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Money money money….. January 26, 2007

Posted by isabelleinnamibia in Namibia, Raaah!, The job.

Sadly my new-found responsibility involves the accounts. I hate money; I’m just not any good with it – just ask my mother.
Last week I was presented with a mountain of disordered receipts and a complicated Excel spreadsheet, and told to make it make sense. I then discover that we really don’t have any money to do, well, anything (typical scenario for NGOs), and therefore spend a painful day reallocating the budget (which Alessandro then redoes). I optimistically figure that there should be enough money to do the activities I have planned until March when Phase 1 ends. But what then? Well Phase 2, we hope.
Our 3rd quarterly report is late for our donors, the UNDP GEF SGP, and we need to find out if they will fund Phase 2 so I arrange a meeting with them. All the stakeholders hand in their reports late, so they are not too bothered, and seem actually quite happy as our accounts and reports are done how they like it and everything is in order. They like our project; they want to make a case-study of it. In their eyes, it could be used as a model for other ECO-Cs all over the country, nay, the whole region.
We are approaching the end of Phase 1 of the ECO-C project, and have now completed most of the activities we intended to, hence the need to look to the future. And since the GEF sponsored Phase 1, we would also like them to sponsor Phase 2. We have the concept ready, we have it all mapped out. Just tell us to write the proposal.
The GEF know about Phase 2, they like that too. But there’s no money available until maybe September, they’ve allocated all their funds for this phase. Oh. But on a positive note, it is likely that we will get the funding, just probably not until after I have left.
I must say, this does upset me as I was looking forward to getting going on the next bit. Now I am facing this void between March and September, with no money and therefore no activities. We can’t really leave the project to simmer until September, as the community will lose interest, and because we care too much to let that happen. My role is now fundraising, but first I need to come up with some short-term activities that will complement the work we have so far achieved, so that I know for what I am asking money. I’m going to hit the Embassies first, and pull on a few contacts and see what that throws up. Although if anyone knows any millionaires with a benevolent side, tell them to get in touch.
The problem now is timing though. Funding opportunities are often called to tender, with deadlines, and then take weeks or months to mull over the proposals received before rewarding any. Which means I better get cracking.
If only I didn’t have all the Phase 1 activities to plan and run, the mobilisation and survey to prepare and conduct in time for the Open Day, a huge end-of-Phase 1 M&E report to draw up and complete (being my first, it will be arduous to say the least), follow-up reports for the trainings we ran last year to write, all the awareness materials to research and design, as well as all the other bits and pieces demanded of me by my boss, work associates, the community, VSO and our donors.
And did I mention that I’m currently trying to move house and am about to start French classes twice a week?

Alessandro suggests I start working weekends.
It’s just as well I love my job.



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