Jacob Lief, CEO, and Founder of the Ubuntu Education Fund has raised millions of dollars for charity’s sake in his lifetime. He’s also a regularly invited guest at the World Economic Forum which takes place in Davos, Scotland. The money raised has gone towards several programs and initiatives aimed at making education more accessible to kids in South Africa. Jacob Lief attributes much of the success of their education programs in Eastern Cape, S.A, to the fact that he selects donors very carefully.
Setting the Terms and Conditions
In the beginning, Lief realized that some of the donors provided funds but the assistance came with strict regulations. Those conditions attached made it difficult for Lief and his Ubuntu organization to effect the unique strategies they had when the idea was conceived. The CEO of Ubuntu was recently quoted on the Financial Times remarking how even though they now had a leaner operational budget, the positive changes felt on the girls in this part of the world was incredible.
Success Education Programs in Africa
Donor interference in the non-profit industry is actually quite commonplace and prevalent. The problem arises in that the donors have no clue whatsoever about the dynamics of the task which lies ahead. Having a hands-on experience plays a huge role in determining the success of the programs and initiatives you have as a charitable organization. For Ubuntu, however, that is not a problem at all since they have a very clear guideline about the mandates of the donor.
Thanks to the benevolence of Jacob and his establishment, countless children have been lifted and empowered to overcome poverty. The educated girls always returned to invest their newly acquired skills in their communities and this has a tremendous impact on the quality of lives experienced by the people of Eastern Cape.
About Jacob Lief
Jacob Lief got the inspiration to set up Ubuntu Fund when he first visited the nation of South Africa. Jacob witnessed firsthand the appalling conditions the children’s and the communities in large lived in. To make a difference, he started the Ubuntu Education Fund in 199. Its main prerogative was to lift the living conditions in the slums and townships of Port Lizabeth in Eastern Cape. In 2017, that firm now has a staff of close to a hundred professionals spread out across three different continents. The fund supports over 20K underprivileged students from the region.
What’s the need of raising money for charity and have no impact in people’s life? That’s the question that prompted Ubuntu Education Fund founder, Jacob Lief to adopt a different method of funding. According to the founder, after raising a significant amount of money and speaking to high- profile events, he realized that money collected by the fund did less to uplift the life of children. Ubuntu Education Fund helps alleviate children in Port Elizabeth’s townships in South Africa’s Eastern Cape Province from poverty. By providing a good education to children, it guarantees a long lasting solution to the poor. Jacob Lief and Andrew Rolfe resolved to say no to donors who came with restrictions on their funds. Today, the fund operates with a much smaller budget but achieves more than it did before.
Through the Ubuntu Model, the organization works closely with the community to develop individual plans for children. Therefore, each child is provided with stability, health, and education as instruments to get them out of poverty. However, finding donors ready to part with their money with no strings attached is not easy. Granters goes to arm’s length to control how the money gets used. Others issues specifications on how the money gets spent. Even in death, some donors still impose their will on charities. However, donors on the board and with professional experience contribute positively to the activities of the funds.
In some cases, when a donor is involved personally in the organization strategy, the terms of the grant can create restriction of the expenditure of the money. They don’t offer support for specific projects. Instead, they donate on a yearly basis. Therefore, non-profits are expected to reapply for the funding annually. What institutions require is an ongoing source of money that helps the organization in the expansion of their programs. Upfront discussion between grant–makers and grantees is, therefore, necessary. Additionally, it should be clear that the philanthropic power dynamic lies not with donors but the non-profit organizations.
Andrew Rolfe works beside Jacob Lief as the chairman of Ubuntu Education Fund. A B.A in philosophy, politics, and economics provides Andrew Rolfe with the leadership qualities necessary for running this institution. Besides holding the position of Chairman and participating in board meetings, Andrew Rolfe also makes monetary contributions to the organization.
It, unfortunately, has become an all too common sign of our times, every day humanitarian crisis continues to strike unfortunate people across the planet, often without any positive outlook or help to come to those who need it most. Even more unfortunate, the governments of the world are often unable to directly step in and help those affected by famine, neglect, war, and poverty due to border lines and complaints from within those borders. This has left those who are most vulnerable to harm left with very few options in terms of seeking relief to their strife.
Luckily NGO and non-profits across the globe have stepped in to help where government agencies are unable to, for whatever reason that may be.
The Ubuntu Fund, Andrew Rolfe, and A Better Vision for Tomorrow in South Africa
One of these philanthropic non-profits taking the lead on helping those in need is not only changing the lives of all those that are fortunate to connect with the organization but also changing the very way that non-profits operate as well. The Ubuntu Fund under the leadership of its board member, Andrew Rolfe, has done away with an age-old restriction set upon charitable organizations, restrictions that act as a hindrance to the charitable work.
Many non-profits and charitable organizations that operate across the globe often rely on the help of individuals to fund many of the efforts utilized to help affected lives across the globe. Though often with those donations come a set of restrictions dictating exactly how those donations can be used. Once a safeguard set in place to help prevent the misuse of charitable donations, the restrictions that donors place have recently become an obstacle for many charitable organizations.
Andrew Rolfe and the Ubuntu Fund have opted instead to only accept donations without the usual strings attached to better allow them to serve people. Revolutionary and certainly a sign of a change to come, Andrew Rolfe and the Ubuntu Fund have taken the first steps towards a better type of charitable organization.
If you would like to learn more about the work that Andrew Rolfe and the Ubuntu Fund are doing please visit FT.com.