In local twitter terms, the above SMH would be followed by a solid NXLHA which would be a texted cluck (a common expression of disapproval by the african) or utter shock as is my case. I worked up an appetite thinking of ways to raise funds for a charity that I believe in. I sat on it for weeks and came up with a beautiful 1 year-long fund-raising project appealing to the public to assist in raising funds for the charity in addition to a means to generate a steady income. All I needed was the numbers and the facts, number of people to sign up and donate, numbers of facts to post.

I started talking to people I knew telling them about the Idea, I even collected my first donation (prematurely) but I got it because my people believe in the numbers and the reality  and the potential of my project idea this was a boost to my ego and set the foundation for my efforts to secure income.

so, armed with my rough proposal and conviction I call the charity; I say to the man on the other end of the phone (my car has broken down so) ‘Guy’ I say, ‘I want to help you raise some money… I have this proposal, I would like to discuss’ I am looking at the proposal on my screen all smiles and confident and ready to discus the details of how i expect it will work.

the man on the other end of the line, mid thirties I gather from his accent and his baritone, slouched with his hand on his face I imagine by his tone and tired I decipher from the sigh he lets out before he starts speaking. He tells me a story, he explains how in the world of the NGO, the charity NGO people with good hearts are willing to help. they come in all excited with these great ideas on how they can assist in  meeting the target. they go and fish from the same limited pool of cash resources and give the charity the face time it needs but they fail to raise the funds because they find that the raising of funds business is highly demanding. they run back to the NGO begging assistance and ‘Use up their resources’ in ad space, tv and radio talk time, newspaper spreads and the likes in the name of fund-raising depleting their playing cards. then all the face-time gives their funders the false notion that they are doing good…?

Thanks... But no thanks

I argued that the man failed to portray the dire situation he was in by pointing out that the mere fact that he was there meant that he still needed help and perhaps if he put the numbers on paper, he might have a more convincing argument, his solution other than to dismiss my idea was to propose that they draft a document that stipulates when, how and with whom they will collect funds, and how people such as myself can assist and to what extent they will make an input to our efforts.

I was gonna ride on the wave of attention I was banking on getting from the donation I was going to collect and no, you can’t ask people for money if there isn’t a cause to link it to hence SMH

On the bright side

I ran this scenario by a friend of mine who pointed out that there were other charities out there that might need my help and suggested one that he was close to. I decided to look into it, perhaps having a small charity that no one knows but is in need is a good starting point for the social entrepreneur I want to be. I mean why not, the man was clear, he is already ‘In bed’ with the major funders out there I could tap into the small time funder, the layman out there with a little extra in his pocket to raise funds to help a small organization reach its goal. Maybe with this little stepping stone I could go far? who knows, opportunities are after all found in the windows that open when doors are slammed in your face.

Here goes..

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