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Inyathelo offers free advisory clinics to help NPOs grapple with numerous challenges

Grappling with challenges that range from how to raise funds to establishing a board of trustees, Inyathelo offers non-profit organisations (NPOs) advice, resources, mentorship and support via its free clinic services. These are either face-to-face, if the NPO is based in Cape Town, or online.
Inyathelo operations director Feryal Domingo
Inyathelo operations director Feryal Domingo

Says Inyathelo operations director Feryal Domingo, “Hundreds of NPOs have used our services. These include one-on-one advisory meetings, access to training workshops, publications, symposia, research reports, and more.

“Our clinic sessions usually take the form of face-to-face engagements, but the team also offers support by phone, email, virtual sessions and through our Ask Inyathelo website. Our clinic services are mainly in the areas of governance, leadership, operations, financial management and financial resilience.”

Client feedback

An independent evaluation of Inyathelo’s clinic services, conducted several years ago, gave several reasons why clients value its services. Client feedback included the following benefits of clinic participation:

1. Strategic thinking: Clinic sessions were hugely valuable in helping to formulate a clear message to funders, and taking organisations forward at a strategic level.

2. Governance: Understanding the roles and responsibilities of the board and the CEO was a big issue for some clients. Sessions with Inyathelo helped to move them through and beyond their crisis and enabled them to make critical decisions.

3. Fundraising: The Inyathelo practitioner helped clients understand the funding cycle and fundraising practice – how long it takes for people to respond, and other fundamental learnings.

4. Proposal writing: Most of the clients interviewed mentioned proposals and how they valued advice on document writing and review.

5. Financial management: NPO financial management is a rare skill so access to practical tools and templates was greatly appreciated.

6. Social media profile support: Assistance in this area helped clients to develop and achieve a new level of growth.

7. Human resources: Clients felt more confident about managing staff, for example when writing contracts and in performance appraisals.

8. Prospect research: Learning how to gather information about potential donors made clients better at understanding what donors were funding – a critical skill.

“NPOs still face extremely challenging times. There is a huge and growing demand for their services, but often less funding and limited staff capacity. We urge NPO leaders to remember that they are not alone, but to make use of Inyathelo’s services such as the clinics. We offer a nurturing and supportive environment to help NPO leaders achieve long-term success and resilience,” says Domingo.

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