Some years ago I’ve worked actively with at least three non-profit organizations based in Palawan, Philippines and at least seven (7) community-based organizations all at the same time. It was a very enriching experience especially since I’ve just left the four corners of my classroom where I’ve taught for more than three years. Having been exposed in the realities of the world tickled my imagination and artistic inclination to find options for the communities I’ve worked with to better their situation or at least give them inspiration to dream and work more to improve themselves.
I’ve walked the walks, talked the talks, climbed the climbs… it was really one of the most productive years in my life. I’ve written project proposals, implemented projects (of course with the help of the staff), trained and guided community leaders in reaching their aspirations for community development.
After those several years with the development sector, I’ve learned so much on program and people management and even having to manage the office for a while. I’ve became aware how strong the presence of “cheeky traits” is which some of us have such as, insatiety, “Talangka” mentality, “Inggitan” system, “creative” accounting and favor here and there in exchange for something, among others.
Running an NPO is really challenging and never easy that I’ll say people who involve themselves in such with little to nothing in return are the reasons we can bring back trust and belief in the miracle of love and humanity.
The different advocacies to forward the rights and interests of the less fortunate and the incapacitated of these non-profit organizations or charities are such a challenge, yet they still opt to for the good of their fellowmen. Along with the hardships of certification process and everyday struggles and activities, NPOs face and encounter the adversities of looking for and finding the truthful, generous private organizations and institutions for funds as they only get these from grants or endowments to continue with their charitable, educational, cultural, literary, scientific, economic, religious, psycho-social, social welfare, and/or other similar activities.
Of course NPOs go through stringent and strict process before being certified and registered from the Stocks and Exchange Commission and Bureau of Internal Revenue in the Philippines or International Revenue – the government agencies assigned to look over their qualifications, reliability, and plausibility.
So, ‘where do funds go?’ Let us try to answer that for the entire world to understand, how NPOs operate with the very little to minimal budget. Though they face everyday with lack of budget, NPOs still see to it that regular expenses and programs are well taken care of. The funds usually go to (a) Project and Activities, (b) Staff’s Allowances, (c) Office and Field Materials, (d) Transportation Costs, (e) Information Dissemination, (f) Scholarship Grants or Extended Services, (g) Maintenance and other Operating Expenditures, and other regular and equally important operational cost.
What can EAV promise?
There are various ways for NPOs to keep their donors and guarantors updated as to where the funds go and how their donations are being used. For EAV, here are some of the methods through which we will maintain transparent report in funds utilization as well as sharing our projects’ progress.
Online Accounting Software
Accounting Software online is a potential tool for liquidating the expenses in a recent and particular activity, program, event, or regular operational cost. For further transparency, you can ask and let the board of directors and some of the major donors and guarantors have access to this software as you regularly take note on it.
Progress, Live Reporting
Nowadays, anything is possible with the use of the internet and other kinds of technology. By the mere use of your gadgets (laptop, video camera with internet connection, smartphone, or tablet) you can easily stream your activities online for the whole world to see and let them know where exactly the funds go, who benefits from it and how funds are practically utilized. There should be no more doubts and worries as to whether any activity or program is legitimate.
Updated Web Reports
Most NPOs have their official website and are practicing updated web reports. There’s nothing wrong in updating the public, your beneficiaries, and the donors of what kinds of activities you have recently conducted and how the funds were utilized in each of those.
Every donor and guarantor, though some like to be low profile, would want to know how much help they have provided to the respective beneficiaries. Creating infographics is one of the most creative and informative ways to update and notify the concerned parties.
Traditional way of reporting still has its spark when it comes to informing the higher officials and donors for the things they need to know about the funds and its utilization. By keeping a regular, updated spreadsheet or ledger, complete with receipts, invoices, and other proof of expense for a certain activity or program, it would show transparency in the funds’ use.
Through live representation, you can always ask the company, institution, or private individual for a representative to come and witness the event or activity where the funds are being used for personal and live reports on the matter. In this case, the people who are concerned will first handedly observe the utility of funds.
Aside from these steps and venues, there a lot of other ways that NPOs show their transparency for funds’ use. A donor or funder can always ask for such, like these stated above or however way they want.
There’s a lot to learn about the purity and gallantry of the NPOs and the people behind these institutions and even the slightest help that they can get from private companies, corporations, organizations and institutions will definitely result to additional assistance to the most needing beneficiaries. So, if we are able and capable, what would be the reason for us to be stingy and selfish for their little and limited happiness that we could give them?
Reach out, share and make people happy.