One of the projects I oversee at work is a youth career initiative and this is easily my favourite part of my job. However, raising money to fund the program's activities has been tough. Since we are currently planning the last event for this year, money is most definitely on our mind and I have been thinking all week about how we can raise more money for the project. Reading Jeremy's blog, I realise that our predicament is far from uncommon. We have a program that we believe whole-heartedly to be worthwhile and cannot understand why it is not attracting more support.
During a courtesy visit to a national paper this week, we received a lot of encouragement for our work but the journalists easily identified why we appear to be having a hard time. Nigeria is so much about who you know and who knows you. They advised us to lean on personal contacts a lot more than we have been doing. This will enable us to reach the people who need to hear about our work and who have the resources to support us. They also advised partnering with the government to establish a more stable source of funding and effect wider-readching changes.
Ah, the government! I see the wisdom in their advice, but previous experiences reaching out to various government institutions has been tedious and fraught with multiple levels of bureaucracy. If anything, it has taught me patience, which I freely admit that I am lacking in.
How do non-profits and NGOs manage to sustain their work over a long period of time, aside from relying on the grants that come in every now and again? Work doesn't stop just because your grant has! So, how do they manage to raise enough money to keep going from day to day?