For the average NGO in the South that is invariably subjected to all manner of tests and forced to engage in a diverse range of relationships in order to survive, one of the most terrifying questions they get asked is, ‘What are you doing about your financial sustainability?’
For a start, the question is a constant reminder of one’s vulnerability. As soon as it is asked, the sustainability question often overshadows whatever past achievements an organization might be able to claim. As an NGO practitioner, I have often wondered if the donor that poses this question is not looking for an easy exit from our relationship. I then start wondering if there is something that this person knows about us that I am not aware of.