ProFile: Hans Wolters
FS: What do you like most/least about working in the sector?
HW: When an NGO is operating well, it is quite extraordinary what it can achieve. NGOs are making the world a better place, and it is a privilege to be part of that movement. On a day-to-day basis,?I encounter some of the most positive and committed people who have achieved so much on behalf of others. Little could be more motivating than that.
My personal bug bear is NGO offices that are not professionally run. It is not alright to use the term "NGO" as a reason for a lack of management or structure. We need to retain what is so special and moving about the organization's mission and its commitment to that mission, paired with absolute professionalism.
FS: What is the future of fundraising?
HW: Fundraising is increasingly volatile. Donors … are more and more informed about your organization and other organizations (locally, nationally and internationally), and they certainly are in control when it comes to their donations. They are able to pick and choose which organization they give to with relative ease, changing how they donate, the amount and which charity they support with just one click of the mouse.
We cannot expect donors to continue to support NGOs on a long-term basis. The times that you can expect an individual donor to support you for, say, an average of seven years are over. This is reflected in the growth of online tools (comparison/benchmarking Web sites, etc.) that enable donors to quickly and easily compare organizations. Increased transparency means greater scrutiny of NGO practices, and no organization can afford to be left behind. NGOs must ensure that their organization will fare well in such comparisons if they are to continue to fundraise effectively in future years.