MzN Knowledge Sessions and Sprint Workshops for the InterAction Community

MzN Knowledge Sessions and Sprint Workshops for the InterAction Community

In a January 2021 survey of InterAction member organization CEOs, 46% of CEOs somewhat or strongly agreed that their organization is currently vulnerable to significant disruption to its business model – an uptick from the prior year.

As a result, InterAction, the largest alliance of international NGOs and partners in the United States, and MzN International are collaborating on a series of knowledge sessions and half-day Sprint workshops to build and adapt InterAction member organizations in support of tackling major global challenges.

Note: To register, you must be an InterAction member organization.

Knowledge Sessions

MzN International will lead knowledge sessions in the funding, strategy, and agile change realms. The hour-long sessions will start with MzN-shared learning, followed by case study examples, and finally attendees processing the newly acquired knowledge  together.

The NGO of the future is agile, entrepreneurial and digital.

June 23, 2021 at 2:30 pm ET

For our organizations to not only survive but thrive, we need to change the way we are funded and improve the way we work. We need to manage our organizations better, be more agile, innovative and entrepreneurial, and need to diversify funding to make them more robust. We reflect on 10 years of transforming non-profits into agile and better-funded changemakers. We identify five essential attributes that have made some MzN International partners successful and thrive through the COVID-19 crisis. We look ahead to see what leaders can do now to create organizations that deliver profound impact and advance in a disrupted world.

Read InterAction’s description of our upcoming webinar here.

How to fund my organization, not projects.

July 14, 2021 at 10 am ET

Finding the right funding for good projects is hard. Finding funding for my organization seems even more difficult. Yet there is an ideal mix between the various types of funding that allows most NGOs to have sufficient organizational funding in addition to their project funding . We look back at 15 years of experience helping NGOs achieve a sustainable funding stream. We examine the ideal mix between project and unrestricted funding, look at pragmatic tips such as assigning costs to donor-funded projects, and give real-world advice for leaders on how to get the funding and cost management right.

Five things to get right when going agile.

August 4, 2021 at 2:30 pm ET

Everyone wants to go agile. But how? And what works for NGOs? MzN International has led agile transformations in mid-sized and large organizations since 2010 and shares real-world experiences. Discover with us what “going agile” means, what we must get right, what can go wrong, and what benefits to expect.

Digitized fundraising raises more. Here’s why and how to do it. 

September 9, 2021 at 2:30 pm ET

Door-to-door fundraising and face-to-face networking with institutional donors was always slow – now, it’s almost impossible. The COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated the digitization of NGOs by ten years in a matter of months, and some NGO partners of MzN International are making substantial advances in digitizing their funding and income work. From ever better segmentation in fundraising to outsourced bid-opportunity identification, there are game-changing opportunities for NGOs. In this webinar, we will share our experience on institutional funding availability for every organization big or small; the key is to find the right fit.

Sprint Sessions

Half-day team Sprints solving a very specific problem, flanked by a pre and post-sprint coaching and reflection session. Available for 25 organizations.

The Sprint is managed in three stages:

Stage 1: Challenge “Drill Down” (remote)

In this remote conversation, we “drill down” the challenge to one particular problem.

Examples and past challenge areas solved by Sprints are:

  • Our fundraising base grows too slowly / does not attract enough new supporters each month.
  • We are organized too statically and our processes are too siloed or stand in the way of innovation.
  • Our funding proposals are not successful enough.
  • We need to lower our cost base – we are just too expensive.

Once we identified the challenge area, we break this down into sub-challenges and list them in order of priority by the benefit of a solution. Now we have focus!

Stage 2: Sprint Workshop (on-site) 

Here we take one (or more, if time allows) sub-challenge and build a step-by-step storyboard to conceive, build and test a solution.

Team: A very important step is to get the team right. We often hear that essential colleagues are “not available”. We recommend that three types of people are involved:

  1. The challenge expert – someone who experiences the problem day to day
  2. The user expert  – someone who knows our user /customer perspective very closely
  3. The business expert – someone who knows how our organization works and who has the authority to make decisions

Depending on the challenge, we may provide a visual storyboard artist during the workshop.

Stage 3: Sharing and Testing (remote)

The Sprint team shares its ideas about the sub-challenge with the wider team, using the artist’s storyboard or their own creation. The reception and comments from the wider team are used to make the solution ready for launch.

Contact Sarah Fernandes at MzN International to learn more about the half-day sprints: