I’ve journeyed all across the country! From Swaziland to the Far South to Cape Town to Worcester I’ve been honored to meet with a wide range of people representing great causes. From startups being funded by their founders to well-established and respected organizations with significant fundraising histories, I’ve been privileged to be teaching nonprofit fundraising know-how with folks who really care about advancing their communities. The overall mood is one of energy, hope, and a focus on action. 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 Swaziland and the Western Cape.
Teaching Nonprofit Fundraising in Swaziland
People’s Educational Theatre
Nicholas Mamba is a founder and board member for the People’s Educational Theatre. PET provides arts-in-education curriculum for school children. Additionally, the Theatre provides AIDS awareness programs and runs a “camp” for kids to learn performance skills. Nicholas would like to expand the program’s funding beyond foundations and government support. Heidi met with Nicholas and used processes from Major League Major Gifts to help Nicholas identify and build a solid base of support.
Gone Rural bo Make
In Swaziland, a non-profit cannot have “earned” income. Having earned income is limited only to “for-profit’ ventures. Gone Rural is a fair-trade business that has built a system to employ thousands of local women to produce high quality crafts. However, Gone Rural has several social initiatives as its core purpose such as clean drinking water, health care, scholarships, community building, and women’s empowerment/education that are wider reaching than a crafts business.
Gone Rural established the nonprofit organization, boMake, to include the “contributed income” for the projects. Now, Gone Rural puts funds in boMake to support the non-business related ventures that comprise the heart of the company. BoMake means “several mothers” which really defines the mission: women working together for their family, their community, and their own betterment.
Shelley, Yael, and Heidi met to discuss growing boMake. They have determined that they need to increase contributions from individuals and family-foundations. Heidi shared nonprofit fundraising techniques from Major League Major Gifts to help Shelley and Yael identify potential major donors and engage them with boMake. One of the challenges boMake would like to overcome is the splintering within the organization that is a potential hazard of program-specific funding; the water initiative may be attractive and well funded while the scholarship program is on hold. And how do you fund basic operating costs for the office to support these programs? Processes from Finding Funding were used to help boMake tell its story in a way that will diversify funding and increase unrestricted contributions.
Emergency Assistance Volunteer Support Foundation
Davin Chown was alarmed by the increasing frequency of fires that threatened his community of Kommetjie in the Far South region of the Western Cape. Frustrated by the community’s inability to secure needed resources to fight fires such as manpower, training, and equipment, Davin established the Emergency Assistance Volunteer Support Foundation (EVS). The EVS Foundation provides several communities with fire prevention education, training, and community building programs.
As a board member of the EVS Foundation, Davin relies on his military experience, the skills he developed during his years as an international consultant with Accenture, and his connecting and program building abilities from heading two companies, to help advance the organization. Davin and Heidi met and discussed growing the nonprofit fundraising capacity for the EVS Foundation. Davin has been the major contributor to the foundation and is ready to grow in local, regional, and international support.
One thing Davin was overlooking as he worked to increase support for the Foundation was the veracity and legitimacy his position as a major donor brings to his appeals. He can make a very strong case by positioning a request for support as an invitation to join with him in providing protection for the community. Techniques from Major League Major Gifts were employed to help Davin expand and find the future major supporters who will help the EVS Foundation in its fire prevention, education, outreach, and community building efforts.
The Performing Arts Network of South Africa (PANSA) is a national network of individuals, NGOs, service providers, and mainstream institutions that are engaged in the practice or support of the performing arts. As a membership organization, PANSA provides information and advice to members, lobbies on behalf of artists, recommends policy to public sector institutions, and supports performing arts industry building by maintaining a database of industry participants and providing networking opportunities. You can learn more here: http://pansa.org.za/.
PANSA facilitated a meeting where 24 people from 17 arts organizations spoke about some of the challenges they were facing in the arts industry in South Africa. Questions about audience development, securing unrestricted support versus program-specific funds, and how to forecast contributions to allow for organizational planning were top-of-mind for many companies. Many organizations shared their frustrations with the process of receiving funds from the National Lottery Distribution Trust Fund and remarked on the difficulties the companies were experiencing when allotted funds are not received.
Heidi shared some of her experiences in the performing arts industry and used examples to illustrate how arts organizations can expand their support beyond funding applications by focusing on conversations with individuals. People were energized and each took a little something different away from the meeting. Check out what people had to say here! PANSA was pleased to report that the participants were inspired and requested to hold an ongoing nonprofit fundraising council where they could connect and share ideas and challenges!
Trade Mark Trust
Trade Mark Trust is an organization that helps skilled township tradesmen surpass the barriers of poverty by connecting them with viable clients in need of their services. Joshua Cox, the founding director of the organization, needed some insights into fundraising planning, activities, and strategies.
Heidi used Fundraising Coaching strategies to help Joshua identify ways to include fundraising communications in his organization’s development plan. Trade Mark Trust now has a terrific opportunity to build its contributed revenue at the same time it develops its earned income.
SEED is a small and well-rooted organisation that is operating a national school-based program that grows Outdoor Classrooms in South Africa’s poorer schools. SEED has a range of education initiatives including curriculum development for environmental education and support for green entrepreneurship. SEED’s core purpose is to teach environmental ethics, with earth care, people care, and surplus share as its focus. Check them out here: www.seed.org.za
The organization has recently articulated a five year plan and needed help creating a fundraising strategy to support the planned growth. One of the projects that is rapidly growing and needs additional funds is the Rocklands Urban Abundance Centre which provides a hub for environmental learning, Permaculture demonstrations, and community enterprise. Heidi met with Leigh Brown and used a special process from Major League Major Gifts to help SEED identify and engage potential top level supporters while maintaining current nonprofit fundraising activities. The timing was impeccable as Leigh was visiting with a potential funder directly after the meeting and was excited to employ the new strategy.
National Institute for the Deaf
About 2 hours outside of Cape Town on the other side of the massive Stettyns mountain range, the National Institute for the Deaf (NID) is nestled in the retreat-like Breede River Valley town of Worcester. The Institute, having recently celebrated its 130 year anniversary, provides a robust series of programs and services for the Deaf community. From the mini-village Lewensruimte (translated as “living space”) for development and care of the multi-disabled adult deaf persons, and the eldercare assisted living facilities Rusoord and Shalom; to the De la Bat school, the Further Education and Training College, and the Business Training Units which provide education and skills development for learners with hearing loss from age three throughout adulthood, the National Institute for the Deaf is dedicated to providing education, development, training, social services, and spiritual care to empower South Africa’s persons with hearing loss to reach their full potential. An intensive seminary program for Deaf ministers prepares candidates to serve their own congregations and NID’s DeafNET uses international networks and technology to allow access to knowledge, training and expertise to Deaf persons and their families across Africa and the Indian Ocean Islands. You can check them out here: http://www.deafnet.co.za/
Deon de Villiers, the Executive Director of NID, is a retired university professor who’s dedicated his life to helping people reach for their potential. Sikelelwa Alex Msitshana, who suffered an illness-related loss of her hearing in 2008, uses her skills in proposal writing and international project management as a Corporate Social Investment Facilitator for NID.
During the past 10 years of Deon’s tenure as Executive Director, the National Institute for the Deaf has experienced fantastic growth in its approach to services and programs. By adding continuing education programs and enterprising business units under the auspices of NID, the Institute developed its earned income from 0% to 55% of the annual operating revenues. However, the rapidly changing environment requires constant evaluation.
Today, the Institute must build sustainable and reliable sources of contributions to replace government funding which, at one time, provided more than 30% of the organization’s annual operating funds. Additionally, NID needs to develop new funding sources to alleviate the dependence on the uncertain and unreliable distributions from the National Lottery Distribution Trust Fund. Finally, NID must be able to reliably forecast its contributed revenues so it can plan for the maintenance and expansion of its facilities to meet the needs of the Deaf community. Heidi used Fundraising Coaching to share examples of strategies to focus fundraising activities during a critical time to uncover potential sources of transformative funds. The National Institute for the Deaf is a complex and entrepreneurial organization that provides critically needed services, support and programs. By applying the same strategic entrepreneurial focus to its fundraising efforts as it uses in its business development the National Institute for the Deaf has the potential to not only survive the economic shifts, but thrive.
Anton de Beer was unaware of the issues facing the elderly in South Africa until his mother suffered a fall that lead to her death. He was shocked to learn that a quick emergency response to her fall and fall prevention education could have saved his mother. Hoping to help others avoid the same circumstance he experienced with his mother’s injuries, he built TeleCare Solutions – a company that provides emergency communications for seniors. Building the company was not enough. He wanted to be sure that those who could not afford to purchase the technology would be cared for as well. So he established the eHealth Foundation.
The eHealth Foundation is dedicated to physical, mental, and spiritual eldercare. The Foundation works through three programs to support the elderly in South Africa: The Senior Safe program provides emergency care communications equipment to seniors who cannot afford it; the Fall Aware program seeks to help seniors maintain their independence and improve the quality of life through fall prevention, education, and awareness programs; and the Wish Foundation is dedicated to fulfilling an elder’s special wish or goal. You can learn more about the eHealth Foundation here: www.ehealthfoundation.org.za.
In the past, the Foundation has received significant government support. Now, as government funds are reduced, Anton is concerned for the stability and continuance of the eHealth Foundation and its ability to provide support for elders in the program. Heidi and Anton met and used nonprofit fundraising techniques from Finding Funding to help Anton communicate the Foundation’s case in a manner that would inspire others to become involved. A process from Major League Major Gifts was used to help Anton identify and connect with potential major supporters who could help the eHealth Foundation transition away from reliance on government funding.
Hands of Honour
Paul Talliard was a firefighter in Sea Point several years ago when he lost everything to drugs – his home, his relationships, his job. During his recovery, he met Angela who was volunteering with her church to provide meals to those in need. Today, Paul is the founder of Hands of Honour, a nonprofit organization with a ministry mission. Angela serves as a board member.
Hands of Honour has 3 central programs: 1) It provides transition living quarters and support ministry to men in the community of Reserve who are homeless and getting back on their feet. 2) Hands of Honour provides building renovation services by employing volunteer teams and 3) Hands of Honor is developing an after-school program and ministry for the children and adolescents in Reserve. The organization has three years of operations under its belt with some fantastic results. You can check them out here: www.givengain.com/cause/2959/. Paul is most proud of the commendation Hands of Honour received from the police recognizing the demonstrable impact the programs have on the community through crime reduction. Paul attributes the organization’s success to the fact that he can identify with the people Hands of Honour serves and act as an inspiration. After all, he understands what they are going through as he’s been there himself.
Hands of Honour has been operating entirely on volunteerism and materials donated by the community. Paul is ready to add fundraising activities into Hands of Honour’s operations to help the organization grow. Heidi met with Paul and Angela and used Fundraising Coaching techniques to help Paul prioritize Hands of Honour’s initiatives and segment the goals for this year to position the organization for support. Hands of Honour has a terrific foundation of community success upon which to build their support for future initiatives.
LEAP Science and Maths School
Kirstin O’Sullivan believes in the power of education to transform a community. During her travels around the world, she’s experienced first-hand what happens when one person shares their expertise to the betterment of a whole community. Her passion led her to accept the appointment of External Relations Manager for LEAP Science and Maths School. LEAP is a learning model that transforms disadvantaged young people’s lives and the communities where they live through excellence in education – particularly in mathematics, science, and English. Check them out here: http://leapschool.org.za/
Kirstin heads up the fundraising efforts for LEAP that raise around R28 million per year. With the addition of two new schools this year, it is projected that an additional R7 to R9 million are needed in contributions. There are two full-time staff members (including Kirstin) dedicated to fundraising and a couple of board members and volunteers who help with specific initiatives. Kirstin is looking to target and maximize new and existing funding sources, and engage board and volunteers to help expand the fundraising team. Heidi met with Kirstin and used nonprofit fundraising techniques from Finding Funding and Major League Major Gifts to help Kirsten identify and engage potential transformative donors while empowering board members, volunteers and donors to assist with the fundraising challenge in a meaningful way. There’s significant growth on the horizon for LEAP. Now LEAP will be able to use cutting edge fundraising techniques to match their revolutionary approach to education and community building.
Mark Jannecke has a vision for using music and arts in workshop settings to help his fellow South Africans relieve stress and improve their lives. Mark is a classically trained guitarist, composer, and is pursuing studies in music therapy.
Heidi met with Mark and, using Fundraising Coaching techniques, together they set 5 priority actions for Mark to use this year in order to position his organization, Green Rhythm, for future funding support.