Advice, resources, mentorship and support are available from Inyathelo via free clinic services. These are offered face-to-face if the non-profit organisation is based in Cape Town, or online. Inyathelo also offers support by phone and email, and through our ASK Inyathelo website. At the heart of these sessions is a system known as Advancement, a holistic approach to building donor relationships and attracting funding.
Hundreds of non-profit organisations have benefitted from these clinic services, which mainly cover the areas of governance, leadership, operations, financial management and financial resilience.
An independent evaluation of Inyathelo’s clinic services, conducted several years ago, gave several reasons why clients value its services. Firstly, some respondents believe the organisation should be the first port of call when anyone is considering setting up an NPO. Clinic clients also gain insights into sectoral issues, feel part of a larger professional community, view Inyathelo as a future partner in advocacy work, and are connected with other services which Inyathelo offers.
Client feedback included the following benefits of clinic participation:
- Strategic thinking: Clinic sessions were hugely valuable in helping to formulate a clear message to funders, and taking organisations forward at a strategic level.
- 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.
- 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.
- Proposal writing: Most of the clients interviewed mentioned proposals and how they valued advice on document writing and review.
- Financial management: NPO financial management is a rare skill, so access to practical tools and templates were greatly appreciated.
- Social media profile support: Assistance in this area helped clients to develop and achieve a new level of growth.
- Human resources: Clients felt more confident about managing staff, for example when writing contracts and in performance appraisals.
- Prospect research: Learning how to gather information about potential donors made clients better at understanding what donors were funding – a critical skill.
Concluding the review, the assessor wrote: “The client feedback shows excellent results and impact, with many organisations having changed fundamentally as a result of their engagement with Inyathelo. Some organisations were saved from imminent collapse, other organisations have gone through exponential growth and success.”
“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.”