Building Fund-Raising Capacity
Many NGOs—especially those that seek to compete internationally for grants—badly need assistance to strengthen their knowledge and skills regarding fund-raising. To the extent that they are able, donor organizations and larger and better resourced NGOs that operate in the country, both international and Cameroon-based, should attempt to help smaller, weaker NGOs develop fund-raising capacity through workshops and inhouse training. It might even be possible for some of them to temporarily assign staff members to work with the weaker NGOs. Although they must, of course, give considerable emphasis to maintaining their own operations, successful NGOs should remember that a strong, diverse, and successful NGO sector is in both their interest and the interest of the country. Capacity building in proposal writing can also be increased by drawing on the resources of environmental studies programs in universities around Cameroon.
Cooperation in Fund-Raising
Some communities have several small, poorly funded NGOs with similar goals and limited staff resources. Below we suggest that these NGOs might consider merging or seeking closer cooperation. One obvious form of cooperation is pooling resources to write joint proposals and mount joint projects. Working together, such NGOs might be able to employ or contract with financial or proposal writing experts to help them prepare proposals for more competitive and successful projects. When joint efforts are undertaken, it is important to take into account the needs of individual NGOs to preserve their visibility and receive credit for their contributions.