Money does matter to an NGO, but to smaller NGO’s it’s difficult to get off the ground, without ‘history’ it’s difficult to be ‘rated’ as worthy.
We’ve gone a long way to ensuring our worthiness but it’s going to take time to build up our credibility. We are completely transparent & are open to being audited by outside organisations. We will be publishing our finances.
Larger NGO’s use more money on administrative costs than possibly smaller NGO’s do.
We have a huge bonus on our side in that the Euro is pegged to the CFA, the currency of Cote d’Ivoire at 1€ = 655CFA
Our administrative costs are kept to a minimum, namely:
- Bank costs, annual bank charges
- Western Union costs; quite honestly these are crippling, we pay a mammoth sum for each time we need to send money to Cote d’Ivoire. This will change when we’re more established & we’re hoping our bank (which has branches in Cote d’Ivoire) will look on us favourably.
- Internet costs to build the site & keep the host name (www.creer-africa.org – still under construction)
Costs that are not taken from C.R.E.E.R’s account:
- Our time; which accounts for several hours a week for quite a few of the team in France and for Erick in Cote d’Ivoire
- Our phone calls to Cote d’Ivoire & other organisations overseas to try to get partnerships organised. Skype isn’t ideal for Cote d’Ivoire, we usually spend an hour screaming ‘Can you hear me?’
- Our flights to Cote d’Ivoire, accommodation & expenditure whilst on the ground; this is all from our own pockets & we intend to keep it that way. However there are times when we ‘should’ be there but due to the economic crisis cannot afford to fly down; Erick has done an incredible job on our behalf.
In the future:
We’ve set up guidelines for Erick to comply by; showing complete transparency on all fronts. Every sum he has received so far has been fully documented as to how it was spent.
- Each child will have their own accounts book that Erick will fill in (we hope to do this on Excel spreadsheets as soon as possible to make his life easier). The book will show:
- Monthly costs of each child: monthly outgoings of the centre will be clearly shown in & then broken down & split between each child on a pro-rata basis – we envisage that we’ll be able to repatriate some of them.
- Each child’s external needs, whether it’s schooling, medical or otherwise; we will be able to show in their accounts.
- Receipts for all outgoings will be kept & recorded as all money sent from France will be accounted.
- The small holding will be accountable for all food produce & recorded as to how much is grown that is used by the centre.
- All salaries will be accounted for from France & the exact amount will be transferred to Cote d’Ivoire for that purpose.
- There will be an internal audit annually (and our Treasurer doesn’t suffer fools gladly!)