10 Mar 2023
Over a hundred leaders and advocates from civil society organizations (CSOs) pledged to build a resilient and sustainable CSO in the Philippines. The sustainability fair ended with a ceremonial declaration of their determination to take steps toward a sustainable future, all participants pinned their buttons and collectively chanted "We are ready for the future!"
This was the result of the Sustainability Fair themed “Future Proofing CSOs: Powering the local ecosystem to rise above the disruptive times” organized with the participation of the Ateneo Center for Organization Research and Development (CORD).
The Fair, in November was led by Save the Children Philippines (SCP) and also involved the Philippine Institute of Certified Accountants (PICPA). CORD, SCP and PICPA comprise the Capacitating Strategic Organizations to Strengthen the Civil Society Organization Sector (CSO2) Project.
CSO2 is a three (3)-year project funded by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) through its Local Works program. It aims to strengthen the capacity of CSOs and CSO networks that can serve as Local Resource Organizations (LROs). They, in turn, will help build the capacity of other CSOs in their network especially those experiencing organizational issues and challenges. This program intends to contribute to the self-reliance and sustainability of CSOs and CSO networks in the Philippines.
Participating CSO Local Resource Organizations were:
- The Civil Society Network for Education Reforms (E-Net Philippines)
- Pambansang Koalisyon ng Kababaihan sa Kanayunan (PKKK)
- Partnership of Philippine Support Service Agencies (PhilSSA)
- Philippine Partnership for the Development of Human Resources in Rural Areas (PhilDHRRA)
- Initiatives for Dialogue and Empowerment through Alternative Legal Services (IDEALS)
- Mindanao Peoples Caucus for Peace & Solidarity, Inc. (MPC)
- Balay Mindanaw Foundation Inc. (BMFI)
- Iloilo Caucus of Development Non-Government Organizations, Inc. or Iloilo Code NGOs, Inc. (ICODE)
- Participatory Research Organization of Communities and Education towards Struggle for Self-Reliance-Panay, Inc. (PROCESS Panay) and the
- Youth First Initiative (YFI) Philippines. Inc.
The Sustainability Fair featured two keynote speakers focused on sustainability and trends in resource mobilization.
Marianne Quebral shared ways to ensure fundraising agility and Sylvia Paraguya discussed the National Confederation of Cooperatives (NATCCO) experience, emphasizing the importance of an entrepreneurial mindset for CSO sustainability.
In addition to the plenary session, three parallel sessions shared new ways to address development funding. Participants also learned from real life stories of successful social enterprises and the consequent Question and Answer sessions.