When you undervalue what you do, the world will undervalue who you are.

Oprah Winfrey

When donors give, there is always an expectation that your youth club leaders will demonstrate impact, and that you have spent their money well. Donors and funders are stakeholders we need to manage closely. 

In Toolkit One we followed Chidi’s story as she set up a youth programme for young women in her neighbourhood, and worked to ensure that it was a success. Chidi successfully got funding for her youth club – from a funder (a grant) and private donors (a gift). We saw from Chidi’s experience the importance of understanding, from the beginning, their expectations, and ensuring that this was incorporated into the project delivery.  

So let’s now revisit those donors who gave her girls’ club money, and think about what they want. We will start with the private donors: 

Marie went to school with Chidi’s elder sister, and they are still good friends. She met her husband whilst studying medicine in Kenya, and they are now both successful doctors with a private clinic. Last year they set up a foundation to help young people from poor families to improve their circumstances. The foundation will give $20,000 USD yearly in grants to education projects and scholarships. Chidi was lucky to get $10,000 from her, promising further funding if she is successful. They haven’t given Chidi any precise reporting criteria, but they want to visit every three months and be updated on progress. 

Ibrahim grew up in the area where Chidi’s youth club operates and currently lives in Lagos with his American wife. He is very generous and, whilst not wealthy, has supported the education of many young people where he grew up. He visited when he was home, and committed to fundraising for it amongst his network. He and a friend ran the New York Marathon and raised $5,000. He also has a couple of friends who are interested in donating. He has said that he needs photographs and stories from the girls to keep his network engaged, and would like a video from Chidi. 

Oscar’s aunt Matilda died recently. In her youth, she worked as a teacher in Kenya, South Africa and Nigeria and saved all her life to leave $100,000 US in her will for women and girls’ nutrition projects in the towns where she taught. 

After speaking to Chidi, Oscar convinced the family that they should donate $25,000 to the building project, promising $25,000 next year if Chidi can demonstrate that she is improving women’s and girls’ nutrition.

Reflection Questions

  1. Thinking about each donor’s request for evidence that their donation is having an impact, what evidence will you give to each of them?
  2. Think of your own donors. What information do they ask for? What do you give them?
  3. If they asked for something else, would you be able to give it to them?

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