Finding your why

2019 Bursary

Finding your why

Finding your why

There is a difference between being involved and being committed.

The world has been rocked on its axis, and things are not the same.

Our work and personal lives collided. Technology leapt forward. There is a greater sense of human connection – with the self and with humanity as a whole. There is a greater sense that things need to change because they can and because they must. And this raises questions…

Why are you here?

What do you believe?

How much are you willing to give for your cause?

We are fundraisers, campaigners, changemakers… In no sector is the personal more tied to the professional than in ours. By and large, we are here for the same reason: we want to see truth and social justice. What matters most to each of us and what changes we are here to bring about won’t be the same, but we have much in common.

However, there is a difference between being involved and being committed. Are we role models for what we stand for when it comes to inequality, corruption, diversity, and harassment? Are we actually doing something about the issues we talk about? Have we interrogated our personal worldview and our mental model of us and them? Does our work create the illusion of change or are we actually changing things?

How can we tackle our systems from within? Is diversity a tactical thing that needs fixing, or is what we need to fix the value we place on the thoughts and perspectives and points of view from different sources? We need to shift from a power system wherein it’s everyone for themselves to an ecosystem that values the role each of us has to play. How can we as individuals accelerate this shift within our sector?

This is about you. Now is the time to find your role in our ecosystem.






Collaboration for impact

Collaboration for impact

Together we can achieve far greater impact than we ever could alone.

We all have a common future and are working towards common goals. Individually, we may care more or less about certain causes, but if we can make the connection from those causes to our common purpose, then we can embrace true collaboration. If we can do that, then we can start to put the pieces of that bigger picture together to achieve far greater impact than we ever could alone.

If we take a step back, it becomes clear just how many of the problems we stand against and fight to solve are interconnected and that the only way to achieve our common purpose is by working together – between our organisations, with supporters and beneficiaries as equal partners, and with others outside our sector including the private sector. To achieve our goals, we must switch our approach and our mindset from one of charity to one of vested interest. There is far greater value in real impact and true collaboration than the cold exchange of funds. If there’s one thing we know for sure, it’s that we are stronger together. If we make the shift from seeing our sectors, organisations, and ourselves as individual actors to seeing us all as in this together, parts of a bigger picture and part of a interconnected change system, there is no limit to what we can achieve.





Purposeful fundraising

Purposeful fundraising

Are we part of the solution or part of the problem?

With the ever-growing pressures to raise even more funds, is there danger of falling into the trap of maximising our fundraising at any cost – fixing one problem at the expense of creating another?

How many times have you been told to raise more, improve your ROI, but at the same time criticised for the techniques you use, images you portray and narratives you weave – maybe even feel demonised?

Is the question not whether we should fundraise or not, but about how we prioritise transformation over transaction and impact over brand and societal accountability over money?

Should we raise less money to avoid reinforcing stereotypes, engaging in disaster porn, or reinforcing white saviour?

Where is the line, and who draws that line?  Is this even our responsibility?

Join the debate about whether it’s possible to maximise income whilst creating narratives that are relevant and respectful, realistic but never belittling – removing the barriers between us and them, between donors and beneficiaries, moving forward knowing we are all in this together.

Money is not the only way to create, increase, and accelerate our impact; the scope of what we can do is so much wider. Globally, passionate people are driving change by raising their voices and mobilising in support of the causes that matter most to them.

In shaping a better future must we consider how to create greater impact by changing what we do?

It’s a big issue that needs a big debate in a safe and unguarded space!





Shaping the future together

Shaping the future together

Are we living through a human existential crisis – is this time of risk also a time of opportunity to drive even greater impact faster?

The pandemic has been mirrored by restlessness and a desire for change – a global interrogation of what really matters at a personal level and greater self-realisation. But at the same time the pendulum has swung from centre – the world is more polarised, with geopolitical powershifts, wars, civil unrest, economic turmoil.

The Sustainable Development Goals – our blueprint for change to create a better and more sustainable future for all – have been set back two decades by COVID-19. To reach these goals, to create lasting impact, to accelerate, we need to transform the way we do things. We need to change but change with purpose.

Change is what social impact organisations strive for, but it is also often where we fail. Are the right things a priority? Do we recognise the urgency for change as well as the need for it? Are we – as organisations and as individuals within them – part of the solution or part of the problem?

The rhetoric is that change takes time, but it is our job to interrogate this notion. Why does significant change take so long? How can we accelerate our impact? How do leverage momentum? Are we doing everything we can?

Every person at IFC 2022 is driven by a strong sense of purpose. But most of us have also felt constrained and held back by the ties of bureaucracy. The power to create that change and to accelerate our impact is in this room. By being here, we are committing to Shaping the Future Together, to doing the right thing and to doing it better. What we change, how we change it, and who we collaborate with is up to you. Let’s not miss this opportunity!