The lifeblood of nonprofits is the funding they obtain from spirited individuals, grantmaking foundations, and social partnerships with corporations. Like many things in the pandemic, this revenue required for social impact has depleted appreciably. The reason is not farfetched – it is when people make money that they can give money!
A nonprofit entity that will continue to attract and retain funding sources will not only need to appeal to emotional sentiments and push a strong case for sustainability like it did pre-Covid19, it will also have to out-think and outdo others in creating innovative solutions.
In celebration of its 13th anniversary, a health nonprofit based in Lagos, Nigeria rolled out an opportunity for mid-level career persons to meet the biggest names in their field.
What’s the business of a non-profit with connecting people, you would wonder!
Well, it is innovation!
And it yielded impact!
The idea made it possible for career persons to bid in an auction format for a mentoring time with 13 thought leaders in their respective industries. Rather than go cap-in-hand to these individuals who understand the significance of its work, the nonprofit gave them a chance to get career progression value in exchange for their bid money to create social change.
Merit and more merit for all!
The innovation ensured value exchange for the career people who bided with their money in the auction, the thought leaders who gave their productive time as a means to invest in human capital, and of course, the nonprofit in terms of an immediate cash benefit and long-term benefit of an increased number of persons who became aware of its socioeconomic and health impact on people living with sickle cell in the most populous Black country. This bold innovation by the sickle cell nonprofit has been widely praised as a game-changer by other organizations in the nonprofit sector.
What is the takeaway for other nonprofits?
Moving forward, the price for social change is creating innovation. If you desire to get money to continue to make an impact in the social sector, you have to seek ways to make life productive and profitable for your funders – be they individuals, small businesses, big corporations, and grant-making foundations.
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Abayomi Oyelami is a creative who does everything writing – books, memoirs, articles, online blogs, newspaper columns, social media contents, and a bit of poetry. He is the editor of Trek Africa Newspaper, Nigerian news weekly with focus on business and governance; content curator for the website and social media for a Lagos-based health NGO, Sickle Cell Advocacy and Management Initiative (SAMI), and the author of a children’s classic, Finding Purpose for Kids. His personal blog, www.yomisjournals.com.ng is a pot pourri of interesting and educating content that will drive you to significance. The fellow of Young African Leaders Initiative (YALI) believes now is the time for Africa to take her pride of place and Africans should brace up for the task. ‘Yomi is black to the bone! Find him across all social media @yomioyelami