Sitting on the bus once more, where I do the majority of my strategic thinking, I was reminded of what makes Indego Africa a great place to donate or volunteer. We’re frugal. Why is this important? Let me list the ways:
(1) Trust-Building - Because some of our operating expenses come from sales revenue, it shows our partner cooperatives that we’re trying to bring as much back to them as possible. For every dollar we save, they earn a dollar in capacity-building and training. It’s an issue of good faith.
(2) Breaking Stereotypes - It is easy for foreigners to be seen as money machines. The old development paradigm – simply giving things away – did too little to discourage that notion. When our partners see us traveling or working like them, a new appreciation and a fundamental re-think is occurring.
(3) Stewardship – Donor-investors want to know that Indego Africa will squeeze the maximum social impact out of their donation. When we get the same done on a smaller budget, you know who’s benefiting from your gift – the women in need.
(4) Closer to Reality – To truly understand the reality of where you’re working – for your partners and staff – you have to spend some time doing what they do.
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