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Posted 01 November 2021 in EMpower News, Careers   |   Share

Consultancy on fundraising for local non-profits in East and Southeast Asia

EMpower - The Emerging Markets Foundation (Hong Kong)

Apply by: December 5, 2021

Call for Proposal: Consultancy Services “Fundraising”

1. Purpose of the Consultancy

EMpower Hong Kong seeks the support of a consultant to conceptualise and run a series of virtual capacity enhancement offerings on “Fundraising for local non-profits”. The capacity strengthening offerings are with and for our grantee partners in East and Southeast Asia implementing programmes for marginalized young people 10-24 years old in Hong Kong, Indonesia, the Philippines and Vietnam. Its overall objective is for our partners in the region to have increased knowledge, skill and confidence in fundraising for their programmes and operational/general/overhead costs. It should capitalise on multiple revenue sources, grounded in their specific needs, their local context and across their different programme areas (Economic Well-being, Safe and Healthy Lives, Inclusive Learning; for definitions, please check https://empowerweb.org/areas-of-focus).

2. About Us

EMpower– The Emerging Markets Foundation (EMpower), a global philanthropic organisation and grant-making foundation, is dedicated to improving the lives of marginalised young people aged 10-24, in 15 emerging market countries in Africa, Asia, Latin America, Russia and Turkey. Through grants and non-financial capacity strengthening support, EMpower partners with local organisations in emerging market countries, and other change-makers, to enable marginalised young people to transform their lives and communities. Our vision is to build a world where all young people at the margins, especially girls and young women, have the skills, opportunities and power to live their full potential.

EMpower has offices in Delhi, Hong Kong, London, New York and Singapore, as well as programme staff in Cape Town, Istanbul and Mexico City. The EMpower Hong Kong office with which the consultant will collaborate is managing grants and capacity-strengthening work for 20 grantee partners in East and Southeast Asia (China, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Philippines and Vietnam). To learn more, check out our website at www.empowerweb.org.

3. EMpower’s Commitment to Young People Safeguarding

EMpower is committed to safeguarding young people, to prevent abuse, violence or exploitation and promote the safety, protection, wellbeing and development of all children and young people involved in the programmes we support. We believe that all children and young people, no matter their life circumstances, deserve the opportunity to lead healthy, productive lives to fulfil their human rights.

4. Background of the Consultancy

Whilst everyone one of us feel the impact of the global COVID-19 pandemic as it ravages the world, it has in no way been an equaliser. EMpower’s grantee partners and the communities they serve are some of those who have been impacted the most. Apart from having to deal with lockdowns and expanding the scope of their programmes to offer emergency relief, they have had to make significant shifts in organisational and programme priorities.

Earlier in the year, EMpower conducted a global survey on the impact of COVID-19 with grantee partners and young people served by them. This was followed up by an East and South East Asia Regional sense making survey, where grantee partners prioritised the top four pressing needs. Challenges with fundraising was a key area prioritised for support. The prioritisation of topics was followed by a series of focus group discussions that gave us a good sense of what our grantee partners in the region require.

Most of EMpower’s partners have been in operation long enough and have a steady flow of funding. The funding may not always match their ambition (which is the case for most development organisations), but predictable with moderate growth. They have high credibility, which is the currency on which they are able to solicit support for their work. With the prolonged global pandemic, most grantee partners have had to deal with expanding the scope of their programmes to offer emergency relief, make significant shifts in organisational and programme priorities, and deal with donor fatigue, over and above dealing with lockdowns.

Whilst a negligible minority have large fundraising teams, the majority have the CEO and a one or two-member development team that focus on fundraising and resource mobilisation.

The primary source of funding for most is grants from corporate foundations. This makes up over 70% of most organisations’ funding. Most partners believe the return on investment is much higher for grants, that grant-making organisations have a good understanding of the sector and have realistic expectations. Partners also have good networks within the sector.

COVID-19 has resulted in corporates having job cuts, resulting in reductions in grants and not being able to offer e.g. on-the-job training and related allowances for young people trained by our partners. Many targets set prior to the pandemic were not achieved due to vast changes in context, resulting in no renewals from existing donors. It is difficult to reach out with new projects, as designing new ones in this volatile context is challenging. Grantee partners also fear if this will affect their reputation as accountable organisations.

Most partners have not explored outside of public and private foundations for grants. Their success rate at applications without a contact in the funding organisations has been very low.

Grants from mostly corporate foundations are followed by small individual donations. The individual donors are made up from a loyal group of long-term supporters from the global north, often made up of the diaspora. Most partners do not believe that there is adequate knowledge about development or disposable income to raise funds in their own countries. They also feel that the donations do not justify the effort it requires to build and maintain these relationships. At times unrealistic expectations are placed on them, when the donors do not realise the ground realities of how social development works. As most contacts are from extended networks of families and friends, the scope for expansion seems limited. Despite these reservations, most organisations have this as the secondary source of income and some even have an overseas registration for ease of donations from non-resident donors. The benefit of individual donations is primarily for administrative costs, which has limited allocations in grants and for advocacy work, often ignored by corporate foundations.

Corporate and individual donors who gave more generously at the start of the pandemic for emergency relief are not approachable anymore, as they seem to have maxed out on their donation budgets.

Some of our partners have got onto social media during the pandemic and leveraged on it by communicating their needs and attracting donors. It is however not always part of a broader communications strategy catering to multiple stakeholders including donors.

The few organisations that have a social enterprise arm were badly hit, as these entities (small businesses, farms, restaurants also used as training centres) have lost patronage during the pandemic.

Partners working in the Economic Wellbeing Pillar, also raise money through their alumni who have secured jobs due to the training and placement offered by the organisations in the form of cost recovery or donation.

Gala dinners and similar annual fundraisers continue to feature in the fundraising calendar, but partners have little interest, as they require a lot of work. Most organisations would like their boards to play a bigger role in fundraising, but this is rarely achieved.

5. Scope of the Consultancy

Equip participants from different grantee partners with the knowledge, skills and confidence to:

  1. Draw up a viable, realistic and successful fundraising strategy that looks at multiple sources of revenue that they can capitalise on, with the human resources at hand. Grantee partners have a basic knowledge on how to fundraise on most sources of income. At the end of the capacity enhancement offering, they need to be able to objectively analyse which sources to invest on for short-term and long-term gain. What would be a good way to hedge the risk of over reliance on one type of income?
  2. Link a communication strategy to fundraising. What media could be used for different donors?
  3. Communicate their vision, mission and stories of change.
  4. Map institutional donors for collaboration.
  5. Develop grant proposals with a specific focus on slicing up the work for donor engagement, presenting operational costs and communicating inability to meet targets due to COVID-19.
  6. Leverage on the board for fundraising.
  7. Offer up to 5 days for one-on-one consultancies for individual partners on their specific concerns in fundraising. This will be assigned through a one-page proposal from each partner wanting support.

Capacity enhancement offerings

Underlying principle for the offerings: We acknowledge the need to strengthen practice of our grantee partners by encouraging peer-to-peer learning through valuing and supporting existing good practice. This should be taken into account during “Planning and Content Development” as well as “Implementation”.

Planning and Content Development:

  • Develop a series of capacity enhancement/strengthening offerings for the partners: The offerings should be a learner-led, interactive, participatory and facilitative process of learning. This could include but not limited to webinars, sharing content as pre-reads, utilisation of learning platforms for commentary / reflection / activities, periodic newsletters, podcasts, handouts, and phone / app-based participation.
  • Develop pedagogy, content and presentation materials tailored to the needs of our grantee partners.
  • Create post-training surveys to evaluate outcomes
  • Curate a list of resources and/or link grantee partners to trainings that allow them to learn further.

Implementation:

Lead and facilitate the series of offerings together with the EMpower Development and Communications Team as thought partners and the EMpower Hong Kong Programme Team as coordinators.

Facilitate dialogues between partners during the sessions for exchanging best practises.

Answer post-training questions raised from partners within an agreed timeframe.

Optional: Set short assignments for partners between sessions to experience, reflect and share.

Learning and Evaluation:

Come up with recommendations for EMpower Hong Kong to continue capacity strengthening in this area.

6. Estimated timeframe of the consultancy

The timeframe for this consultancy is estimated to be approximately 15 days over the period of 1st January 2022 to 20th May 2022. We are happy to work with consultants from any time zone; however, the meetings will be scheduled to work for the partners in the East and South East Asia region.

7. Qualification Requirements

Experience:

  • Demonstrated experience of securing funding through multiple sources of income in the corporate or non-profit sector, covering individual and institutional funding;
  • Demonstrated experience of setting and managing annual budgets and financial targets;
  • Demonstrated experience of utilising electronic and social media to reach out to new clients/ donors;
  • Professional experience in philanthropic and/or non-profit sectors, preferably in East and Southeast Asia.
  • Demonstrated experience in the design, development, delivery and facilitation of capacity strengthening offerings that catalyse changes at the individual and organisational level.

Skills:

  • Strong English speaking and writing abilities.
  • Strong analytical and strategic thinking skills.
  • Strong interpersonal communication skills with culturally diverse audiences (our grantee partners implement programmes in Hong Kong, Indonesia, Philippines, Vietnam).
  • Strong and genuine facilitation/coaching skills asking appropriate questions to guide and empower organisations to find their own answers to dilemmas and encourages participation, ownership and creativity.
  • Strong relationship managing skills with a small team of three (EMpower Hong Kong Programme team) on this project, remotely or in person.
  • Active listener who continuously seeks to understand people and organisations’ needs.

Qualities and Values:

  • Strong commitment to keeping children and young people safe.
  • Strong commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion in alignment with EMpower values.
  • Strong commitment to the partners: the consultant should take a partner-centred approach.
  • Humility underpinned by the belief that partners know best about their local contexts.

8. Submission Instructions

Interested applicants shall submit their application by December 5, 2021 to Kundhavi Balachandran (kbalachandran@empowerweb.org) and April Yip (ayip@empowerweb.org) comprised of the following documents:

  • A narrative offer: Your resume, a cover letter expressing your interest and fit for the consultancy and proposal (not exceeding 2 A4 sides) highlighting your approach to the capacity enhancement offering on fundraising.
  • A financial offer: Your expected daily rate (in HKD or USD). Please specify the costed hours you observe in a working day.
  • References: e.g., in form of materials of trainings conceived and run, publications or articles relevant to the context of this consultancy.

Questions can be also directed to Ms. Balachandran (kbalachandran@empowerweb.org).

We will only be able to acknowledge and respond to candidates identified as most suitable who will be invited to a virtual interview.

9. DEI Statement

EMpower is a public foundation that makes grants globally to benefit at-risk youth, with a strong focus on adolescent girls. We are committed to attracting, developing, motivating, and retaining exceptional talent and to a work environment that recognizes contribution, fosters respect and teamwork, and facilitates strong performance. We encourage applicants from diverse backgrounds, recognizing that diversity enriches all staff and our work globally. We do not discriminate on the basis of race, ethnicity, national origin, sexual orientation, gender identity, religion or faith, or physical ability.

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