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Change Accelerator: Zuzana Suchová

2019 Bursary

Archive for the ‘Change Accelerators’ Category

Change Accelerator: Zuzana Suchová

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

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

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

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.

 

Change Accelerator: Ryan Joseph Figueiredo

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

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

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.

Change Accelerator: Sandy Cipriano

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.