By Meghan Kappus — Senior Director of Investor Relations
Neglected tropical diseases affect 1.7 billion of the world’s most impoverished people, including 1 billion children. The END Fund mobilizes philanthropic investments to support the delivery of over 100 million drug treatments per year. Even so, we know that we could do better.
As is the case with many nonprofits, donors often look for a program-services ratio of 90%, where only 10% of funds mobilized are used for operations and fundraising. For years these restrictions prevented us from living up to our mandate to be the world’s leading mobilizer and deployer of private capital for neglected tropical diseases — so many opportunities to save lives were lost!
Very fortunately, In 2018, a generous and forward-thinking foundation saw our potential and enabled us to hire fundraising, communications and advocacy staff. Additional staffing directly impacted our capital mobilization from 57M between 2015-2017 to $108M in revenue from 2018 to present-day. In 2019, the END Fund directly leveraged an additional $2M in flexible funding from the foundation to secure $9.2M in co-investments for in-country programs across 12 countries. These examples highlight just how catalytic flexible and Human Resources funding can be used to increase impact!
The END Fund’s vision is to ensure people at risk of neglected tropical diseases can live healthy and prosperous lives. Learn More.
Story 2: Helping the National Audubon Society Establish a Presence in NJ
The National Audubon Society of New Jersey (NASNJ) wanted to build educational programs in the Northern and Southern parts of the state. Our foundation agreed to provide $125,000 to be catalytic in helping them procure the additional amount needed. NASNJ raised an additional $354,107, giving them a total of $479,107 for expanding their programs.
In their own words: “Between 2018 and 2019 we have directly reached 5,520 children, 510 educators indirectly representing over 12,000 children, 750 adults, mostly parents and conducted 200 programs in 36 communities of which 50% are underserved communities (Whitesboro, Woodbine, Wildwood, Vineland, Bridgeton, Atlantic City, Camden).”
There are two quick points to present that might prove helpful: 1) The organization our foundation funded had a very experienced executive director and leadership team. As you know, and taking my point further, the National Audubon Society is also quite a well-known and respected organization. 2) Creating a challenge grant is an approach to helping nonprofits worth greater consideration, particularly under conditions such as those just presented.
Story 3: The Power of Providing an Outstanding Leader with an Assistant
Arif Neky is the National Coordinator of the SDG Philanthropy Platform in Kenya. Before providing funding, it became clear to myself and others that he was an outstanding leader. It was also clear that Mr. Neky was doing important work. As a top-of-the-list example, his multi-partnership was working to help President Kenyatta unroll his mandate to provide primary healthcare to 35 million Kenyans as cost-effectively as possible.
After being involved in this work for years, including the first grantwriting example listed above, my conviction was that providing Mr. Neky with an assistant could be a game-changer. Our foundation contributed to a total outlay of $105,000 in grants, giving this leader an estimated 30,000 hours of assistance.
Mr. Neky secured $10 million in funding within 18 months and built a 10-band ring of county governors working with him to integrate early childhood education in their respective counties. He attracted $150 million in social investment capital within two years through AVPA, a pan African social venture platform.
In my opinion, providing Mr. Neky with an assistant filled a critical gap in the pipeline. Some may question the correlation between providing the assistant and the quite large outcomes just reported; this is quite a reasonable question. In response, my hope is that as more stories about providing needed human resources to nonprofits become available on this site, readers will see a strong pattern between providing human resource assistance and achieving extensive impact. It is also worth noting that Mr. Neky himself reported to a senior consultant that the combined grants just discussed doubled his productivity.
Story 4: Raising the Visibility & Credibility of SHOFCO
Shining Hope for Communities (SHOFCO) provides education, health clinics, plus water access and sanitation to villages in Kibera, a part of Nairobi, Kenya. At the time of my involvement, they were just awarded the 2018 Conrad N. Hilton Humanitarian Prize for $2 million. It struck me that providing their Executive Director, Kennedy Odede, with an assistant could be a great way to leverage this recent windfall.
Mr. Odede and his staff used the newly available bandwidth to build a relationship with the Guardian. SHOFCO later received a full week of coverage. Mr. Odede was also featured in the Guardian several times afterward. The executive assistant also helped by scheduling, preparing presentations for this executive director’s extensive travels, and maintaining good relationships with donors. Everything just described resulted from a $25,000 challenge grant matched by members of SHOFCO’s board.
Our foundation also provided two matching monitoring and evaluation (M&E) grants to SHOFCO. Our portion was $39,000. (We helped with hiring experts for this initiative). Grants such as ours enable nonprofits to undergo rigorous processes to report their outcomes accurately. These reports increase the confidence of foundations and private donors in the work of an organization. When you read about impact realized on a nonprofit’s website, you are reading about the results of M&E processes.
SHOFCO’s Chief Advancement Officer, Katherine Potaski reported that one large foundation was very impressed with the M&E reports that SHOFCO provided to them. What is known is that this foundation provided a 1.3 million grant to SHOFCO. What is not known is in what way, if any, our funding was of influence.
In my opinion, whether we helped influence funding in this situation is of less importance. The critical issue is that making good decisions about providing the right nonprofit with the capacity to produce rigorous M&E reports can have a pronounced impact on its fundraising capacities.