Barriers and Challenges to Service Delivery and Funding: A Case Study of a Nonprofit Organization in the Western Cape, South Africa

Simone Martin-Howard


There is limited qualitative case research focusing on the underreported voices of black and coloured men and women employed at nonprofit organizations (NPOs) and living in underserved communities of South Africa. The purpose of this single case study, then, is to explore barriers and challenges to service delivery and funding at one specific NPO in South Africa’s Western Cape Province (WCP). To do so, I rely on observations and indepth semistructured interviews with 11 staff members. According to a majority of the staff, religion and race are the primary barriers that prevent the organization from achieving its goals and objectives. Moreover, they note that poverty and poor living conditions, child abandonment and neglect as a result of maternal alcohol abuse, and racial and cultural tensions are contextual challenges that inhibit organizational effectiveness. While these barriers and challenges are specific to this particular NPO, the contextual factors that staff identified are evident in other townships in the WCP. As such, the findings from this study add to the knowledge of NPOs in the WCP and provide insights into how to improve service delivery for low-income and underserved populations in the region.


Nonprofit Service Delivery; South Africa; Underserved Populations

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