Despite the challenges for civil society organizations across the Middle East and North Africa, such organizations play an important role in the political, social, and economic development of the region. Because of mounting challenges by both external and internal forces, organization leadership must be equipped with effective management practices to help ensure the viability and sustainability of their organizations, while attracting the best and brightest in their field.
Managing nonprofit organizations, such as policy-oriented civil society organizations and think tanks, has its own unique set of challenges, stemming in large part from the fact that these organizations are typically not driven by financial goals beyond sustainability over the long term. In addition, managers of nonprofit organizations have the added responsibility of identifying, attracting and retaining donors, in what is often a rapidly changing and highly uncertain environment. Many policy-oriented organizations and think tanks also have the added challenges of a fluid political environment, changing legal regulations, and a higher rate of staff turnover. In order to succeed despite this unique set of challenges, managers of civil society organizations and think tanks must be prepared and equipped to engage in effective strategic and financial planning, and be committed to developing and maintaining a well-governed, structured, and institutionally sound organization.
Effective management tools and strategies are essential for achieving efficient day-to-day organizational performance and are key to the growth and sustainability of an organization. This guide aims to provide practical methods to help managers of policy-oriented society organizations and think tanks grow and manage their organizations more efficiently and sustainably by providing an overview of:
- strategic development & planning;
- organizational governance;
- financial sustainability;
- donor relations; and
- operational management.