Study of factors influencing fundraising success for non-profit environmental funds in South Africa : a case study of the World Wide Fund for Nature South Africa

Snyman, Annie (2014-12)

Thesis (MDF)--Stellenbosch University, 2014.


ENGLISH ABSTRACT: The planet is at risk, which could be to the peril of its people. The current consumption rate of natural resources surpasses capacity and new ways are required to address the ecosystems threats and biodiversity losses the planet faces. This research reviewed the various threats Earth faces and ways to finance corrective action to ensure it remains inhabitable. The research aimed to review factors influencing fundraising of non-profit Environmental Funds and chose as case study, the World Wide Fund for Nature South Africa, given its long history in supporting conservation in the country. The research used the Seven-S strategy model as analysis framework and assessed four of the seven categories namely strategy, structure, systems and staff using data in the public domain. The World Wide Fund for Nature South Africa was found to be financially healthy, liquid and stable. This in itself confirmed its fundraising success over many years and not only during the period of review. It had a diversified funding mix and its largest type of income was derived from subscriptions and donations, which was confirmed by the reliance ratio calculations. There was a clear organisational purpose and direction, yet no specific fundraising strategy was stated. Findings from the supporter retention analysis indicated a possible shift in focus to obtain a larger unrestricted income base and to align with supporters that stay with the cause over longer periods. Structural aspects showed that there was a substantial increase of organisational sub-units supporting new programmes between 2008 and 2013. Contributed income mirrored the changes up to 2012 after which a drop in income was observed. Trustee composition changes and income derived from subscription and donation changes trended in similar patterns. Systems incorporating governance practices, financial reporting and auditing were observed to be sound and in line with good governance practices including King King Code of Governance. The staff analysis showed an increase in overall staffing numbers and concomitant rise in contributed income up to 2012. The retention of key managerial staff was prevalent.

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