We often hear the saying or see the story about giving back to our African community. To each its own on that notion. It is easier said than done! The reality is some give and some take. Giving has its pluses and minuses. Taking is straight up corrupt or justifiable. The following words are dedicated to those who go out of their way to give positive impact unapologetically, unconditionally and without much hesitation.
Once upon a time not too long ago, there was a young man who had built relationships with or between his Motherland of Ghana and Birthplace of America. Thanks to technology and social media, he was able to connect to some organisational leaders in Ghana. Before he realized it, philanthropy was calling his name. Hello, Mr. Philanthropist!
It all started off as a problem about nonprofits in Ghana needing financial support to help women, kids, elderly, entrepreneurs, and so on. A safe and secure solution of online donations was born. The idea went through development before it became a finished product for the masses to get a glimpse of platform.
From the outside looking in, it appeared to be a simple and easy way for donors in the USA to donate funds to organisations in Ghana. However, from the inside looking out, the general public seemed to like the idea and concept of it. But, for one reason or another, most weren’t interested in supporting the various nonprofits on this platform.
The founder of donation platform was able to acknowledge that there were a few things working against this seamless way of making donations. For one, as a for-profit, potential donors probably did not feel comfortable to donate without tax exemption options. Secondly, the platform was new and would need to build a lot of trust and credibility over time with the public.
Fast forward one year later after some trial and error, a different informal solution was brought to light within the first three months of launching online donation platform. It entailed all 10 organisational leaders in Ghana engaging in group economics with each other as an alternative means of fundraising. Whereby, every month, nine out of the 10 would make an agreed upon financial contribution to one designated organisation. This cycle would continue until each of them received the same financial support for their respective organisation.
Guess what? It worked and was a true success. Reason being, all ten organisational leaders made a commitment to support each other for nine months straight, which helped to provide services to women, kids, elderly, entrepreneurs, and so on. Although the online donation platform cannot claim full credit for this great success story (as it was a separate form of sponsorship altogether), sometimes one idea is born to give birth to another and so on and so forth. It also goes to show that nonprofit organidations do not need to rely 100 per cent on outsider donations and can create their own inner circle method of fundraising. Who would of thought? Today, a group of organisations in Ghana could come together to support each other by way of an indigenous tradition, such as Susu.
That is, a communal lending and saving of money done through partners or clubs who come together to contribute cash towards personal expenses or organisational projects. Each person involved collects their fixed portion of money for an agreed upon time period, such as weekly, bi-weekly, or monthly. Overall, the end receiver is aware of his/her funders and can connect with them on a group-to-group level.
At the end of the day, African philanthropy doesn’t have to come from outside sources to then go inside an organisation in Africa. From within the organisation, support is very possible, especially when many Africans come together under one united cause. It’s quite evident that African philanthropy for Africa and by Africa can and has led to progressive development, progressive solutions, and progressive innovations, whether foreign or domestic. May many more blessings to each and every African Philanthropist!
Tony K Ansah, Jr. is a self-published author, a public administrator by profession, and a social entrepreneur based in Rhode Island, U.S.A. He is also the founder and owner of Ansah Africa, a consulting and marketing startup established in 2017.