In a few sentences what is your non-profit about? And what areas do you serve?
Wellspring is seeking to empower a new generation of leaders in Rwanda through quality, Christian values based education. Since 2004, we have offered training to hundreds of teachers, established a Professional Development Center, developed a model Christian school called the Wellspring Academy, supported the growth of the 800 member Association of Committed Teachers (ACT) Rwanda, and launched an innovative community-focused solution for school transformation called Whole School Development.
What are the major fundraising programs you have?
Right now we are directing major gifts towards the completion of the Wellspring Academy Secondary School and monthly gifts are going towards supporting the transformation of 8 national schools, 172 teachers, and over 10,000 students. Donors can give online by credit card, by check, through stocks, or bequeaths and are either individuals, foundations, churches, schools, or businesses.
What sector do you raise money for (health, poverty, arts, etc.) and how is that different from raising money in another sector?
Overseas education…the challenging part of raising money for overseas project is that very few people we are approaching have the opportunity to experience Rwanda for themselves and so we have to create a deep connection to this place halfway around the World. Improving education is also a long term process. People who support us are able to see how their gift will be multiplied, even though it may not be fully realized until several years down the road.
What geographic area does your charity serve and where is it located?
Rwanda (we are located from the capital city Kigali)
Any tips on how to approach donors in your area?
Build long term meaningful relationships in which people can feel part of what they give towards. If you create raving fans, instead of merely donors, your work will be multiplied far more quickly and you will not be limited to the contacts of the paid professionals on your fundraising team.
Any pointers for organizations in your area that help non-profit professionals?
Have a learning attitude. When people feel their thoughts and ideas are welcomed, they are much more likely to feel they have something to contribute to the organization.
Do you have any problems or questions that you would like to ask for answers form the philanthropic community?
I would be interested to hear tips from people who have had a track record of writing successful grant proposals.