Impumelelo, like most Civil Society Organisations (CSOs), is undergoing its most significant transformation since its inception. Dependence on donors often hinders sustainability, distracts from its mission, and encourages a short-term strategy of chasing funds. With SA defined as a middle income country, donor funding has declined and is being diverted elsewhere in Africa. The issues of sustainability, therefore has become more urgent.
In this context we have adopted a plan that focuses on new growth strategies that will enhance our current services and products with the aim of generating new revenue streams that will sustain the organisation in the longer term and slowly diminish donor dependence over the longer term.
Impumelelo’s strategic response to these challenges in the external environment is a commitment to carrying out a four-pronged strategy that will enable it to reach a greater audience and ensure its on-going sustainability and growth. The strategy includes:
- The hybridisation of the Impumelelo Business Model. The creation of a business subsidiary called Impumelelo Social Enterprise (ISE) (Pty) Ltd wholly owned by the Impumelelo Academy (IA). Our key aim is the reduction of an over-dependence on grants and donations while we simultaneously make use of CSR/CSI optimisation in a profit business structure. This we believe ensures our longer-term sustainability and growth and our partnership with the Institute for Futures Research at USB is the right conduit for the institutionalisation of this aspect.
- The development and adoption of a new product strategy focused on our target market. Impumelelo has developed a huge knowledge base of assets such as case studies, of replication, digital media (video content and an extensive project photographic library), as well as a proven process and methodology for evaluation and adjudication – all of which can be productized and converted into commercial products.
- Introduction of new commercial services. Impumelelo has the opportunity to introduce services that could generate additional revenue streams. Due to the vast IP, the organisation can easily translate this into consulting services, such as: Lectures to MBAs local and international, SROI (Social Return on Investment) training, Social Innovation Tourism, Hybridisation, Awards Methodology and Project Management, Case Study Development and Research.
- The development of a Digital Technology Platform that will seek to:
- Leverage Impumelelo’s existing asset base e.g. extensive evaluations database, case studies, digital content such as video footage, master classes, network database etc.
- Enable and support Impumelelo’s evolving business model – from a NPO model to a Social Enterprise (“For-Purpose, For-Profit” model) within the context of the Business School;
- Develop a relevant Social Innovation Ecosystem, which is driven off a platform-based business model.