare to come by and most non-profits also make it difficult to recruit top talent.

First, you must fight the fear of the talent pool being too expensive. If you need them, you must invest in them. And, when investing in new talent is not possible, you must believe in your top talent. Provide engaging work experience that allows your people to focus on why they love their work and your mission. Help them grow and take their passion farther.

Rise in Need for Non-profits

Non-profits are witnessing a rise in their services being requisitioned. Poverty is a tangible issue and many people are going through financial difficulties. The environment needs saving and arts programs in many schools are being cut, putting the burden on non-profits to respond quickly to unpredictable situations and deliver much-needed services.

Final Word

Other than the challenges mentioned here, philanthropy may mean facing difficulty in attempting to improve human conditions. The most important among such issues, especially in the US, is race and class and the government’s proper role.

But, to future-proof your charitable organization and reach your vision and mission, you must be aware of the challenges that the sector faces and how they can affect you. So, as a non-profit organization, if you want to be around for long, you will require plans to meet these challenges and utilize them to develop a comprehensive operational strategy which is essential to sustain a successful non-profit operation.

About the Author

Mr. Harish Jagtani, a philanthropist, visionary, businessman of Indian origin, currently based in Democratic Republic of Congo for more than 20 years now, is one of the most reputed business owners in the Indian diaspora as well as the entire expat business community in DRC. The business house caters to multiple domains, including but not limited to Domestic as well as International Air Cargo, real Estate and infrastructure development, healthcare, hospitality as well as CSR.

Coming from humble beginnings from Jaipur, Rajasthan, Mr. Harish Jagtani has come a long way in building this conglomerate with a strong and clear vision, sheer dedication and grit. Starting with a small job in sales, Mr. Harish Jagtani today is a proud and righteous owner of a fleet of airplanes and multiple businesses that cater to the basic and advanced needs of the people of Dem. Rep. of Congo in different sectors.

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