It’s been a week of nonprofit fundraising in Johannesburg – the business epicenter of Southern Africa. I’ve been honored to meet with a wide range of people representing great causes. From startups being funded by their founders to multinational foundations to well-established and respected national causes, I’ve been privileged to share nonprofit fundraising know-how with folks who really care about bringing about the changes they want to see. The overall mood is one of excitement, energy and hope. People are passionate about their causes and eager to find ways to advance them.
Here’s a short overview of causes and what we discussed in Johannesburg.
United Nations Development Programme
Alice Ruhweza is a Regional Technical Advisor for Biodiversity and Ecosystems in the Eastern and Southern Africa office for the United Nations Development Programme. Alice helps nations access funds for environmental projects like climate change, reforestation, and endangered species preservation.
In the next couple of years, Alice and other regional technical advisors – in addition to their portfolios of countries and projects – must help UNDP diversify its funding. The UNDP understands that having a base of funding that is more than 85% dependent upon one source puts long-term program stability at risk. Check out their work at www.undp.org.
Alice will depart for a short trip to Zambia next week to help that country access funds. Her youngest daughter is named Clara.
House of Hadassah
Today I met with Michel and Lindsey Lefebure and Mark Snyman from House of Hadassah.
House of Hadassah is dedicated to helping underprivileged girls who often have already been in Children’s Homes and have no visible means of support for further tertiary education. They are looking for help with building ongoing sustainable funding for the current operation and capital for future extensions.
Mark, Lindsey and Michel want to know how to approach corporations/foundations to raise awareness and funding. They want to develop, prospecting methods and determine if they should hire a local and/or international fundraiser to assist. You can see their non-denominational ministry program here: www.houseofhadassah.org.za.
They have a long-term vision to build on their 4 years of success in preparing underprivileged young women with skills and support for a successful adult life by expanding their facilities and establishing new programs in other South African cities. We used techniques to build their donor-base from Ask Masters Finding Funding to help them expand their support in their current city of operations and to establish new corps of supporters in their targeted growth communities. I look forward to hearing about their progress as they are equipped and ready to bring in new leadership level supporters and reach more young women.
Today we journeyed into Orlando West in Soweto and visited with Sikelelwa Alex Msitshana.
Alex has honed her skills in proposal writing and international project management. She’s discovered that small and new nonprofits need additional support with assembling funding requests and extra help with donor communications. Alex is launching her own consulting business, Sikelelwa Projects.
We focused together on business development steps and building your services to reach your constituency. Alex will soon be increasing her impact exponentially as she helps local NGOs request funds and build relationships.
Association Francois-Xavier Bagnoud
A message has recently come from the Swiss headquarters of this foundation instructing all regional centers to become financially independent. The South African Office supports 7 programs all over the country and they very much want to avoid cutting programs. You can see the Foundation’s work in South Africa here.
We used techniques from Ask Masters Major League Major Gifts to help the staff identify potential supporters who could transform their organization and develop relationships with them. They now have a new plan to recruit some transformative funders and maintain their programs. This year is a turning point for the Foundation!
My African Child My Pride
I was deeply honored today by Faith Shabangu who journeyed for nearly 6 hours from the Kwa-Zulu Natal Province to meet. Faith is the founder of My African Child My Pride, an organization dedicated to mentoring rural youth and connecting them with role models from a wide range of professions.
The organization is one year old and Faith needs to grow her organization exponentially in volunteer resources. We used the Fundraising Coaching process to establish growth and communications goals for each of the quarters of this year. Faith is determined to honor her personal history by offering alternatives for rural at-risk youth while she builds community around My African Child My Pride’s programs.
Worldwide Forces Against Poverty
Thandi Mutola, co-founder of Worldwide Forces Against Poverty, met today to determine how she could gain some traction with her new Foundation.
We used techniques from Ask Masters Major League Major Gifts to outline the specific process she will use to connect with influencers in her community and develop her funding proposal. She now has the techniques to break through hesitation with potential supporters and get them on board to help build momentum for the WFAP’s programs. You can connect with the WFAP on LinkedIn.
GAD Consulting Services, Inc.
Precious Makhosazane Khosi Mvulane is the Founder and Managing Director of the accounting and financial oversight firm, GAD.
GAD serves nonprofits and Khosi’s focus is on uplifting the sector by creating systems that help NGOs improve accountability, credibility and operational efficiency to increase sustainability.
In addition to her NGO clients, Khosi serves on several advisory boards throughout the country. She is all about nonprofit sustainability! You can see her firm’s work here www.gadcs.co.za.
We discussed the Ask Masters fundraising system and how to adapt the delivery model to reach more African nonprofits. Khosi is a powerhouse and I expect to see great things from the NGOs she supports.
Endangered Wildlife Trust
The Endangered Wildlife Trust fills the key niche of on-the-ground conservation action. Their specialist programmes and large team of skilled field staff are deployed throughout southern Africa and focus on applied fieldwork, research and direct engagement with stakeholders. Their work supports the conservation of species and ecosystems, and recognises the role that communities play in successful conservation programmes.
They focus on identifying the key factors threatening biodiversity and develop mitigating measures to reduce these. Through a broad spectrum of partnerships and networks, they develop innovative methodologies and best practice guidelines that help to reduce negative environmental impacts and promote harmonious co-existence and sustainable living for both people and wildlife.
I met with the Development department, Zai Miller, Debbie Thiart and Joy Nel. EWT needs to build a Major Gifts program and increase its support from individuals. Zai is the senior development officer who will build the major gifts program. She focuses on corporate support. Debbie will focus on building up the individual base of support and Joy will assist Zai with some of the corporate gifts and run the special events.
The EWT is facing the challenge of a greying base of support and is looking for new ways to connect and involve younger supporters. We discussed techniques from Ask Masters Major League Major Gifts on how to discover who your potential major gift supporters are and how to involve them at a high level. We used nonprofit fundraising ideas from Finding Funding to build a broad base of support that will continue to grow with some care and maintenance. Joy felt reinvigorated after our discussion and later reported some terrific news – a prospect she had assisted with soliciting has indicated a forthcoming gift of R200,000!
Each cause is doing important work. Each cause is supported by passionate, dedicated, energetic people.
I’m looking forward to following their progress! It seems fitting that the last group I met with was the development department from the Endangered Wildlife Trust, because next we’re off to Kruger Park!