Organizational Sustainability



To help you assess the accountability and sustainability of your financial management system, you may use the following tools. The first tool is intended to help you determine the “state of affairs,” of your financial management. By identifying the gap and its source, you will be more able to formulate a more accountable and sustainable financial system.

(Note: Gap refers to the discrepancy between what you think the condition should be, and what it actually is now. For example, your organization may not have written financial policies, in which case you answer “No”. You may state the gap as “My organization has not developed a set of financial policies.” Next, find out what the source of the gap is. Is it lack of time to prepare one? Or lack of know-how? Or the need has not been recognized?

Yes No Gap Source of Gap
1. Does my organization have an appropriate, operational and auditable financial system?
2. Do we have books of accounts?
3. Do we have an appropriate budgeting system?
4. Do we conduct internal and external audit regularly
5. Does my organization regularly prepare financial reports and submit them to a regulatory agency?
6. Does my organization have adequate and competent finance staff?
7. Is there a regular reporting of financial operations to the Board?
8. Are financial operations regularly reviewed by a Board Audit committee?
9. Do we have a resource /generation plan according to the criteria above?
10. Have we looked at opportunities other than funding proposals and grants?
11. Does my organization have the ability to prepare a resource generation plan?
12. Does my organization’s management style permit networking and building strategic alliances, joint ventures, partnerships, etc.?
13. Does my board plan for resource mobilization five years and beyond?


After identifying the gaps and their sources, you may find the following useful in addressing them. The “Milestones” in the tool refer to documents or situations that tell you are close to achieving your task, such as “Setting up of an auditable accounting system.”

Gap Source of Gap Critical Activities to Address Gap Persons to Involve in Addressing Gap Resources Needed to Address Gap Source of Resources Milestones Time frame
Gap 1              
Gap 2              
Gap 3              
Gap 4              
Gap 5              
Gap 6              
Gap 7              
Gap 8              


The following are activities you might wish to conduct as you work toward setting up an accountable and sustainable financial system.

  1. Review/Upgrade/Set up an appropriate and viable financial management system.
  2. Review/strengthen accounting systems and procedures.
  3. Assess adequacy and competence of staff.
  4. Prepare for and conduct internal and external audits as appropriate.
  5. Develop a financial reporting system.
  6. Review budgeting system.
  7. Create a Board Finance Committee.
  8. Create a Board Audit Committee.
  9. Train accounting staff.
  10. Conceptualize and prepare a resource mobilization/generation plan
    1. Identify organization/project needs five years and beyond
    2. Identify resources – financial and otherwise (go to, Foundation Center, Council on Foundations Foundation Center, etc.
    3. Match organizational needs, philosophy, priorities with resources.
    4. Develop resource generation strategies.
    5. Prepare resource generation action plan.
    6. Get Board commitment
  11. Form a staff-level resource mobilization/generation committee
  12. Create a board committee on resource mobilization/generation