A program is considered sustainable if it can meet its aims, principles, and intended outcomes even after the initial funding expires or funding reductions. A well sustainability plan plays a vital role in funding decisions since most donors and financiers rely on these aspects to make their financial decisions. Sustainability requires long-term planning to enable diverse donor engagements and improve institutional capacity in meeting the project’s goals. To maintain successful programs, there should be measures to ensure financial sustainability, organizational stability, and programmatic sustainability despite funding reduction (Epstein and Buhovac, 2014).
The financial stability of a project can be realized by ensuring a steady flow of funds from various financiers and generating revenue for supporting and continuing the organizational work. When developing a financial plan, it is essential to conduct in-depth research to ensure diversification of funding sources and eliminate non-essential expenses. Towards diversification of the revenue sources, the organization may opt for the sale of products that the organization produces, which can act as a good source of extra cash.
To generate extra income, it can institute a service fee from the target beneficiaries for the maintenance and functioning of the project. Additionally, creating membership fees through collecting small annual payments from the members can enable the continuity of some vital projects. Online fundraising can also be a good platform for reaching a large audience and individuals who can relate to the project and would like to give their support in kind and financial contributions. It is also essential to assess the existing budget and ascertain the areas where cuts can be made without compromising the program’s key goals. This can be achieved by reducing the number of staff working on a project, reducing non-essential expenses, and figuring out more cost-effective approaches to realizing the project’s goals.
Institutional stability, which plays a vital role in program sustainability, can be achieved by maintaining proper operations of the organization and institutions that are part of the project. To achieve institutional and organizational sustainability, the organization should focus on exploring new opportunities and partnerships while also boosting existing relations, as this will make the project stable and meet its mission. Developing effective communications and outreach programs through a solid strategy that brings on board a range of stakeholders and donors will ensure the continuation of the organization’s programs. Constant communication of plans and showcasing the project results to all the stakeholders is an effective way of improving the organization’s image and boosting performance (Schönborn et al., 2019). Volunteer engagements in performing some activities can help the project realize its objectives without spending much money on human resources, thus cutting operational costs.
Programmatic sustainability plays a crucial role by ensuring the continuity of an organization’s projects despite funding reductions. Community involvement is critical to achieving the long-term prospects of any project. Ensuring the project involves the community at various stages will give them ownership of the project and the likelihood of supporting it even after funding reduction (Schönborn et al., 2019). Institutionalizing, strengthening, and involvement of the local groups in the project planning and implementation phase. Additionally, community advocacy by sensitizing the local community to the benefits of the project can also ensure its sustainability in the long run. Seeking the involvement of the local government and agencies will enable improved access to government initiatives which can positively influence the project’s sustainability in the long run. The government can create a favorable working environment by allocating grants and reducing some operational charges, thus making it more sustainable in the long run (Epstein and Buhovac, 2014).
Epstein, M. J., & Buhovac, A. R. (2014). Making sustainability work: Best practices in managing and measuring corporate social, environmental, and economic impacts. Berrett-koehler publishers.
Schönborn, G., Berlin, C., Pinzone, M., Hanisch, C., Georgoulias, K., & Lanz, M. (2019). Why social sustainability counts: The impact of corporate social sustainability culture on financial success. Sustainable Production and Consumption, 17, 1-10.