The Ubuntu Education Fund is a non profit that focuses on raising money to help impoverished children in the poor Eastern Cape province of South Africa. Jacob Lief is the founder and CEO of the company and Andrew Rolfe is a chairman on the board. These two men are rapidly changing the way that we approach how non profits function and they are doing so at the most integral level: the fundraising aspect. Jacob Lief and Andrew Rolfe may not be household names at this point in time but if their new Ubuntu Model takes off then they just might be.
The Ubuntu Model takes a long and hard look at just how money is being raised and distributed through non profits. Jacob Lief came to the realization that his firm needed change while speaking at the World Economic Forum. Lief is a public speaker who does gigs all around the world to promote his work and the work of non profits everywhere. Lief realized, while at this event, that even though his firm was bringing money not enough of it was actually making it to the children who so desperately needed it. The reason? Layers upon layers of red tape and earmarked funds that made it impossible for the Ubuntu Education Fund to work fluidly.
Finding donors as a non profit can be daunting work so imagine how hard it must be for Andrew Rolfe and the rest of the Ubuntu Fund to TURN away potential donors. The reason? The new Ubuntu Model focuses on a specific type of donor: someone who is willing to let go of their money in order for it to be used as the Ubuntu Fund knows that it should be; Typically donors like to earmark their donations for specific projects. There’s nothing wrong with this type of hands on donor but it has been found to be counterproductive. If the Ubuntu Fund needs money to hire staff in South Africa but their funds are earmarked specifically for a different task, a huge problem arises. Hopefully Andrew Rolfe and Jacob Lief can bring this new model to the forefront of non profits everywhere.