NGO Alliance Social Enterprise Development

Official Project

The Problem

Alliance is an important contributor to the Donetsk community. Its activities directly improve the lives of thousands of people every year. Unfortunately, the organization can no longer sustain its programs on funding from sporadic training contracts, donations, and grants. It needs to generate a broad and steady client base. Alliance needs to turn itself into a sustainable social enterprise so that it can continue to serve the community at its current levels. Alliance provides valuable services and direct benefits to the community, so it is just as much in the community’s interest to have Alliance be sustainable as it is in Alliance’s. Alliance currently provides support and training to entrepreneurs and NGOs in the community, including maintaining an online resource center and support network, both of which are highly valued by the community and in danger of being shut for lack of funding. SPA funds will allow Alliance to finally move these services to a new site hosted through a secure and stable company. The current hosting company has been hacked numerous times and is in danger of shutting down. The value of these services to the community has been expressed in numerous letters of support and recognition from NGOs and city governments. In terms of the need for Alliance’s new paid services offerings, extensive market research was done to determine if this would be an effective method of raising revenue. The market research indicated that corporate training is an underdeveloped but slowly growing market in the Donetsk area. The Donetsk chamber of commerce currently lists only two management-training companies, and only an additional two have been identified through reviews of business journals and websites. Cities such as Kiev and Dnipropetrovs’k have well established corporate training industries, and our research indicates that this is a trend which will eventually migrate to the Donetsk area as its economic growth continues and the need for well trained managerial staff becomes more and more obvious in the local business community (a trend which is already underway). In addition to this, in order to gauge interest in Alliance’s new for-profit venture, surveys were distributed to 32 small and medium sized business in the area. The results were overwhelmingly positive. Of those who responded to the question, only 2 people felt that their management team was as effective as it could be, and 100% of those who responded said they would be interested in having trainings for their management teams. There is a very high likelihood that if Alliance does not receive this funding it will not be able to find a way to make itself truly sustainable, in which case all of the services, expertise, and support it offers the Donetsk community are in serious jeopardy.

Plan of Action

Alliance has purchased an apartment to use as a training center. SPA funds will be used to help in the remodeling of the apartment and purchase of office furniture. Alliance is then going to kick off a marketing push and client search for its training and translation services by hosting two sample training sessions for invited business people and representatives from local administrations. SPA funds will be used to fund these events as well as purchase advertising materials such as banners, signs, and brochures. Alliance is going to redesign and improve its website to coincide with the new business launch. SPA funds will also be used to launch Alliance’s new website through a secure, stable hosting company. The site will feature Alliance’s online community resources and online donation capabilities. Alliance will carry out continuous client searching throughout the grant period, and hopes to sign a roster of clients during this same period.

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