The institutional profile of a development initiative affects the options available to address its social objective, establish partnerships, and acquire and manage funds.
The promotion of a quality education model, for example, requires different conceptualizing, beneficiaries, discourse, financing strategies, depending on if the initiative comes from a public, civil or private entity.
The legal constitution , although it is not an appropriate option to the social objective of many development initiatives, nor is it accessible to others because of its complexity and costs, has allowed some initiatives to acquire greater credibility and has helped their procurement of public and private support.
In this sense and with a view to ensuring the financial self-sustainability required to achieve their social objectives, some development actors have been constituted as:
- ♣ Non-profit organizations: forming schemes that allow them access to public and private donations and funds. Among them, some have been constituted as authorized grantees.
- ♣ Hybrid organizations: organizations with parallel profit and non-profit sections. The non-profit side allows initiatives to access public and private donations. Whilst the business side generates surpluses to invest in the social objective. For example, the sale of packages of consulting services based on the know-how of the initiative.
- ♣ Social enterprises: these allow initiatives to address a specific social problem (access to drinking water, education, etc.) in a cost-effective way, minimizing economic constraints and, allowing implementing agents to financially profit.
- ♣ Association of initiatives: forming networks of initiatives with complementary social objectives. By sharing resources and responsibilities they achieve interventions that are more integrative and of plural relevance.
The implementation options vary with initiatives’ institutional profiles. But the possibilities to determine the profile depend on the nature of their projects, their positioning regarding their role, and the extent to which they could be compromised by choosing one or another profile.
It is important that initiatives are well informed of their alternatives before choosing the profile that will best help them achieve their objectives.
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