Financial sustainability for the civic sector: crash course in establishing and managing an endowment

A full-day workshop held in Kyiv on 11 September teaches CSOs how to establish and maintain organization's endowment in Ukraine.

Financial sustainability in the NGO sector has always been and continues to be if not the most crucial issue to harness. In turbulent times and transitioning societies NGOs remain susceptible to economic and political challenges and risks. Establishing an endowment suggests to a CSO one of the possibilities to mitigate such risks while build a more sustainable and robust financial system.

According to the NGO sustainability index produced by USAID since 2006, NGOs have generally performed around a low 4.3 whereas a workshop like this one will help organization in Ukraine improve the figure.

The handbook, presented to a community of regional CSOs offered an overview of the Ukraine's regulatory framework and taxation policy pertinent to endowments, step-by-step instructions on how to prepare, establish, manage, and develop it with tips to controlling and reporting vis-à-vis the existing legal framework. The handbook benefits both an overview of smart international practices of establishing endowments, and a comprehensive country-tailored approach that would be practicable in the country's environment. The event was spearheaded by Olexander Vinnikov one of the leading experts in this realm.

As a result, CSO partners would be venturing to create their own endowments in the nearest future to help them ensure sustainability in the longer term.

The seminar participants received their copies of the first-in-country manual on establishing and running endowments within the Ukrainian legal framework. Official presentation of the manual is scheduled within the framework of the third annual Capacity Development Forum in December 2014.