From Asia to Africa: New Insights for Diaspora Fundraising

Knowledge is power. Information is liberating. Education is the premise of progress, in every society, in every family.

Mr. Dale Asis and Mr. Alie Kabba (back row center) participates in fundraising workshop with United African Organization participants

Mr. Dale Asis and Mr. Alie Kabba (back row center) participates in fundraising workshop with United African Organization participants

On November 2014, I had the wonderful opportunity to share my best practices on grassroots fundraising I have learned working with the Bayanihan Foundation.  I shared these fundraising techniques with African diaspora groups who are also planning to give to local African diaspora community in Chicago and to global projects back in Africa. I experienced the joy of giving is better than receiving as I shared the ‘secrets’ of effective grassroots fundraising to others. I believe that some best practices are universal and could be helpful whether you’re helping in Asia, in Africa or anywhere else around the world. I believe three basic ingredients remain the same: 1) the assumption that helping others is a powerful gift; 2) some fundraising strategies are universal and could be shared across ethnicity and culture; and 3) grassroots fundraising are effective, transformational and self-sustainable than any other means of fundraising. I also shared below grassroots fundraising strategies and fundraising links you can use.

(left to right): Dale Asis and Alie Kabba of United African Organization (UAO)

(left to right): Dale Asis and Alie Kabba of United African Organization (UAO)

On November 15, 2014, Alie Kabba, Executive Director of United African Organization (UAO) invited me to share fundraising strategies that I’ve learned over the years with his African community member organizations.  The UAO coalition is composed of African community-based organizations that promotes social and economic justice, civic participation, and empowerment of African immigrants and refugees in Illinois.

I. Three New Insights in Diaspora Philanthropy

I learned three new insights as I shared my fundraising strategies:

1) 73% of giving comes from individuals.  African diaspora groups were very surprised to learn that over 73% of giving in the US were from individuals or about $218 billion in 2012, the largest sector of giving (Giving USA Report 2012). Individual giving was the only philanthropic segment that grew slightly 3.9%.  All other sectors of giving (private foundations, corporate giving and government contracts) have considerably shrunk during the US economic recession.

2) African diaspora groups would like to give both locally and globally. African diaspora groups in the room were very much interested in helping both their local communities in Chicago and providing assistance to their global communities back in their homeland. For instance, the board members of Ugandan Community Center of Chicago were interested in providing youth drug and violence programs for their local community in Chicago and back in Uganda.

3) Some fundraising strategies are universal and applicable across ethnicity and culture. African diaspora groups were pleasantly surprised to learn that the successful fundraising strategies that I’ve used with my Filipino diaspora community are transferable and could be effective for African diaspora community as well.

These African diaspora groups would like to respond to long-term needs of their community besides the sensational news behind the recent Ebola outbreaks in West Africa.

II. Three Fundraising Tips:

I shared three fundraising tips that they found effective and universal across Filipino and Asian diaspora groups with African diaspora philanthropy:

1) House parties are simple and effective means of grassroots fundraising.

2) Developing your board should be top of any diaspora donor group who wants to sustain its work for the long-term. You cannot do this alone.

3) Establish and maintain your social media presence. It will help you reach a wide audience to support your work for the long-term.

III. Three Online Fundraising Links:

I would like to share these three online, grassroots fundraising tools that might be helpful:

1) Grassroots Fundraising Guide from the Vanguard Public Foundation to download CLICK HERE

2) Resources from the Grassroots Institute for Fundraising Training (GIFT) CLICK HERE

3) Mobile for Good: How to Fundraising Guide Using Technology CLICK HERE

Youth participants from United African Organization (UAO)

Youth participants from United African Organization (UAO)

About daleasis

President of the Bayanihan Foundation Worldwide
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