• Friday, June 21, 2024
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Fixing African NGOs ‘The Funding Magnet’ way

Fixing African NGOs ‘The Funding Magnet’ way

Operating a non-governmental organisation (NGO) in a difficult continent like Africa can be very daunting. Educating and providing the necessary skill set and tools to become an effective NGO is even more challenging. A reason why Funding Magnet, a U.S nonprofit consulting company, thought it necessary to provide the required skills set to enable NGOs not only survive but thrive in this difficult time. At a time where resources are scarce, inflation rate is running to unimaginable heights globally and interest rates are making it hard for funding to come by.

On Saturday, September 3rd, 2022, The Funding Magnet held the maiden edition of the Nonprofit Virtual Summit, aimed at optimising their knowledge and technical know-how of the specialised sector.

The Funding Magnet, focused on helping nonprofit organisations adequately fund their budgets, is a US-registered company founded by Prof. Tola Akinsola, a professor of Social Works at the University of Minnesota.

The Professor is a global social impact and nonprofit funding expert who has raised over $1.3 million and trained over 10,000 changemakers across 45 countries. She has been featured by Forbes and UNICEF and is a John Maxwell Team Coach and public speaker.

Tola said: “We needed to assist NGO, go from struggling Under/Self-funded to a structured and fully funded NGO, that is why we decided to start this programme at no fee.’’

The theme of this year’s maiden edition was ‘Fix Your NGO; how to elevate from a struggling and underfunded nonprofit organisation to structured and fully funded.’

The event kicked off with a welcome address from the Founder & Lead Consultant of “The Funding Magnet LLC,” Prof. Tola Akinsola, followed by icebreakers and introductions from the participants.

The Keynote Speaker for the Summit was Debola Deji-Kurunmi, popularly known as DDK, who is the Executive Director at Ideation Hub Africa, a public policy and impact advisory.

The social profit accelerator supports nonprofit innovators and the public sector through impactful education, collaborative platforms, funding opportunities, and advisory services. During the session, she highlighted the five pillars of organisation management and how NGOs could build strong and sustainable foundations.

The second keynote session was taken by Prof. Tola, the lead consultant at The Funding Magnet and convener of the Nonprofit Virtual Summit. Prof. Tola holds a Ph.D. in Social Works. She is a social impact strategist who specialises in nonprofit funding, grant writing, and personal development. She is indeed passionate about entrepreneurship education, social work education, nonprofit development and management, personal and professional development, as well as youth development. She has secured over $1.3 million for nonprofit organisations across the world and has also been featured in Forbes magazine and UNICEF. She has trained over 10,000 social impact makers across 45 countries. During her session, she spoke on multiple funding strategies, where she listed seven funding streams available to nonprofit organisations.

After a short break, the Summit continued into the workshop sessions.

The first workshop session was led by Lamide Johnson, who spoke on storytelling strategies to elevate an NGO. Johnson is known as the Storytelling Guru. He uses storytelling to elevate business and personal brands, helping them amplify their voice and maximise their potential. He is currently a Senior Advisor at HYBR Group, where he works with an amazing team to scale impact solutions in Africa.

The second workshop was led by Emmanuella of Ellah Communications, a digital marketing and communications company for nonprofit organisations. Ella lectured on digital strategies for nonprofit organisations. Ella came with all the hidden free, international resources available to nonprofit organisations across the globe. She specifically gave comprehensive audits of the digital marketing of most nonprofits in Africa, with immediate tools to implement and improve communication strategies.

The third session was skillfully handled by Sam Obafemi, the Octopus of Tribe Building. Obafemi taught nonprofits not to just be collectors but to equally give and invest in their audience and their host community. This seemed new for many of the participants, but certainly a viable and welcome route to elevate their NGOs.

The fourth workshop session was taken by the horseman of corporate promotions, Kenneth Etiaka.

Kenneth came with all the hints, cues, and clues of getting a piece of news properly featured. He indeed taught nonprofits how to leverage pitching to journalists.

At the end of his session, most participants understood the intricacy of sending a news feature story request. And they did learn what counts as newsworthy in a story, among a tonne of other great insights.

The final session was by Sanmi Abiodun who taught the benefits of legal incorporation and the procedure to go about it for unregistered nonprofits.

Read also: Vendease $30 million funding to revamp restaurant businesses in Africa

He also enlightened the participants on the legislation guiding the incorporated trustee organisation, navigating tax exemptions, trustee selection, etc. It was an eye-opening session as many participants raised questions on nonprofit laws, which the barrister aptly provided necessary clarifications to.

The Free NGO Legal Incorporation Raffle draw was done in partnership with Barrister Sanmi Abiodun’s firm, Audrey Oluwatoni Associates (Audrey Law), a commercial law firm based in Ibadan, Nigeria.

Participants asked ample questions, which were answered by the speakers and resource people.

We moved on to the exciting parts of the Summit, which included the Champion’s Award for Nonprofit Organisations.

Prior to the Summit, nonprofit organisations submitted an elevator pitch about the amazing work they do, and the top 4 finalists were selected. The prizes included an award certificate, a $25 self-care gift, and a free one-on-one consultation with Prof. Tola, for which the aggregate cost amounts to thousands of dollars.

An exciting highlight of the Summit was the Free NGO Legal Incorporation and Registration Raffle Draw.

Through research, The Funding Magnet LLC indicated that a large number of African nonprofits were unregistered despite their long-time existence in the nonprofit space. The raffle draw was intended to correct and close the gap; thus, the chosen NGO received free legal incorporation, while the others received a 37percent discount on their incorporation fee.

On the whole, the summit was a huge success and many participants kept asking how a Nonprofit Virtual Summit was free.

It was an intense summit of over 6 hours, and throughout this time, the energy did not drop one bit, and the number of participants stayed up.

Champio Olaide Dafe, a participant said: “Thank you, The Funding Magnet! The sessions were mind-blowing and enlightening; thank you and God bless you.”

Champion Deborah Adedigba, another participant said: “How is this summit even free? It feels like what could be packaged for a premium price. I had to send the link to my friends and colleagues in the nonprofit industry. Thanks again.”

Champion Adebayo Joseph, who also was at the event, said: “I don’t have enough words to describe the session we had today. Thank you for putting together this great summit. I learned a great deal, and I will definitely implement the things I learned. Thank you.”