Author Archive

Triumphant IFC Online marks turning point for Resource Alliance

Posted on: October 21st, 2020 by Resource Alliance No Comments

Triumphant IFC Online marks turning point for Resource Alliance as it successfully pivots to year-round global community model 

The Resource Alliance defied the obstacles created by a global pandemic to deliver the biggest, most- ethnically, intellectually, gender and culturally diverse IFC programme ever — fully virtual for 1200 fundraisers and changemakers from 80+ countries from 13 – 16 October 2020.   

With the plenary and big conversation speakers reading like a ‘Who’s Who’ of social change accelerators, the IFC Online 2020 programme was designed to challenge and question, while at the same time provide practical advice for a global audience responsible for resourcing social impact.  

Author of the awardwinning book “This is Not Propaganda” Peter Pomerantsev kicked off the IFC Online programme with a thought-provoking presentation on the rise of misinformation and populism.  He challenged NGOs to transform their communications from a narrow theme to being bigger and more holistic. “The other side are thinking very big and we need to be thinking bigger… We need to look at how we communicate facts and foster a factual discourse around our issues,” he said. 

In the Big Conversation which followedMarcus Missen (Director of Fundraising and CommunicationsWaterAid UK) facilitated a robust and headline grabbing discussion between Dr Danny Sriskandarajah (CEO, Oxfam GB), Clare Farrell (Co-Founder, Extinction Rebellion) and Kumi Naidoo (Global Ambassador, Africans Rising) on the topic “Is our sector facing an existential crisis?”.   

 On Wednesday, the audience was treated to a first-hand account of how the fundraising team at the Royal National Lifeboat Institute (RNLI), led by Jayne George, weathered the COVID storm to transform their fundraising during lockdown, by putting their donorfront and centre as one of their crew. 

The virtual stage was then given over to a special COVID-response inspired IWITOT (I Wish I’d Thought of That) delivered by SOFII and Open, featuring creative and innovative fundraising campaigns presented by speakers from the Americas, UK, Europe, East Asia, South Africa and Canada. 

On Thursday, delegates were challenged — both personally and organisationally —by a ‘riveting’ presentation from Black Lives Matter International Ambassador, Janaya ‘Future’ Khan, who invited the IFC audience of fundraisers and changemakers to “be the disruptors of truth and diviners of change” as they reimagine a society free of racial injustice. 

Delegates were then invited into a critical debate on the Big Conversation topic: “Can NGOs and social movements be authentic allies” led by Michael Silberman (Global Director Mobilisation Lab) with Madhuresh Kumar (National Convenor, National Alliance of People’s Movements, India); Carys Afoko (Co-founder, Level-Up UK); Masana Ndinga-Kanga (Crisis Response Fund Lead at CIVICUS, South Africa) and Kirsty McNeill (Executive Director for Policy, Advocacy and Campaigns at Save the Children).   

The day ended with a celebration of fundraising and change-making excellence and innovation at the Global Fundraising Awards, with finalists representing 13 countries and a cross-section of causes.    

IFC culminated on Friday with Nobel Peace Prize Laureate, Muhammad Yunus, who delivered an inspired session on the theme “Building a Better Tomorrow” — with a call for all to support “creating a world of three zeros: zero net carbon emissions; zero wealth concentration; and zero unemployment”.  This was followed by a robust debate in the Big Conversation of how to #ShiftThePower from top-heavy, top down systems of international development towards a flatter and more equitable paradigm of people-based development.  The discussion was led by Jenny Hodgson (Executive Director of the Global Fund for Community Philanthropy), with Nana Afadzinu (Executive Director of the West Africa Civil Society Institute), Ambika Satkunanathan (Chairperson of the Neelan Tiruchelvam Trust), Barbara Nöst (CEO of the Zambian Governance Foundation for Civil Society) and Wolfgang Jamann (Executive Director of the of the International Centre for Civil Society). 

IFC Online represents a turning point in the Resource Alliance’s history, which through COVID has transformed itself to a global community modelreinvigorated the IFC and made it accessible to hundreds more through a new equitable membership model.  

Through the Global Community, the Resource Alliance will provide year-round, continuous learning and engagement on the most powerful ways to resource social change – not just financial but also human, technical and intellectual.   

“Our commitment is to democratize access to information. At the same time to ensure that information is provoking the right questions and challenging people in the right ways to deal with this incredible transformative shift that is underway,” said Bill Toliver, Chair of the Resource Alliance Board of Directors.  

In his closing remarks to bring IFC Online 2020 to an end, incoming CEO, Brian Higgins reaffirmed the Resource Alliance’s commitment to lead the social impact community in thought and in action by sharing knowledge and best practice and by bringing people together digitally and in person. 

“The Resource Alliance is embracing innovation to provide you with the resources and tools to help you get from where you are now to where you want to band then beyond that visible horizon into a new future that may not even seem possible now. Innovation is not optional, it is something we must do.  It is built on experience, our successes and our mistakesDriven by the needs of you, our community, Resource Alliance is committed to this innovation journey.” 

The full IFC Online programme of recorded video sessions is available through the Global Community for members.  To find out more visit www.resource-alliance.org/global-community/ 

Change Accelerator: Zuzana Suchová

Posted on: October 6th, 2020 by Resource Alliance No Comments

Change Accelerator: Zuzana Suchová

Our Change Accelerator for October is Zuzana Suchová, Fundraising, marketing and PR Consultant in Slovakia.

Please briefly describe what your organisation does 

Kto pomôže Slovensku (Who Helps Slovakia) is grassroot project of activist and friends. We were helping Slovakia’s hospitals, clinics, health-care and social-care system facilities cope with the impacts of the coronavirus pandemic.

#WhoHelpsSlovakia collected donations from individuals, businesses and organisations through an on-line platform. These funds were used to purchase, transport and distribute protective gear across the country where most needed. Anyone could join us.

How did you get into social impact sector? 

I always enjoyed marketing. I had worked as an account, brand marketing and product manager in a number of international companies and of my 17 years spent in marketing, I had been working with non-profit organisations for almost 11. My work with NGOs dates back to my time as an account manager for a direct marketing full-service agency.

Now I am a fundraising, marketing and PR consultant. I specialize in individual online donations, integrated fundraising and their development in organizations, campains. Sometimes I lecture on these topics. I administer the Facebook group Inspirations from Fundraising. I led the campaign, consulted or collaborated on projects of Divé maky, dakujeme.sk, OZ SAVIO, Nadace Cvernovka, OZ Vagus, OZ Za nasu voda, for the documentaries White Crows and the Hero Among Us, Nota Bene. I was responsible for the fundraising part of Zuzana Čaputová’s presidential campaign, the campaign of the PS / SPOLU coalition to the EU elections and the elections to the National Council of the Slovak Republic. Together with others, I initiated or organized the challenges Long live farmers, we will not survive without them !, Coming home does not have to be a matter of course, 50dni.sk, Postavmesaspolocne.sk

What is your driving force for accelerating change? 

I do what I love and I love what I do. If there is something I can change I am always trying in my personal or work life. I am able to see beyond the things and situations and pick what is important and useful.

What one piece of advance would you give to future change accelerators who want to make a big impact in their work?

Do not be afraid to even start change things others will follow you if is good purpose.

Do you know an inspirational Change Accelerator? Nominate them for our next newsletter and to be entered into our global awards by emailing us here.


Change Accelerator: Sofia Breitholtz

Posted on: October 6th, 2020 by Resource Alliance No Comments

Change Accelerator: Sofia Breitholtz

Our Change Accelerator for August is Sofia Breitholtz, CEO for Reach for Change, an international non-profit founded in Sweden.

Please briefly describe what your organisation does 

Reach for Change is an international non-profit founded in Sweden. Our vision is a world where all children and youth reach their full potential. We’re working towards this vision by finding local social entrepreneurs and empowering them to develop and scale innovative solutions that help children to better lives. We were co-founded by successful entrepreneurs in the non-profit and the business sectors in 2010, and since then we have supported more than 1,000 social entrepreneurs in 18 countries across three continents.

How did you get into social impact sector? 

After studies in international development and politics and economics, with field work done in Peru on international human rights, and with a number of internships at the UN and the EU under my belt, I started working in the private sector in 2006.

Although I loved the results oriented and fast paced outcomes, I was frustrated at the lack of investments made in sustainability, and especially in social impact. This prompted my move to Southern Africa working with development cooperation. I was still convinced of the need to engage the private sector in social change, and became interested in the possibilities of social entrepreneurship.

I moved over to work as Deputy CEO of a Swedish social enterprise working on clean water solutions for the bottom of the pyramid. After that, I worked for Ben & Jerry’s formulating their social mission strategy for the Nordics before I was recruited to Reach for Change. As CEO of Reach for Change, I live my values and purpose every day, and as a team, we have an ambition to grow our impact by 10x to help reach the Sustainable Development Goals.

What is your driving force for accelerating change? 

My passion is seeing the potential in people and supporting them to grow. I love connecting people and ideas and I have seen first hand what a powerful catalyst for change it is just believing in people. I also believe in the power of social innovation, and think we can accelerate change through innovative partnerships.

What one piece of advance would you give to future change accelerators who want to make a big impact in their work?

To be true to their own inner compass and stick with it.

Do you know an inspirational Change Accelerator? Nominate them for our next newsletter and to be entered into our global awards by emailing us here.


Change Accelerator: Michelle Berriman

Posted on: October 6th, 2020 by Resource Alliance No Comments

Change Accelerator: Michelle Berriman

Our Change Accelerator for July is Michelle Berriman, Executive Director for Fundraising Institute of New Zealand, the professional body that represents fundraising in New Zealand.

Please briefly describe what your organisation does 

The Fundraising Institute of New Zealand (FINZ) is the professional body that represents fundraising in New Zealand. In delivering its mission, FINZ is concerned with: Providing the best educational events to lead and educate fundraisers; Developing standards of practice to enhance the integrity and professionalism of fundraisers and the fundraising sector; Advocating the value of fundraising to society and government in order to empower fundraisers in their work in and with communities.

How did you get into social impact sector? 

Michelle joined FINZ after 20 years working in a variety of roles within the charity sector – the last ten in fundraising and development. Prior to joining the sector’s commercial side, she was a youth/community development worker supporting children looked after by the state, running community-based youth projects and working in juvenile lock-down. Michelle is motivated by creating change and making a difference to those facing adversity and wants everyone to be given the chance to be the very best version of themselves. Originally from the far North of Scotland, she is proud to call NZ her home. Read more about her journey here.

What is your driving force for accelerating change? 

Michelle is motivated by creating change and making a difference to those facing adversity and wants everyone to be given the chance to be the very best version of themselves.

“I want people to be the very best versions of themselves – what they want to be, to have dreams, and to want and achieve success, whatever success looks like to them. I suffer hugely from imposter syndrome, I feel every day that I’m not worthy of the role I’m in today, like I’ll be found out at any minute and that I don’t know what the hell I am doing.

However, there is one thing I do know that I am doing and that is doing my very best to make a difference. It can be so easy to get distracted and bogged down in budgets, ROI, live auction items, silent auctions items, street appeals, acquisition, retention, direct mail, getting that one big gift or bequest … sometimes we forget the bigger picture. What I know to be true is that everyone of us has a story, a reason, a cause close to their heart.”

What one piece of advance would you give to future change accelerators who want to make a big impact in their work?

“I’d tell them that they can. We’re doing it. It happens one person at a time. If you can change even one person’s life, that has a knock-on effect. I’ve been so inspired by so many people along the way and I think it’s really nice to want to aspire to be like someone you admire. Look to the people who are changing the world and try to emulate them. Be Bold. Be Brave. Be authentically you.”

Do you know an inspirational Change Accelerator? Nominate them for our next newsletter and to be entered into our global awards by emailing us here.


Change Accelerator: Hannah Sayers

Posted on: October 6th, 2020 by Resource Alliance No Comments

Change Accelerator: Hannah Sayers

Our Change Accelerator for September is Hannah Sayers. Head of Fundraising and Innovation for Enable Leisure and Culture, and Founder and Director of Small Change in the UK.

Please briefly describe what your organisation does 

Enable Leisure and Culture is a charity that strives to enrich lives and strengthen communities. Small Change is a social enterprise that gives free fundraising support for small non-profits.

How did you get into social impact sector? 

I’ve always been a strong believer in giving back. It’s something I feel passionately about and have a strong desire to make a change.

I first started working with communities in 2005 when I went to Leeds Beckett University to complete a child development degree. During that time I worked with many charities who support children and young people in some of West Yorkshire’s most deprived areas and lived in Africa for just under 3 months volunteering at a school in a remote village in Ghana. Here is where I discovered my love of fundraising when I secured a £400,000 grant for one of my charities.

After university I continued my work with children and young people and became a business development manager for an outdoor children’s charity in London. I then moved on to a parks and open spaces department where I was successful with a £1.9 million pound funding bid to the Heritage Fund, for a 5 year Project.

After that I became the senior trust fundraising officer at The National Deaf Children’s Society, before finally moving on as Head of Fundraising and Innovation at a South London Charity where I am now. Alongside this I co-founded a community action group in my home town and have been successful with numerous grants to improve the local area.

During the Pandemic I founded Small Change Makers CIC and established a volunteer fundraising team to help small non-profits such as food banks, community centres, peer support groups etc access funding. We want to make funding opportunities accessible to everyone and want to make change in the fundraising sector.

What is your driving force for accelerating change? 

I strongly believe that anyone can change the world and I want to champion small change makers. It doesn’t have to be someone who makes a grand gesture or donates a huge amount of money.

We live in a world now where our lives are lived online and where people feel like they need to compete to get likes. Why is a huge donation or money raised quickly the only measure of success? We are increasingly seeing stories of people making massive contributions or doing things that an average person may not be able to achieve, and this can be demoralising for those who are making a big difference every day in someone’s life, but on a smaller scale.

During my time at Enable LC and since founding Small Change I have seen the huge impact people can make to their communities just by making small changes. However, feedback and research that states only 3% of UK voluntary sector income (e.g. from grants, trusts and foundations) goes to organisations with annual incomes of under 100,000 (NCVO Almanac 2020) – is alarming. How is this right? There is an economic inequality in the charitable sector, and we need to act. Large funders all over the world are often not challenged, as they are the lifeline for many organisations. But if this isn’t challenged, where is the accountability, innovation/drive for change? So, I want to tackle this, be brave and make the fundraising world accessible for everyone.

What one piece of advance would you give to future change accelerators who want to make a big impact in their work?

Don’t wait for the right time, you can make change by just starting small and being your own champion. You’ll be surprised at what you can do, when you believe that you can.

Do you know an inspirational Change Accelerator? Nominate them for our next newsletter and to be entered into our global awards by emailing us here.


Resource Alliance Announces New CEO to Lead Transformation to Global Community Model

Posted on: October 1st, 2020 by Resource Alliance No Comments

After an extensive global search, Resource Alliance (RA) is delighted to announce the appointment of its new CEO, Brian Higgins, who will be leaving his post as CEO of Ireland’s Bloomfield Health Services on 30 November 2020.
With extensive international experience in service development, fundraising and operational delivery, Brian’s appointment is seen as a strong affirmation of the organisation’s commitment to strengthen the IFC and build and expand the Resource Alliance Global Community  — a unique global membership network that brings thought leaders and fundraising practitioners together to curate exceptional learning opportunities for social impact organisations of every size and type around the world.
”Brian first caught our attention in 2018 when he was the highest rated speaker at our flagship event, the International Fundraising Congress (IFC),” noted Bill Toliver, Chair of the Resource Alliance Board of Trustees. “He comes from the community we serve, understands the essence of our obligation to that community, and brings a truly unusual combination of executive leadership, fundraising and community-building talents to Resource Alliance.”
Resource Alliance, with the help of hundreds of volunteers, curates and produces the International Fundraising Congress — the pre-eminent global conference for fundraisers and changemakers, serving nearly 1000 delegates from 60 countries. Their recent Fundraising Online event (#FRO2020) brought together 15,000 participants from 145 countries, and the Resource Alliance Global Community democratises access to this exceptional content for organisations everywhere.
My first experience of Resource Alliance was through my participation in IFC 2018.  I had never experienced anything like it before!  Immersive, engaging, informative and mindblowing!” recalled Higgins, “ I am humbled to think that I will have a role to play in enabling thousands more to benefit from not only the exceptional quality of content and experience of the International Fundraising Congress, but also in curating the highest quality and most innovative learning experiences through the Resource Alliance Global Community .” Higgins further explained, “I knew RA was the place I wanted to be after seeing the commitment that the board and staff have made to living up to the promise of the organisations Manifesto. The team is relentless in their desire to break down barriers to access so that everyone, irrespective of where they are around the globe can access the critical knowledge, tools and connections most needed to accelerate their vital work. I am thrilled and honoured to be able to contribute to that work.”  
As part of their commitment to reach organisations around the world, the RA team has developed a digital platform to share content and build online collaborations. The coronavirus pandemic accelerated what was a multi-year development plan into a multi-month transformation, and the organisation is now in the final weeks of preparation for the first ever IFC Online: Virtual Summit (October 13 – 16).
”Brian will be an active presence at IFC online.” noted Toliver. “He’ll be hosting the Senior Leadership Summit on the first day of the conference (Monday, October 12th), and we have a number of opportunities for him to engage with our community so that he can hit the ground running when he formally assumes his position as CEO of Resource Alliance on 1 December 2020.”

Introducing… The Resource Alliance Global Community

Posted on: July 2nd, 2020 by Resource Alliance No Comments

To our global community of Fundraisers, Changemakers and Advocates,

For the past 40 years the Resource Alliance has been driven by one goal: to bring the global community of fundraisers and changemakers together to unleash new ideas, new models and new thinking to accelerate progress in the world. Whenever we come together as a community to debate and share our best thinking, the connections and relationships we form are meaningful and enduring — and they make a difference.

Today, a global pandemic, economic uncertainty and social unrest have created an urgent call-to-action for all of us in the social impact community. There has never been a more important time in our 40-year history to accelerate change — to question conventional wisdom, to move past incremental progress, to explore new ways to make a difference. It is time to come together and help each other do what we have been called to do. Better than we have ever done before.

At the same time, the very issues that are driving us to act with urgency have made it impossible to contemplate a gathering of 1,000 people from around the world at IFC this October.

So, for the past several months — guided by the principles of our manifesto, the wise counsel of our Advisory Panel, Ambassadors, Partners, and many members of our community around the world — the Resource Alliance team has been reconceptualising how we can best serve the social impact community at this critically important time, and beyond. Better than we have ever done before.

We must create possibility from what once seemed impossible, we must move the immovable. These are incredibly challenging times, but they are also exciting. We have the opportunity and obligation to do more than just ‘go online’. We must create a new, truly inclusive and engaging way for fundraisers and changemakers to help one another — not just once a year, but every day.

We must create a place where people can get more than ever, because they are able to give more than ever. A place where people can grow through learning from their peers globally and grow even more by sharing their own knowledge, experience, time and talent. A place where each of us can make the greatest possible difference by helping all of us thrive. Because when we do, we will have the greatest hope of building a more just, equitable and healthy world — for everyone.

We are humbled to offer an entirely new concept in accelerating change:

The Resource Alliance Global Community

The Resource Alliance Global Community is a social movement of, by and for fundraisers and changemakers. It’s all about people power. It is a portal of possibility. A network for new ideas. A place where people from around the world come together to help each other do our best work, because our best work is what the world requires of us.

Members of the Resource Alliance Community will receive more than 120 online and face-to-face opportunities to learn, collaborate, create, problem solve and explore new thinking over the course of each year. Each designed to improve our members effectiveness in resourcing the critical work of the organisations and causes they serve.

Membership also includes access to IFC 2020: virtual experience. Although a global pandemic makes it impossible to bring together 1,000 people from around the world this October, we are committed to providing a unique and groundbreaking virtual experience that will inspire, inform and energize. We have no delusions that a virtual IFC will ever replace the power of our face-to-face interactions, and we WILL always commit to having face-to-face events as soon as possible. But, together, guided by what makes an IFC so important, we can create something that revolutionises what is possible in a virtual format.  IFC 2020: virtual experience will be a true laboratory of great ideas for people who resource social impact organisations.

We are committed to providing the most equitable access to the best content, collaboration and experiences available anywhere — for everyone. Never has the world been more in need of a sense of community. While we aren’t all in the same boat, we’re certainly navigating the same storm. Our focus is on growing a global community to accelerate change, and we can’t do that without you.

It’s a new world. And a new alliance.


Change Accelerator: Ryan Joseph Figueiredo

Posted on: June 23rd, 2020 by Resource Alliance No Comments
Ryan Joseph Figueiredo - Equal Asia Foundation

Our Change Accelerator for June is Ryan Joseph Figueiredo, Founder and Executive Director for Equal Asia Foundation, a regional innovations incubator for LGBT+ inclusive and appropriate SDG engagement in Thailand.

What does your organisation do?

Equal Asia Foundation is an incubator for inclusive LGBTI+ projects that is disrupting the LGBTI+ movement from within and encouraging it to find collaborative solutions to deep-seated social inequities.

Equal Asia Foundation’s work this year is focused on addressing the growing intergenerational gap in Asia, in particular reducing the social isolation of the elderly; preventing suicide and self-harm in the young; and mitigating the vulnerabilities of LGBT+ migrants and refugees affected by climate change, conflict and disaster.

The Equal Asia Foundation has a secretariat in Bangkok and is a collaborative community of change-makers from the non-profit, business and public sectors across borders who incubate and accelerate LGBTI+ inclusion projects in Asia.

Equal Asia Foundation has recently released its first publication. With this report, we have turned a corner in our work with refugees by documenting the condition and circumstances of LGBTI+ refugees, an invisible and vulnerable community living with us in this City of Angels and around Thailand. This report is a distillation of voices from across the refugee and LGBTI+ rights ecosystem and an urgent call for empathy and action. Click here to read more.

How did you get into social impact sector?

I  have worked for over 19 years in the social impact sector. Though I trained in Clinical genetics, I was moved by the plight of sex workers and their young children and started a local non-profit that provided basic health and nutrition services.

I also went back to school to pursue a Masters in Medical and Psychiatric Social Work.

I later began working in iNGOs, NGOs and social sector practices of management consulting firms across the region.

I founded Equal Asia Foundation in 2019 to respond to the glaring gaps in the LGBTI+ movement in Asia.

What is your driving force for accelerating change?

I am surrounded by inspiring human rights defenders who are driven to make the world a better place. I think human suffering is unnecessary and we have it in us to work together to find solutions to fix what is structurally wrong in our societies.

What one piece of advance would you give to future change accelerators who want to make a big impact in their work?

Radical collaboration is the key. The only way we can make a difference is if we are able to work intersectionally and across social movements.

We need to make leaps of faith and leaps of imagination if we want to make a big impact in the lives of the people we work with.

Also, be ready to grow and change as well. This work is as much about you as it is about the communities you work in.

Change Accelerator: Ntombenqaba Precious Petros

Posted on: May 23rd, 2020 by Resource Alliance No Comments
Change Accelerator - Ntombenqaba Precious Petros

Our Change Accelerator for May is Ntombenqaba Precious Petros, Co-founder of Masakhe Community Development Programme,  a community self-empowerment organisation in South Africa.

What does your organisation do?

MASAKHE (which means ‘we build’ in Xhosa) is a community self-empowerment organisation in Nyanga East and Lower Crossroads. The organisation emerged as a response to the difficult economic situation in the townships. There are not enough jobs for people and unemployment is very high.

We came together as concerned community members and decided to form an organisation to help ourselves and many others who are desperately looking for income.

Our aim is therefore to instil our members with a sense of self-worth, self-respect, dignity and hope for a future. We aim to help our members find employment and a steady income. To have an income and a daily task gives a person dignity.

The organisation started in February 2011. We were a group of 6 women then – women who were not educated and so found it very difficult to find paid employment. 

Things have been even harder during Covid-19 lockdown, as we had to shut down operations leaving many families in the community left without support, and without a safe place for their children to go each day.

As a response to this, I started an online funding campaign to help get essential food parcels to children and families in Nyanga East township to that they could survive the lockdown period.

This is something as an organisation we have never done before, and the response was incredible. In just a couple of weeks we were able to raise enough to get food packs together for 56 families.

I also reached out to other NGOs who were running feeding schemes and they were able to support and provide an additional 144 families with food packs.

What motivates you?

I am motivated every day by the people in my community. I see the hope and determination of people who want to make change happen to improve the situation that their community is in.

Their eagerness to do something different and learn new skills, or support others – regardless of their own situation.

Where does your inspiration come from?

My mother played a big role. She always made sure that everything she did came from her heart, focusing on supporting others who were less fortunate than her.

Everything she did was with passion, and she brought people along with her by inspiring others to support people who needed it.

What piece of advice would you give to future change accelerators who want to make a big impact in their work?

Trust yourself. Do everything with confidence and passion.

Change Accelerator: Ouafa Belgacem

Posted on: April 21st, 2020 by Resource Alliance No Comments

Change Accelerator: Ouafa Belgacem

Ouafa Belgacem - CEO of Culture Funding Watch - TunisiaOur Change Accelerator for April is Ouafa Belgacem, CEO of Culture Funding Watch, Tunisia, who advocate for sustainable, transparent and smart culture and creative sector financing.

Please briefly describe what your organisation does 

Culture Funding Watch is a social enterprise specializing in intelligence, capacity building and advocacy for sustainable, transparent and smart culture and creative sector financing.

We support cultural and creative industry workers by giving them access to the information, resources, advice and assistance they need to achieve their goals. We do this by facilitating access to information on resources, training and building capacities in resources mobilization, raising resources and influencing donors and future donors.

Our reach expands across Europe, MENA Region and Africa, offering 20 workshops per year and supporting over 9,000 users through our Facebook page.  

How did you get into social impact sector? 

This is funny story… I am actually an archeologist by trade, and I was destined to be a researcher or a teacher with little exposure to project design or implementation. My passion for old stones and dead bodies meant my mum used to tease me, saying ‘you are grave digger’. My shift to the social impact sector started when I got my first job and international experience at the supreme council of antiquities in Egypt where I was working on a Finnish/Egyptian collaboration project. There I discovered the whole world of development, collaboration and fundraising. When I joined the project it was nearing the end of it’s funding and I was worried about its sustainability and continuity. I remember asking my Egyptian manager “what is going to happing once the Finnish funding is over?”, to which he replied “you are a ‘digger’ and I have still 6 months budget for a junior researcher… go and dig and find out what we should do next”. I was convinced that the survival of the art and culture sector was dependent on the “cultural workers”  themselves mastering their own financial sustainability. 

And there came my lightbulb moment. I discovered that Fundraising is a profession in it’s own right, and there is a whole world out there that comes with it. In 2005 I decided to become a fundraiser, and to learn as much as I could, so I could come back and apply it to the arts and culture sector. It was around the same time that I found the Resource Alliance. It was a turning point in my career, and my whole life. Being among the 12 bursary winners from over 450 applicants for the IWRM Workshop in Malaysia was the little push that I needed to be able to shift from an archeologist to a professional fundraiser. I met people that inspired and encouraged me, and it allowed me to move forward and dare to apply for a position at the European commission delegation in Egypt (where I knew I would have exposure to the most complex intuitional donor in my region). Following that I worked at Oxfam as regional funding programme coordinator and now I am the founder of Culture Funding Watch. I am very proud of what I have accomplished so far. CFW is the only MENA and Africa focused social enterprise helping the arts and culture sector reach the resources they need. 

What is your driving force for accelerating change? 

I have always been driven to solidarity and caring about others, but most importantly I have a deep belief in the major role that art and culture plays in human lives and collective wellbeing. And besides, I am Tunisian and French – an explosive combination of cultures of resistance, revolution and strong women. It is in my genes. This is the reason I have been driven to working with organisations like Oxfam, SNV etc. I have a very low tolerance threshold to injustice.  

What one piece of advance would you give to future change accelerators who want to make a big impact in their work?

Give it time. If you have a look at my career you will see what kind of change maker I am. I took time (15 years) to master my knowledge before creating CFW because I have always advocated that meaningful change can only happen when we act on the roots of the problem. I like to inscribe my actions in the time so that they have deep and lasting impact. It takes time to change policies and behavior and I am not afraid of time. 

The first time art financing and funding was mentioned in the MENA regional art and culture conference arenas was in 2010 when I brought it into discussion, when most of the sectors’ attention was about cultural policies. CFW is 6-7 years ahead of the game when it comes to bringing this dimension of cultural and creative sector development. I am very proud now that my small organisation is operating with zero external funding, zero influential supporters is now a reference in the region. I take pride in quality, durability and solidarity. 

Do you know an inspirational Change Accelerator? Nominate them for our next newsletter and to be entered into our global awards by emailing us here.

The Emerge Programme

Posted on: April 17th, 2020 by Resource Alliance No Comments

Everything You Need to Know

What is the Emerge programme?

Emerge is a capacity building programme that aims to help organisations to devise and implement a fundraising strategy that enables them to diversify their income sources and improve the prospect of long term financial sustainability. The delivery process is designed to help the organisations improve their resource mobilisation skills and strategic thinking and also enable them to critically assess other areas of organisational functioning, including governance, leadership and management. The change that Resource Alliance wants to see is that organisations take ownership of and sustain new resource mobilisation activities that diversify their income base.

The programme is delivered by Resource Alliance associates (consultants), who are carefully selected and matched with the organisation in terms of skills, experience and their location.

Who is the Emerge programme aimed at?

The main beneficiaries of this programme are small to medium-sized organisations who need help and support to diversify and grow their funding portfolio for growth and/or sustainability.

What are the benefits of taking part in the Emerge programme?

  • Strengthened organisational capacity in fundraising and resource mobilisation, including, if needed, the development of appropriate organisational structures and processes.
  • Enhanced resource mobilisation skills, competence and confidence amongst key staff.
  • A functioning resource mobilisation strategy with plans and tools to support the process.
  • Coaching and mentoring to support the organisation in increasing and diversifying funding in the short, medium and long term.

What happens during the Emerge programme?

The intervention combines the expertise of a consultant with local market knowledge and a diverse range of skills and experience matched with each Oak grantee, and an opportunity to participate in peer learning activities. They are then supported by the Resource Alliance through the following process over 12 months:

The ultimate aim of the programme being implemented is for the participants to become more resilient, sustainable and capable of affecting change in their areas of work. It also aims to make organisations more robust, less dependent on a small number of donors and better able to leverage funding from a wide range of sources for the changes they wish to make. The project focuses on the critical areas of leadership and resource mobilisation, which are crucial to an organisation’s survival and its ability to grow and bring about sustainable programme outcomes.

It seeks to:

  • Foster confidence and skills amongst staff, which can be applied to other areas of fundraising and to ingrain a culture of strategic thinking with regard to resource mobilisation.
  • Develop a fundraising culture within the whole organisation so that resource mobilisation becomes a collective effort and an integral part of organisational functioning rather than a silo activity that is the responsibility of a few.
  • Help establish an exit strategy for the organisation so that the financial dependency on any single funder is reduced.

Who has taken part previously in the Emerge programme? 

Since 2014, the Emerge programme has supported 42 organisations across 15 different countries across Asia, South East Asia, Africa, Europe and the Americas.

“We benefited immensely from the Emerge programme. This has enabled us to set concrete targets and objectives, and we are engaged to follow up the strategy with concrete implementation. This will allow us to implement our three-year strategic framework”.


“We found the Associate you provided us on the Emerge programme to be highly engaging and knowledgeable, and she was quickly able to get under the skin of our organisation to appreciate what we needed and how we could develop our fundraising strategy”.


What do NGOs need to do to apply for the Emerge programme?

Organisations interested in the programme should contact Ajay@resource-alliance.org.

What can funders do if they’re interested in funding the Emerge programme?

The Emerge programme has clear benefits for NGOs requiring help with building their fundraising capacities. However, funders whose aims and mission concern the building of the fundraising capacity of their grantees may also benefit through investing in the financial sustainability of their grantees.

Funders and investors interested in finding out more about the Emerge programme should contact Ajay@resource-alliance.org.

Because feminist  activism works!

Posted on: April 15th, 2020 by Resource Alliance No Comments

An interview with Sophia Seawell from Mama Cash

Mama Cash was conceived around a kitchen table in Amsterdam in 1983. Since then, it has grown from a group of five feminist activists into an international fund that supports women’s, girls’, trans and intersex people’s movements around the world.

We caught up with Sophia Seawell to find out what makes Mama Cash stand out from other grantmaking organisations and how their value of sharing power really puts the women it serves at the centre of their work.

What makes Mama Cash different from other grantmaking organisations?

In contrast to much available funding which is project-based, Mama Cash gives grants to feminist groups, who decide themselves how to best use this money. With this long-term and flexible funding, we can offer the stability that activists need to realise their visions for a more just and joyful world.

How do you involve women within the granting process?

In line with our value of sharing power, Mama Cash has been moving to a participatory grantmaking model. This means shifting decision-making power about how grants are distributed to the communities we intend to serve – who are, after all, experts of their own realities. We piloted this with our Spark grants for local activists here in the Netherlands, recently launched our Solidarity Fund for fellow women’s funds and aim to extend this approach to all of our grantmaking by 2021.

From your grant applications, what are the key ‘trends’ or pressing issues facing women in the current climate?  

Data from our grant applications, recently analysed in our report Resourcing Feminist Activism, shows that feminist activism is thriving everywhere but remains underfunded – each year we receive far more eligible applications than we are able to grant. In particular, we see an increase in applications from trans and intersex activists, as well as sex workers’  rights groups; we also see an increase in applications from groups working on the intersection of gender and climate change.

How do you think that the social impact sector can accelerate change (our theme for IFC 2020) to support women and girls across the globe?

The social impact sector can best support positive change by redirecting resources and decision-making power back to movements themselves. Women, girls, trans and intersex people have a vision for a world in which everyone is equal, safe, and free and to make this vision a reality they need access to resources.

How is Mama Cash adapting to deal with Coronavirus? How has the pandemic affected your work as a team and as a grantmaker? 

Mama Cash remains committed to providing flexible funding to our grantee-partners around the world – crises like Covid-19 show why flexibility on the part of funders is so important. Activists need to be able to adapt and respond to situations on the ground. We are in dialogue with all of our partners about how we can best support them; we have also extended our deadline to apply for a grant in our current grantmaking cycle, and we are being flexible with reporting deadlines for current partners.

2020 Global Fundraising Awards

Posted on: April 15th, 2020 by Resource Alliance No Comments

2020 Resource Alliance Global Fundraising Awards – Nominations now open!

With the entire world starting to work differently, responding to changing demands and a range of different challenges, people are rising up, showing courage, commitment, innovation and becoming the agents of change that the world needs. 

This year we want to dedicate the 2020 Resource Alliance Global Fundraising Awards to the innovative fundraisers and changemakers who are navigating the sector through this crisis. 

This is an opportunity not only to be recognised for your dedication and passion, but also to let the world know how you use that dedication and passion to help create lasting, positive change in the world.

Your success is all of our success, since as a sector we can learn from one another, encourage one another and celebrate one another.

So please take some time to nominate someone who you feel meets the criteria in the four categories below. They could be your colleagues, your staff, your boss… or yourself.


  • Winners will be recognised formally by the Resource Alliance for their outstanding contribution

  • This is a unique opportunity to showcase their individual / organisation’s work on a global platform

  • Winners will receive a grant to support the work they are doing, as well as a variety of other benefits


2020 Global Fundraising Innovator of the Year

This award is not just about money. The Global Fundraising Innovator of the Year has transformed the way their organisation works in response to the crisis. They have seen the challenges and faced them down with determination to rethink, regroup, reorganise in order to move away from transactional fundraising and into a healthy, holistic and sustainable income stream. They have set their organisation on a new financial course that will withstand the day-to-day ups and downs of economies, donor trust and interest, and the myriad other factors that can disrupt even the best fundraising plans.

The Activator Award

This award goes to an individual, campaign or collaboration that motivates the masses and activates the unstoppable force that is the power of people standing united for large-scale impact. The Activator coalesces individual donations and voices into a social movement intent on rocking the world.

The Rule-Breaker Award

Is this how fundraising is supposed to look? The Rule-Breaker Award goes to an individual or campaign which breaks the rules and paradigms of traditional fundraising. They pull the ‘F’ out of “IFC” and turn it on its head with an entirely unexpected way to resource work, creating a fresh and more sustainable model of resource development.

The Change Accelerator Award

Forward thinking. Progressive. Bold. The Change Accelerator Award goes to an individual who is advanced in their thinking, daring in their approach – and tired of the status quo. Their ideas are bigger, their goals loftier and their timeline faster. Their giant strides overshadow the baby steps of hesitation and timidity. They inspire us to the fearless pursuit of accelerating change in a time when we must displace fearfulness with fearlessness and strive for big impact. The Change Accelerator dares to live life in the fast lane of change.


The awards are free to enter, and nominations are open to all collaborations, organisations and individuals in the social impact sector.

Applications are open from 16 April to 31 July 2020, and the winners will be announced in August.


For any enquiries, please contact Ruby at ruby@resource-alliance.org 


Global virtual summit launched to support the charity sector’s response to Covid-19

Posted on: March 25th, 2020 by Resource Alliance No Comments

Global virtual summit launched to support the charity sector’s response to Covid-19

  • The summit is supported by charity sector conference and training organisations around the world, made possible by Salesforce and hosted on Fundraising Everywhere
  • Conference live streamed on April 2nd between 12pm – 6pm BST / 7am – 1pm EST
  • Two virtual conference tracks on charity and fundraising response, plus additional resource library to support skills and well-being
  • Other charity conferences supporting the project by providing individual content
  • Free for everyone and available globally

The Resource Alliance is delighted to be part of a consortium, working together to respond to the situation faced by the charity sector as a result of COVID-19. 

With growing concerns from charities about how to respond in this time of crisis, the virtual conference has been curated to help connect charities and fundraisers, enabling shared learning to support a response with confidence and clarity.

Each session has been hand-selected and curated with COVID-19’s impact on the charity sector as its focus and will be presented online on April 2nd between 12pm – 6pm BST / 7am – 1pm EST.

Sessions are 45 minutes long including live Q&A with the speaker. Two tracks will run consecutively on Fundraising Everywhere’s website, fundraisingeverywhere.com, which attendees can interact and choose from throughout.

Attendance is free but attendees must register at fundraisingeverywhere.com/covid19.

Attendees can choose between the twelve live sessions on offer and will have access to all recorded content afterwards, plus a bonus video resource library, for as long as the pandemic impacts the sector.

Other charity sector partners including the Institute of Fundraising, Charity Comms, CharityDigital and Third Sector are supporting the project by using their speaker and charity connections to provide individual content.

The live stream will be subtitled in English for live viewers and available in other languages post-event.

Speakers and sessions

Planned sessions include:

  • Setting up a response task force
  • Working with your board during a crisis
  • Diversifying quickly
  • Creating digital campaigns
  • Mobilising volunteers during a lockdown
  • Becoming digital focussed
  • Campaigning in a crisis
  • Adapting strategic objectives during a crisis
  • Changing plans with funders
  • Engaging with HNWI during a crisis
  • How to survive and thrive through and beyond COVID-19
  • Turning cancelled events digital

Plus a bonus resource library on:

  • Community fundraising during COVID-19
  • Telephone fundraising
  • Legacy fundraising asks during a pandemic
  • Remote working
  • Time management
  • Well-being
  • Engaging with the media
  • Running virtual events on social media
  • Supporter experience during COVID-19
  • Making sure your COVID-19 response is inclusive

Confirmed speakers so far include:

  • Beth Kanter
  • Charity So White
  • Ian Mitlock (Charity Excellence Framework)
  • Kishshana Palmer
  • Ligia Pena (Greenpeace)
  • Rebecca Davies (Save The Children)
  • Sam Laprade
  • Tereza Litza (Lightful)
  • Wayne Murray (Audience)

There will also be live hosting from Fundraising Everywhere’s co-founders, Nikki Bell and Simon Scriver to engage with speakers and attendees. The virtual platform hosts a chat function where attendees can get involved with their own discussions and network with each other and speakers.

#FRO2020 Speaker Lineup Announced

Posted on: March 19th, 2020 by Resource Alliance No Comments


Over 2,500 people have already registered for Fundraising Online 2020 (#FRO2020), the free online conference from the Resource Alliance taking place on the 29 & 30 April 2020.

As the impact of COVID19 forces much of our activity online, #FRO2020 offers valuable insight, tools and ideas on how individuals and organisations can innovate and accelerate their social change efforts in the digital world. All sessions will be accompanied by a live Q&A with the speaker giving you the opportunity to learn and engage for free, from anywhere across the globe.

Following the exciting announcement of two of our keynotes, Ailbhe Smyth and Sophie Chen, we now have even more incredible speakers confirmed, looking at everything from Facebook fundraising to regular giving recruitment, the power of storytelling to examples of community campaigns in Brazil. Scroll down for more upcoming #FRO2020 highlights.

With an ever-growing programme encompassing a wide range of digitally focused topics and global perspectives, we’ll be sharing even more #FRO2020 speakers and sessions very soon.

Keep updated and register for #FRO2020.

Adapting regular giving recruitment for the digital world: One journey from traditional to digital regular giving recruitment while harnessing the power of movement building and activism along the way

Kathryn Holloway and Alex Aggidis 🇬🇧

How were Friends of the Earth inspired by the digital activism of global climate activists? Like many NGOs, regular giving is the financial backbone of Friends of the Earth, and as a campaigning organisation they have depended on people power to pressure decision-makers.

In this session you’ll learn how they diversified their Individual Giving programme into a digital space after witnessing uprisings across the globe with climate activists and movements like Greta Thunberg, the youth climate strikers and Extinction Rebellion inspiring collective climate action.

From local to digital – Brazilian examples of community campaigns: The power of local giving campaigns to mobilise the community and create online engagement

João Paulo Vergueiro 🇧🇷

Learn how a community-based and personalised approach, together with digital technologies, has generated great fundraising successes around Dia de Doar – Brazils’s version of #GivingTuesday.

In this session João Paulo will share examples of Brazilian community campaigns built around Dia de Doar. He’ll make the case that it’s more effective to reach people in their local communities with the goal of developing their own neighbourhoods.

The power of storytelling: Leveraging the power of storytelling to create social change

Supriya Paul 🇮🇳

The session will include key insights from Co-Founder Supriya Paul on Josh Talks’ unique approach of telling stories, through relatable role models and vernacular languages in India. She will also share the tangible and unique impact their channel has had and the change they are creating in Indian society.

Supriya will also share the strategy behind crafting a good story and choosing the medium of dissemination to ensure it reaches a wider audience and can help individuals/organisations to achieve their objectives.

It’s not just about birthdays: Five reasons why you have to adapt to social fundraising & how to deal with the lack of data

Nick Burne 🇬🇧

In this in-depth, tools-agnostic workshop, featuring recent real-world case studies and benchmarks taken from over 300,000 Facebook fundraising transactions, you will learn the seven different types of supporter that you can engage with and where to spend your time and effort for the biggest rewards.

You’ll also learn the #1 most compelling message strategy that engages Facebook fundraisers and lets you raise more. Plus, how to get supporter relationships off Facebook so you can develop multi-channel relationships, as well as how to drive more fundraisers, how to navigate the tricky waters of GDPR and PECR, not forgetting the top tricks for blowing up your own fundraisers and much much more.

More sessions to be announced!

Look out for other #FRO2020 sessions soon, including:

  • Embracing data-driven fundraising
  • Generating more income from happier supporters 
  • Using Facebook Messenger as the new donor conversion channel

And much more!

Make sure you signup for #FRO2020. We’ll keep you up to date with all the exciting speaker and session announcements, and share details of exactly where to catch the sessions on the day.

COVID19 Update

Posted on: March 16th, 2020 by Resource Alliance No Comments

As the COVID19 pandemic progresses the work of social impact organisations will become increasingly difficult over the coming months, especially for those on the frontline of this crisis. 

However, we know that by combining the talents, expertise and dedication of our global community of friends and experts we will be able to tackle the unprecedented levels of change ahead of us together. The Resource Alliance will continue to be a platform for connection, friendship, knowledge and advice. Our commitment to serve our global community will not be diminished. 

We are still planning confidently for IFC 2020, still over 200 days away, but after consultation with our partners in South Africa and Brazil together we have made the decision to postpone our South Africa and Brazil IFC Pop Ups until the situation stabilises. We will continue to carefully assess the situation over the coming weeks and, in the spirit of complete transparency we will share any updates with our community as they become available. Our commitment to serve our global community will not be diminished. 

Our team are on hand to listen to your questions, concerns and ideas. Contact us on social media or at contact@resource-alliance.org when you need us.  

In the meantime, do what you can to keep safe, stay informed and look after each other.  

Introducing four new Trustees

Posted on: March 11th, 2020 by Resource Alliance No Comments

The Resource Alliance is proud to introduce four new Trustees

We are delighted to announce the appointment of four new Trustees to the Resource Alliance Board.
Each of these incredible women bring a wealth of experience, talent and wisdom to our leadership, and we are greatly appreciative of the contribution they have already begun to make.

Here’s more on Nana, Naila, Ingrid and Willeke.

Resource Alliance New Trustees


Ghana 🇬🇭

Nana is Executive Director of the West Africa Civil Society Institute (WACSI), with 19 years’ experience in the civil society sector. Nana is a passionate advocate for an effective, efficient, influential and sustainable civil society in West Africa.

A lawyer by profession, Nana has worked extensively on governance, human rights, philanthropy and capacity building with national, international, continental and regional organisations. Nana spearheaded the establishment of a legal division for the Women’s Initiative for Self-Empowerment (WISE) and volunteered as WISE legal counsel.

Read more about Nana here.


Egypt 🇪🇬

Naila has built an award-winning career across several continents. She is a Peabody Award recipient with experience in executive project management, media production and strategic development and communications. In 2014, she took on the role of CEO at the Arab Foundations Forum (AFF), a membership-based network of associations and foundations in the Arab region.

Prior to joining AFF, Naila spent 14 years at Sesame Workshop where she was responsible for managing overall strategic project management and development, production, content and creative aspects of Sesame Workshop’s multi-media Sesame Street projects in the MENA region, sub-Saharan Africa and Southeast Asia.

Read more about Naila here.



India 🇮🇳

Ingrid is the founder Director of the Centre for Social Impact and Philanthropy (CSIP) at Ashoka University, the first academic centre in South Asia to focus on these themes.

As well as her roles as Executive Director of CHILDLINE India Foundation and CEO of Hivos India, Ingrid served as Secretary General for 4 years at CIVICUS: World Alliance for Citizen Participation, an influential global network of non-profit organisations.

Ingrid has served on several advisory boards including: The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the World Economic Forum (WEF) and Fair Share of Women Leaders to mention just a few.

Read more about Ingrid here.



Austria 🇦🇹

Willeke is a highly experienced resource development manager currently heading up the Strategy and Analysis team at SOS Children’s Villages International, the world’s largest charity focused on providing a loving home for children around the world.

Prior to that Willeke spent 13 years at Oxfam as a global fundraising strategy advisor for affiliates all around the world providing strategic fundraising oversight, R&D of new fundraising markets and channels, and entry set up and market development of new fundraising departments and personnel.

Read more about Willeke here.

IFC 2020 and Coronavirus

Posted on: March 11th, 2020 by Resource Alliance No Comments

Resource Alliance Statement on IFC 2020 and Coronavirus (or Covid-19) 

STATEMENT FROM MARCH 2020 – Please revert to update here

First, policy issues aside, our hearts and thoughts are with all the individuals, families and organisations impacted by the Coronavirus around the world. We particularly offer our deepest compassion and commitment to the members of the social impact community we serve, and the countless people and causes each of you serve. This is an incredibly challenging time for work that is already challenging in the best of times. We offer our sincerest hope that that Coronavirus does not stop us from doing that work but becomes a test of our creativity and our will to thrive and succeed on behalf of all those we serve. 

In that spirit, with IFC 2020 taking place in the middle of October (still 7 months away), the Resource Alliance team continues to plan confidently for the event. This is the 40th anniversary of our beloved gathering and we are working diligently to deliver the best IFC ever. The theme of Accelerating Change seems all the more profound in the current climate. 

We will continue to carefully assess the situation over the coming weeks and, in the spirit of complete transparency, share any updates with our community as they become available. If, for any reason, we decide to reconsider any aspect of IFC 2020, we will work with each of our registered delegates to offer a full refund of registration fees*, as well as offer the opportunity to participate in other online and offline events and forums throughout the course of the year. 

In the meantime, we continue to plan for IFC, in addition to our online conference, Fundraising Online (or #FRO2020), at the end of April. We hope you will be able to join us for both opportunities to connect, share and learn!

If you would like any further information, have any questions or want to share your thoughts with the team, we encourage you to get in touch with us at ifc@resource-alliance.org — as always, the collective wisdom of our community is our greatest source of inspiration and advice. 

*Please note that the Resource Alliance cannot cover any additional costs incurred such as flights/travel fares or visas. If individuals or organisations make the decision not to attend the event (aside from any government enforced travel bans), our standard cancellation terms apply. 

Change Accelerator: Sandy Cipriano

Posted on: March 10th, 2020 by Resource Alliance No Comments

Change Accelerator: Sandy Cipriano

Sandy Cipriana with Alber, Luthuli and friends - young boys dressed as superheroesdressed

Our Change Accelerator for March is Sandy Cipriano, Founder of Cupcakes of Hope, who aim to create awareness and raise funds for children with life threatening diseases, predominantly done through a love of baking cupcakes. Every month Cupcakes of Hope helps 80 -100 little cancer patients by paying for their medical and day-to-day expenses.

How did you get into social impact sector?

I’ve always volunteered as a student.  It was not always easy, but it felt good knowing that I could and did make a difference. Unfortunately one of our family friends lost their 3 year old daughter to cancer. Seeing what this family went through, I felt I could do something to help similar families during one of their toughest journeys. 

We run a family restaurant and we decided to do our first fundraiser in 2009, we raised R5 000 for one little patient. Our yearly fundraisers grew bigger every year and in 2011 we introduced cupcakes as a fundraising tool. That year we set a New World Record for the MOST CUPCAKES ON DISPLAY, 21 000, and raised R200 000 for children with cancer.  

I absolutely loved seeing how the whole community came together to ‘bake’ a difference and I felt that we could help more children if we get the whole South Africa involved so we decided to registered Cupcakes of Hope as a Non Profit Company in 2012. 

Since we started our foundation, we have helped more than 2 000 patients as well as 16 other cancer charities in South Africa, and raised over R10 million. This is by far the SWEETEST way to help SAVE a life.

What is your driving force for accelerating change?

I believe that EVERY ONE can make a difference in this world – all you need is a bit of time and LOADS of LOVE! I also believe that every act of kindness has a ripple effect with no end.
If you could “wave a magic wand” and accelerate your organisation’s success, what’s the one big thing you’d most like to accomplish?
I believe that Cupcakes of Hope has created a community of volunteers (our Cupcake Angels), who are between the ages of 3 and 90, from pre-schoolers to firemen, from nurses to accountants, who stand side by side to change the world for the better.

Together we are ‘baking’ a difference in the lives of children with life threatening diseases. I would love to see more people from different socio-economic backgrounds, working together for a great cause.

On National Cupcake Day we see our Cupcake Angels coming together, working side by side to ‘bake’ a difference in someone’s life.

What one piece of advance would you give to future change accelerators who want to make a big impact in their work?

In my case I started with a fundraiser to help one patient and little did I know that it would be ‘the spark’ to ignite Cupcakes of Hope. My message to accelerators is to always dream BIG, and believe that you can make a difference.

Find your passion, in our case it was using our God given talent of baking cupcakes, and try and use that to make a difference in a cause you believe in!

So let your light shine bright and it will inspire others to do the same.

This week International Women’s Day took place. Tell us about a women who has inspired/helped you accelerate change in your life or work.

I always talk about two ladies who had a huge impact on me when I was growing up. 

The first one was Oprah Winfrey, as I loved watching her Angel Network shows. The foundation of Cupcakes of Hope is actually based on one of the episodes I watched, where a young 15 year old girl wanted to make a difference, but she did not have money. So instead she visited old age homes and spoilt the ladies by doing their nails and hair… showing me that you don’t always need money to make a difference and that sometimes all people need is a bit of time and loads of love. 

I alway knew that one day I would meet Oprah, but I always thought that I would be flying out to America to attend her show, instead Oprah actually came to visit us as she has had dinner at our restaurant in Vereeniging, not once but on three separate occasions. For me this was a full circle moment meeting someone who has inspired and touched millions of people all over the world.

The second woman who inspired me is Mother Teresa, who said ‘we can’t all do great things, but we can do little things with great LOVE” – and that is what Cupcakes of Hope is all about.  

Our Cupcake Angels are spreading Cupcake LOVE all across South Africa and my dream is to see Cupcake LOVE being spread all over the world, helping even more children fight their battles because they don’t deserve to fight this battle alone.

Do you know a inspirational Change Accelerator? Nominate them for our next newsletter and to be entered into our global awards by emailing us here.

Session Leader Applications for IFC 2020 are now open

Posted on: March 4th, 2020 by Resource Alliance No Comments

Session Leader Applications for IFC 2020 are now open

Each year, we select 20 members from the international fundraising community to become a member of the fun and vital Session Leader team at the IFC, with the opportunity to network with world-renowned speakers and delegates from all over the world.

In exchange for your help, we will provide you with accommodation and food as well as a significantly reduced registration fee of £700.

What does a session leader do at the IFC?

You will be the first point of contact for your assigned speaker if he or she requires any assistance before, during or after their session.

In addition, session leaders will work as a group and act as an information point for delegates, speakers and the Resource Alliance staff.

Session Leader requirements

We select an international group of 20 people who themselves work in fundraising, come from a country with an emerging philanthropic culture, may be from charities with a small training budget or fundraisers staring out as consultants.

It is most important that we have an international, vibrant and flexible team that knows how to have fun and work hard too!

If you application is successful, you will be required to pay the discounted registration fee of £700 by 31st August 2020. You will also be responsible for your own travel to/from IFC 2020, including all arrangements, payments and required travel documents.

You will be required to arrive at the IFC by midday on Monday 12th October, and to leave after 3pm on Friday 16th October. Please consider these factors before applying to be a Session Leader.

How to apply to become a Session Leader at IFC 2020 

To be considered for the role, please apply by 26th June 2020. You will be notified on the outcome of your application by 13th July.

Apply Now

Carolina Nyberg-Steiser Bursary Programme

Posted on: February 27th, 2020 by Resource Alliance No Comments
Carolina Nyberg-Steiser Bursary Programme

Carolina Nyberg-Steiser Bursary Programme

In October 2017, Greenpeace campaign Carolina Nyberg-Steiser lost her life in the Brazilian Amazon in the course of her work. As Head of Partnerships, Artists & Influencers at Greenpeace, she raised millions in funding that enabled not just Greenpeace, but the wider environmental and human rights movements, to drive change for a better world. 

Greenpeace and the Resource Alliance, with the support of Carolina’s family, have developed a bursary programme in her name with an aim to empower other incredible young women who care as deeply for the wellbeing of our planet, and the people that inhabit this earth, as Carolina did.

Applications for IFC 2022 are now open

The Carolina Nyberg-Steiser Bursary is open to women up to 36 years of age, working in the Social Impact Sector. Make sure you apply before Monday 4th July 2022.


Recipients receive access to IFC 2022, with a masterclass and onsite accommodation included (from 18th – 21st October). The bursary programme will also cover to cost of your travel to and from the Netherlands, and provide you with a mentor to support your learning journey. 


“Receiving a Carolina Nyberg-Steiser Bursary program place was an incredible privilege. Attending IFC Asia gave me the opportunity to challenge my thinking, learn from thought leaders and network with people from all around the world with diverse perspectives and incredible stories. More than anything it left me with a profound sense of purpose and connection and invigorated my determination to come together with like-minded people to change the world.”

Karen McGrath, Global Marketing Manager at Act for Peace, Australia

Carolina’s Story

Carolina dedicated her working life to the protection of nature, bringing people together to save what is best in this world. She could reach deep into the heart of an issue, grip it, and then reach into your heart and leave it there.

Carolina’s conviction was always that if we are to win the greatest challenges of mankind, Greenpeace must forge new alliances and collaborations that create a greater and more permanent impact than what we could achieve alone. The partnerships Carolina created and the millions she raised enabled not just Greenpeace, but the wider environmental and human rights movements, to drive change for a better world. The influencers who accepted her invitations to join their voices with ours helped to engage millions of people to speak powerful words of truth.

Her skill in securing enthusiastic support from powerful people was inspiring. With her colleagues she freely shared these skills, as freely as she shared her deep and passionate affinity for the world she sought to protect. At home and across the globe Carolina always acted with courage and sought to empower and enable, lifting others up to reach new heights in their work and their leadership.

The impact report of previous years of the Carolina Nyberg-Steiser Bursary Programme can be found here.


“Carolina was an incredible young woman with a huge heart and astonishing determination and at just 29 years of age she had, with grace, intelligence and sheer force of will achieved so very much. In everything she did in support of Greenpeace’s mission, Carolina was courageous, inspiring and uplifting. She sought to empower others to reach new heights in their work and their leadership.”

Celeste Stewart, Fundraising Director at Greenpeace Nordic


Previous participants in the Carolina Nyberg-Steiser Bursary Programme



Programme Manager for Buffalo City Sports Academy, South Africa



Fundraising Events and Marketing Manager for The Chaeli Campaign, South Africa



Fundraising Assistant for the Institute for Justice and Reconciliation, South Africa



Story Lead at TSIBA, South Africa



Chief Financing Officer for Dream Factory Foundation, South Africa



Chief Operating Officer, Feenix, South Africa



Communications & Stakeholder Manager for Shine Literacy, South Africa



Development Coordinator for S-CAPE, South Africa 



Project Coordinator and Development Facilitator for Built Environment Support Group, South Africa



Alpha South Africa Equipping Team Leader, South Africa



ECD Programme Director for Zero2Five Trust, South Africa



Marketing and Communications Manager for Symphonia for South Africa



Program manager for Sizanani, South Africa



Communication and Partnership Associate for Restless Development Nepal



Digital Campaigner for Greenpeace Canada



Founder of Manos de Colores: Artesanías del Ecuador



Fundraising officer for Transparency International, Cambodia



Global Marketing Manager – Ration Challenge for Act for Peace, Australia



Co-Founder for VIGYANshaala, India & UK

The Carolina Nyberg-Steiser Bursary Programme is supported by Greenpeace and the Resource Alliance

Do you know a Change Accelerator?

Posted on: February 25th, 2020 by Resource Alliance No Comments

The world is full of change makers accelerators.

You no doubt know a few yourself – change accelerators are people who are:

  • forward thinking
  • progressive and bold
  • advanced in their thinking and daring in their approach
  • brave and not afraid to push forward 
  • leading the way and drive change in enterprising and fearless ways
  •  making an impact that is both faster and bigger

You already have someone in mind, don’t you?

We would love to shine a light on them and share their inspiring stories with The Resource Alliance family around the world in our monthly newsletter.

But first we have to meet them! And we’re counting on you to make the introduction.

Just email your suggestions of who you think we should interview as part of our regular Change Accelerator feature and why, and together we can celebrate those amazing individuals who dare to live life in the fast lane of change.

Suggest a Change Accelerator  


Change Accelerator #1: Joanna Sustento

To kick off this month’s feature we would like to introduce our first change accelerator Joanna Sustento – Joanna was one of our incredible IFC 2019 closing plenary speakers.

In 2013, Joanna lost her entire family to Super Typhoon Haiyan – one of the strongest storms in human history, which claimed more than 10,000 lives in just two hours.

Since then, she has been telling her story around the world to put a human face on the climate crisis and to highlight the devastating impact of climate change.

Watch Joanna’s amazing IFC 2019 closing plenary talk >>

IFC 2020: Super Early Bird tickets now available

Posted on: January 31st, 2020 by Resource Alliance No Comments

IFC 2020: Super Early Bird tickets now available

The IFC is so much more than a conference. It is an interconnected, global community of fundraisers, change accelerators, radical disruptors and thought-provokers.

Over the years, the IFC has been the world-leading forum for sparking change, amplifying thinking and challenging the norm.

In October, we will come together for our 40th anniversary for in-depth masterclasses, inspiring Big Rooms and a cutting-edge workshop programme. But more than that, we’ll be bringing together some of the brightest minds to generate and share ideas and explore new ways to deliver sustainable impact – new ways to ACCELERATE CHANGE.
Our Super Early Bird pricing has just launched so when you book your place at IFC 2020 before 31 March, you’ll receive a saving of £150 across all ticket types.

Simply use the code “SUPEREARLY” to receive this saving.

Book now and get £150 off

A snapshot of the IFC experience

Encapsulating the magic of the IFC is no easy feat, you really do have to see it to believe it, however our fantastic filming partners Raw London on have produced this short film to give you a small taste of what it’s like to be part of this amazing global fundraising community!

And if that’s not enough, take a look at our Facebook gallery.

Book now and get £150 off



Apply to speak at #FRO2020

Posted on: January 22nd, 2020 by Resource Alliance No Comments

#FRO2020 Fundraising Online

We’re excited to open the call for speaking proposals for Fundraising Online 2020 (#FRO2020), a completely free-to-attend virtual conference from the Resource Alliance taking place on Wednesday 29 & Thursday 30 April 2020.  

We are looking for experts, trailblazers and changemakers in the digital sphere to join our line-up of digital savvy speakers. Over 5,000 participants from 120 countries tuned in during the two days of the conference in 2019. We expect #FRO2020 to be even bigger and better, so apply to speak if you’d love to share your knowledge on such a big stage. 

The deadline to submit proposals is Thursday 20 February 2020.

Apply to speak at #FRO2020 

In terms of speaking topics, we have a strong focus on digital fundraising, engagement, innovation and disruptive and emerging tech trends.

#FRO2020 sessions will cover all elements of how charities and campaign groups can use digital to engage with the public at scale. From the very best of digital fundraising, public engagement and movement building to the most insightful guides on how to deliver effective digital activity across web, social media and email, as well as the most practical and applicable use of new technologies. Sessions will be underpinned by case studies and examples from around the globe.

Register for #FRO2020

Whether or not you are applying to speak, make sure you complete the free registration form below to sign-up for #FRO2020. We’ll keep you up to date with all the exciting speaker and session announcements, and share details of exactly where to catch the sessions on the day.

Register for #FRO2020