BRETT ANDERSON attended the recent launch of Inyathelo. On 2 March I was privileged to attend the launch of an innovative Nonprofit Clinic under the banner 'ASK lnyathelo" at the South African Institute for Advancement offices in Cape Town. The vision of the SAIA is "We will be the leading non-profit organisation to grow local philanthropy and build strong and sustainable civil societies in South Africa and on the continent, rooted in the African cultural heritage of sharing."
And in the midst of our present economic times where finding jobs is more than tough, it was an extreme breathe of fresh air to be made aware of this group who are here to support philanthropic endeavours, especially groups working towards social justification. One of the highlights of the event was the introduction of ASK: Attracting Support Kit for NPOs. This is a 6 pack of booklets which have been made freely available to the various organisations that they are in contact with which numbers around the I 800 mark.
The booklets deal with 6 different topics of relevance to most NPOs ranging from Having an effective non-profit board (booket I) and the basics of fundraising (booklet 2) to Identifying, Building and then Maintaining Relationships with Potential Donors (books 3, 4 and 6) and Fundraising Meetings and Writing Proposals (book 5). The booklets have obviously had a lot of work go into them — they are well designed, pleasing to the eye and also extremely informative and well set out.
Audrey Elster, Director of the RAITH Foundation [a private South African Foundation and one of the main funding backers of Inyethelo] gave a brief talk on why they decided to get on board, particularly focusing on how they see Inyathelo as a hub which will reach a range of NG0s. They really liked the cost-effectiveness as well as the sharing/networking aspects of it. Edwin Hendricks from the Department of Social Development, also shared a few words on the importance of the ASK kit. He mentioned how so many organisations out there rely on government as their sole backing and what Inyathelo does is it starts to expand the opportunities for fund-raising which obviously means less pressure on government and better capacity for assistance.
Other products that were introduced at the launch include one-on-one consultations and advisory meetings, free access to the library and resources at the resource centre, Inyathelo's partnership with the USA-based Foundation Centre, as well as their online Prospecting Database. It was a very informative and eye-opening time and really gives someone like me who is not even that involved in the area of NPOs a huge burst of excitement in terms of knowing what resources are available to really help them achieve the most they can.