In the townships of Port Elizabeth in the Eastern Cape province of South Africa, an organization known as Ubuntu Educational Fund does a lot to help vulnerable children lead a meaningful life. It is the humanitarian objectives of the organization that prompted its Founder and CEO Jacob Lief to realize that nonprofits received aq lot of money, but they were doing petite to change the lives of people. While speaking during the annual gathering of the World Economic Forum in Davos, he stressed the need to modify the strategies used so that they could find better ways of supporting the children. It was a change of tact from blaming donors who attached restrictions to their donations.
Using the Ubuntu model, the nonprofit closely works with managers like Andrew Rolfe, communities and families to individualize plans for every child so that they can attain education, health, and stability. He decried the tendency by certain donors like the late Peter Lewis to impose severe conditions on where and how the money they give should be spent. Some donors even insisted on intruding into the internal management and structures of the beneficiary groups. Getting donors who give money with no strings attached is an uphill task for many charities.
However, donors with administrative skills, according to Patrick Boggon, the director of Tarnside Consulting, a UK-based fundraising consultancy, such donors can be of benefit to charities because they can harness the donor’s expertise to strengthen the organization, and in this way, the donor would feel more involved. But according to Andrew Rolfe, a board member of Ubuntu and Doug Wingo of Wingo Consultancy, such involvement by donors can create unnecessary pressures. The priorities of the charity and the donor might not be harmonious thereby leading to tension. Donors ought not to give restrictive terms of grant to nonprofits so that the organizations they help can design their own strategies and project implementation. Charities need continuous flow of cash so that they can design their own programs from staff training to installing IT systems.