Last week, I sat in on the investment committee of Endeavor, an organisation that works to take good ideas and make them great. They are not an incubator, instead a network of professionals and mentors who support businesses to take the next step, which means that their investment committees are fascinating as they bring together some of the country’s top business minds to assess the viability of some of our best business ideas.
This is the story of the underdog.
Getting the Basics Right: and We're Failing.
There are some horrible statistics tucked away in the Department of Social Development (DSD) nonprofit register for 2011:
Earlier this year I applied to the Gordon Institute of Business Science (GIBS) to study their course in social entrepreneurship.
It’s a phrase that smacked of jargon, and one which I felt I probably knew enough about anyway – I set up a social enterprise (unsuccessfully) in South Africa, so it wasn’t an entirely new concept.
But with the possibility of an Anglo-funded bursary through Tshikilulu Social Investments, I wrote my application form, attended my interview - and was accepted.
I have just come up with a new phrase – ‘fundraising paralysis’.
Where the pressure to bring in the funds just feels too much, where I doubt the methods which make sense on paper and where I feel isolated talking a language that no one understands, marks me as a bit wild and crazy.
I have a dilemma.
I have recently met with an entrepreneur who runs a call centre and who can show that he brings in nearly R2 million a year for the charities he is contracted to. His team works through the telephone directories, calling people and collecting donations essentially on my behalf.
This is wonderful. It would wipe out the gap in my fundraising target, at no risk to me and with no effort.
Essentially, I sit back and watch the money roll in.
But the split is 60 percent to him. 40 percent to our organisation.
Sitting at the Lottery Indaba was an insight - but probably not in the way that Lotto intended. Instead of showing up the flaws in the National Lottery Distribution Trust Fund (NLDTF) systems, it highlighted that the root problem is amongst ourselves: amongst NGOs who are hankering after a past funding model, instead of looking forward.