Financial Resilience for Social Justice


Yvette Kathurima
The Financial Resilience program offered by Spring Strategies was a life changer for me. Prior to the course, I always thought of resource mobilization as this enormously difficult thing to undertake. I was worried that I did not have enough experience or skills to be able to write winning proposals and appeal to donors. Transformation for me was swift as it actually began during the course. The Financial Resilience program created a huge paradigm shift for me in how I relate with donors which has been extremely useful for me to date. The program addresses how to powerfully communicate your work to different stakeholders and has empowered me to train other program staff on stories of impact. I would strongly recommend the course to anyone who feels that they need a new approach to financial resilience, especially in this context of diminishing funds for CSO work globally. The course works as it brings together finance staff with leadership functions on communications and resource mobilization, and supports a holistic approach where staff together develop an organization wide financial resilience plan and practice. Take the course, you won’t regret it!
As a donor, this was an invaluable learning opportunity for me, as I heard firsthand some of the constraints grantee partners face in trying to diversify their funding and strengthening their long-term organizational resilience. I very much appreciated the candor and the camaraderie in our highly interactive sessions, especially when grantees described how donors can both help, and sometimes, hinder their efforts. I recommend that other donors participate in this workshop as it will provide a richer, more nuanced understanding of the specific kinds of support that groups need to survive over the long haul to keep fighting the good fight.
Amany Alhadka
Spring Forward offers a unique and innovative approach to tackling the most challenging and complex topic for any organization: raising and managing money. This opportunity came just at the right time for our organization as we were ready to invest in our financial resilience and improve our financial performance overall. Spring Forward calls it intensive and IT IS!! The three-day course takes you on a journey from scanning the funding landscape and thinking strategically about how to diversify your funding, to the tactics and tools you need to improve your organization’s financial health and resilience. This is one of the most practical and interactive courses I’ve ever attended and I would highly recommend it to those who are looking for a different and fresh look at building greater financial strength.
Gastón Chillier
Executive Director
When we joined Spring Forward in 2016 we were in a stable financial position with steady growth but knew we needed to reduce our dependency on grants and diversify our funding. This program allowed for our leadership team to brainstorm and we came out with greater alignment in thinking and clarity about the actions needed to make this shift. As a concrete result, we dared to move forward with the initial steps of an individual donor initiative, in which we are now investing to implement permanently and more professionally, as well as a social enterprise. We also improved our ability to better align our support requests around our core mission, which implies a substantial change in our financial sustainability. I am confident about CELS’ financial future and recommend the program to others.
Alana Jochum
Executive Director
The team at Spring Forward helped our team to spring into action. The funding landscape for nonprofits is quickly changing. By taking time outside of our everyday routine together, working through the financial resilience framework, and visioning the future we want together, our team walked away from Spring Forward inspired, confident, and equipped to face the difficult funding landscape at home. We practiced a funding pitch during the session, and when we presented it back home, it yielded a gift twice as large as what we had initially hoped. Ellen and her team help you tap into the abundance within to manifest it!
Katie McKenna
The Spring Forward training was transformative for our young organization. Three days of financial resilience coaching and support with a world-class team helped us shape an ambitious Strategic Framework and first-year financial plan and budget for The Leap. The training levelled up our fundraising, communications and overall strategy and was also a pleasure to attend. I would HIGHLY recommend Spring Forward to organizations large and small.
Jose Lugaro
Vice President for Development
Spring Forward provided an opportunity to temporarily step away from those daily realities and focus on the critical long term issues that will make our organization relevant and resilient for years to come. It’s only been a few weeks since we gathered, but our leadership team is already having more informed conversations, our board is using some of the tools we received and my team is incorporating strategies that we learned.
Diana Rodríguez Franco
The financial resilience workshop showed us how power lies in connecting: connecting an organization’s members with a joint purpose, connecting different expertise, connecting action and research, connecting an organization’s financial and administrative group to its research and mission areas, connecting resources and purpose, connecting organizations and donors around a strategy.
Monica Aleman Cunningham
Senior Program Officer, Building Institutions and Networks (BUILD)
Of the close to 50 East Africa based Ford Foundation funded organizations that have gone through the program, about 90% have come out stronger. They present requests within the larger work of their organizations, they are providing much more comprehensive reports, most have included financial resilience language in their theory of change and none of them ever miss a deadlines. They all recognize the need for, or they already have, a financial sustainability plan. And we are seeing improved quality of program delivery as well.
Maurice Makoloo
Representative for Eastern Africa
I was really happy to see that as a result of taking part in Spring Forward grantee confidence in fundraising has grown. I was happy that they could see the connection between a good pitch and a good outcome and to see their ability to clarify vision and mission, articulate it, and lay out what they seek to do. The other gratifying thing to see is the partnerships emerging within the organizations between the ED, the financial officer, and program director.
Partners need money, but they need a lot more than money. They need it in sufficient quantities, with as few restrictions as possible, over a sustained period of time to support their passion so that they can make a difference.
Linda Ochola-Adolwa
Executive Director
It was providential that we did it so early. Without it, we would have come at the future so differently…With a small organization, it is always all hands on deck, you are buried in the present and it’s hard to think about the future. I appreciate the help in being more foresighted, to think in terms of a multi-year plan. One group had 17 funders! It helped us imagine other possible futures.

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