Having worked in complex programme management for many years, I knew that I had the necessary skills to set up and run an NGO but for the majority of NGOs, the main challenge is funding especially for the initial projects. Although grants from government bodies or private trusts are available on an application of merit basis, it’s hard, if not impossible to obtain such funding with only a vision and good intention. I knew that I had to obtain private funding for at least the first project, prove what the NGO would achieve and then explore other funding options from there.
When I returned from India in September and deeply felt that I had to build my own dream, I started to think about who I could approach for funding. Sure, it would be possible to fundraise among friends and acquaintances but this has a very limited scope and the source quickly runs dry. I knew that I needed to reach higher and that with support from business I can reach higher and go further. I mentally searched my contacts and decided to approach a friend from a few years back. A successful owner of a growing renewable energy company, I knew him to be a generous and compassionate person. So, I gathered my courage and gall and I wrote to him. To my surprise and pleasure, he replied and after some exchange of information and ideas we agreed on a direction and enough of an initial sum that I could make some significant developments in our work. I know that the fundraising struggle ahead will be ongoing but the fact that it began with a miracle fills me with hope.
Additionally, there is a great deal of set up work in founding an NGO. This ranges from the legal work to gain NGO status, the creation of a vision presentation, logo, website, photos, videos, social media and much more. And these are just the beginnings. My marketing side compiled a long list of what I’d like to create or have created but as the reality of actually doing the work has become a growing task list, I’ve narrowed it down to some essentials.
The real work of course is beyond the legalities, vision, awareness and creative work. It’s the development work itself. It is making difference in people’s lives. It’s time to introduce you to the village of our hearts, Tirmasahun.
United for Hope, Tara