About The Project
In Bhutan, a civil society organization (CSO) is a local nonprofit organization that is not part of the government but complements the government’s efforts and plays a significant role in the development of the country. In a small country like Bhutan, CSOs play a major role in mobilizing and sensitizing communities more effectively than government institutions; draw attention to new development challenges that require political attention; encourage greater development effectiveness by promoting accountability; and become service providers in areas of need, such as education, health, and governance. Developing a strong civil society also reinforces democracy, the practice of democratic procedures, and the experience of personal responsibility for public good.
Capacity Building for Civil Society Organizations
Since the Civil Society Act was established in 2007, the number of CSOs in Bhutan continues to grow. With the increasing demands and needs of a rapidly developing society, it is critical that these CSOs develop strategic plans in fulfilling their roles and accomplishing their missions.
The CSOs must learn to manage their organizations to carry out the work that benefits the public in advancing the shared interests of the Bhutanese people. With these ideas in mind, the Bhutan Foundation has mapped out steps that would continue to build on the current success and vitality of the existing CSOs by providing them with opportunities to build their organizational capacity through development workshops and trainings as well as space for greater collaboration among the CSOs.
The Civil Society Development Program works to strengthen and support civil society organizations’ ability to deliver to the people and to serve the public, while promoting high standards in accountability, ethics, and management.
Our Civil Society Development Program aims to achieve the following objectives:
Help build capacity among CSOs and facilitate better collaboration among the various organizations.
Improve CSO organizational capacity and extend professional help through workshops in management, finance, marketing, fundraising, and public relations.
Contribute toward building a proficient civil society sector and encourage the public to identify, select, and support effective organizations.
Build and maintain a forum where CSOs may share and disseminate information and eventually maintain a comprehensive database of information on the activities of civil society organizations in Bhutan.
May 7, 2016
The Bhutan Foundation in collaboration with the Bhutan Centre for Media and Democracy and the Bhutan Media and Communications Institute supported a three-day communication skills training for all CSOs. Thirty three participants from various organizations participated in this training titled, "Inspiring people to support and enhance your good work." Over the course of three days, communications officers and program officers developed practical, engaging and inspirational storytelling skills to communicate effectively with donors and others about the work that they do. They also developed the ability to articulate meaningful stories of projects in ways that are exciting, memorable, and connect with ideas that existing and potential donors care about to maintain and increase their support.
August 7, 2015
The Bhutan Foundation held a collaboration meeting with our government and CSO partners as part of its three-day strategic planning retreat. These stakeholders mainly focused on the needs of the CSOs and the role the foundation could play to facilitate better coordination among the CSOs and improve their visibility throughout the country. Twenty-one participants from local CSOs and government partners participated in this meeting.
October 16, 2013
The Bhutan Foundation supported a two-day QuickBooks Accounting Workshop for Civil Society Organizations in Bhutan. The workshop provided CSOs with the basics of setting up the software and using its functions relevant to nonprofits, such as dealing with contributions, tracking program activities, generating reports, exporting and importing data, and reconciling their organization’s accounts. Mr. William Tacon and Mr. Phub Wangdi, from the Loden Foundation, led the workshop, which included eighteen participants from sixteen organizations. Organizations who participated in the workshop were provided a free copy of QuickBooks for Nonprofits by the Bhutan Foundation. The workshop was conducted in collaboration with one of our local partners, the Loden Foundation.
April 19, 2013
In Thimphu, twenty-three participants from nine CSOs participated in a workshop on strategic planning for CSOs in Bhutan. The workshop was conducted by Mr. William Tacon and organized by the Bhutan Foundation. It covered basics on what strategic planning is about and the importance for civil society organizations to develop a strategic plan. Mr. Tacon was previously a managing partner of Zolfo Cooper BVI and Managing Director of Ernst and Young in the British Virgin Islands. His experience includes advising management teams on business strategy, including financial options and improving internal processes.
The Bhutan Foundation believes that CSOs play an important role in any society in filling critical gaps and that, if functioning correctly, they can effectively complement the role of government. Bhutanese society is no different, and the gap between what the new democratic government of Bhutan can provide and what is required to achieve the development aspirations of the country can be bridged by a sound and effective nonprofit sector. The Bhutan Foundation partners with local CSOs to facilitate and implement many of its important mandates and advocates the need to establish a strong CSO sector.
How You Can Help
The Bhutan Foundation needs your support to provide capacity-building tools and training materials to the CSOs. These resources enable them to gain exposure to the latest management and financial techniques that would help them in their organizational development and efficiency. By supporting Bhutan’s budding nonprofit sector, you will be able to help improve Bhutanese society by bridging critical gaps in areas like developing rural communities, empowering women, providing much-needed opportunities to new entrepreneurs, and much more.