WoW …. the winding up hours of six months… difference from routine. But what makes it different is transform the new as a routine. Unleash the avenues and opportunities into the innovation and let’s open the doors by knocking. This is the time to look back and learn what I have strategised and implemented.
When picked up by Pulse team for Amref Kenya assignment initially it was not very clear the profile of the job to do. As the process of learning went on, I could understand the mission to do, ie. To improve the health of people in Africa by partnering with and empowering communities, and strengthening health systems. Through its implementing offices in Africa, Amref Health Africa reaches more than 11 million people across over 30 countries in sub-Saharan Africa. To achieve this mission the objective is to strengthen unrestricted fundraising from SMEs and individuals in the country (Kenya).
In order to explore the possibilities to reach the objective my first endeavor was to look into the challenges and needs for fundraising. Based on the previous experience and interaction with the managers and staff in Amref I could chart out the challenges like lack of strategies, inconsistent efforts in the past, the practice of giving back to society by the individuals and enterprises is lacking, even inadequate dedication and commitment by the intern staff due to the lack of clarity in direction.
Thus looking into the need of developing and implementing a fundraising strategy I had the following plans immediately.
- Identify the right donors, choose whom to cultivate.
- Approach the offices and workplaces with a tailored offer
- Follow up
- Propagating and growing the donor base.
I have undertaken the few innovative initiatives in capacity building of fund raising unit like Training on Donor Focused Selling skills, Effective & relevant communication through communication Aids and handouts, Creative communications with gratitude and Keep up the promises.
During the field interaction we could understand that we need to continue to be in good contact with the existing donors to get donations periodically, otherwise more efforts required to bring them back to our fold. Since no practice of corporate donations exists among the individuals and SMEs, we need to make repeated efforts to get an appointment, to reach the decision makers and the role of total call practices. Looking into the specific objectives set to the team the key deliverables and outputs has been determined. Among the key deliverables we have ensured that the team understands their personal accountability to deliver quality results.
Attrition is usually happen in any organization, I have also faced with attrition of work force that challenged the pace of action. I needed to manage with only 50% of manpower who has been given other administrative responsibilities also. As usual the internal challenges like lack of co-operation, lack of commitments etc are also lowered the speed of action. Still I could definitely manage the desired outcome in multi levels. I have equipped the team to do belief mapping of donors and to evaluate them. The team’s capacity building to shift the belief of customers to a positive one towards donation has been enhanced. Team is able to identify Donors and able to set measurable objectives & evaluate outcomes. The Team’s ability to follow up with the customers, for long term relationships has been enhanced. All these activities have been successfully done based on the following principles.
- 70% on the job: I was leading the team in implementation during the 6 month assignment
- 20% mentorship: Through mentorship of fundraising team
- 10% training: I have done in-house trainings of fundraising team on donor focused selling skills.
This assignment provided more experience in cultivating a network of collaborative relationships, based on mutual trust, to ensure the best outcome for fund raising unit in Amref. Also I have gained better confidence in establishing contacts and making strong relationships with a new environment which is totally different from the established set up. Acquired innovative leadership skills in unknown settings, with effective use of coaching and mentoring.
I am sure I will bring back enhanced leadership skills, which is highly useful in diverse environment, and enhanced confidence in unknown situations. I’ve been working in a very different environment here, so based on my experience I can bring better teamwork back home. Also I can invest in my people and building the organizational capabilities necessary to implement our strategy, now and in the future.
I got few the opportunity to visit GSK Kenya office and interact with our Pulse Alumni and other senior managers. Participated in Orange day celebrations and I had a good occasion to conduct Pulse Awareness Week celebrations with many of our staff attended with enthusiasm.
Yes… it is unforgettable..to attend a Kamba tribe marriage in one of the remote village, Makueni which is a real example of love, co-operation and unity among the village tribes, how marriage can be conducted with the least expenses. I could experience yet another excellent effort by our NGO in working for tribes in Wamba village in Samburu county to stop female genital mutilation through their dedicated volunteers and with the help of different partners.
Of course…in Kenya it is unjustifiable if I don’t visit the natural animal kingdom. Maasai Mara, Nakuru, the great rift valley, Naivasha, Nyeri, Makueni, Nanyuki, Mombasa, Amboseli and Machakos are some of the places one must visit. The anti gravity spot in Machakos is another wonder where the reason is unknown. Beaches with white sands in North and South coast of Mombassa are worth enough to explore the sea urchins and other sea animals. Not to forget to visit the Mount Kenya and Kilimanjaro are the famous highest peaks in Kenya.
Another very important place to visit is the UN head quarters in Nairobi. At least once we can stand up at the stage and feel ourselves speaking in UN auditorium. In Nairobi we should explore Nairobi national park, Giraffe Manor, Elephant Orphanage, cycling in Karura Forest, Kazuri ornament factory and so on…Six months passed away…..in no time..