Friday, June 24, 2016

What Makes An Effective Charity? - Expert Opinions

What makes an effective charity? Here at Ripples Foundation we believe that our model of sustainability is key to the longevity of our projects and the amount of women we are able to empower. But what do the experts in the field of charities think? Below we feature some of the opinions of industry leaders on this topic.

Iona Joy - NPC's Head of Charities team

"The main questions charities should be asking themselves are these:

  • Activities: Is the charity doing the right thing in the right way? Does it have a coherent strategy or theory of change?
  • Results: Is the charity able to evidence its impact? Does it have a culture of measuring impact and learning from it?
  • Leadership: Does the board and leadership team set clear goals, and demonstrate managerial competence? Is the skills mix right?
  • People and resources: Does the charity make the most of its human, physical and brand assets?
  • Finances: Is the charity’s financial management sound, and how risky is the charity’s financial position in terms of income diversification and reserves?
  • Ambition: Is this a charity that really wants to change the status quo?"

Cecile Hestbaek - NPC

"The best thing for charities is to be transparent about what they’re doing, and let the public do the rest. When you choose a school for your child, for example, what are you going to look at? The educational attainment and Ofsted reports, or how much of the budget is spent on teachers’ salaries? Personally, I’d always choose a good charity that spends on admin over one which has low admin costs but is far less effective at actually helping people."

"We know that people say they generally prefer the idea of small, grassroots charities. The truth is, sometimes they do the best work and sometimes they don’t. Effectiveness is everything – we always look at how good charities are at achieving change for the people who need it. You can look at data on soft outcomes such as improved confidence or changed attitudes, or hard outcomes like how many people a charity helps into employment."

Errol Copilevitz, Copilevitz & Canter

"A charity should have a clearly defined mission.  Whether it is to find a cure or alleviate suffering, the mission of the organization should be clear to everyone, which includes the staff, the public, and the media.
A charity should be governed by an active independent board of directors that provides oversight and guidance to professional staff."

What do you think makes a good charity? Please comment below with your suggestions.
Alysha Bennett Web Developer

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Friday, June 17, 2016

Empower 2 women in Ogidi, Nigeria.

One month ago, Ripples Foundation launched a new crowdfunding campaign on the ‘Total Giving’ crowdfunding platform. We were raising money so that 2 women living in the village of Ogidi in Nigeria can start a brand new fishery enterprise, earn incomes, feed their children and send their children to school. Our fundraising target was £1,200.

This month, we continue to focus on our Women’s Enterprise Program in Nigeria, Ripples Foundation has created a crowdfunding page on the ‘Total Giving’ platform. We kindly appeal to your generosity to help us to raise funds because we need to empower 2 African village women by giving them the opportunity to own their fishery enterprise in the village of Ogidi, Nigeria. This project is part of our Women’s Enterprise Programme and this is not only 2 women that you will help but in fact the whole village of Ogidi will feel the benefits of this project.

We are running this crowdfunding campaign across our social media networks. £1,200 represents our goal for the end of this month and this amount would allow our Charity to provide them all the tools that they need to start their own fishery business.

You can be part of their project. If you believe that African village women should have as much chance as anyone to become an economic powerhouses, please support this campaign. With your donations, we will be able to provide these women with a ‘hand-up’ out of poverty and enable them to generate a higher income that they can use to feed, clothe and educate their children.

If we’re able to successfully raise the mount we need,  then in the next 6 months months we will be able to send you pictures and videos of these 2 women working on their new business. They will be happy to share with you their incredible success stories with you.. Finally, if you want more information before donating, you can also possible to contact us at:

Further information about this project is available on our crowdfunding page :

Please share this page or follow us on our Facebook page: Ripples Foundation. You can also follow our Akomi Facebook page and discover all the products that our women produce thanks to our Women’s Enterprise Project.

Please support us and #EmpowerOgidi.

Ripples Foundation Web Developer

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Friday, June 10, 2016

Poverty: Myth vs Fact

Lot's of silly myths circulate us so often that we often believe them as fact. You can see the Great Wall of China from space. Bats are blind. Bulls hate the colour red. All untrue I'm afraid!
Today we are taking a look at the most common myths surrounding poverty and debunking them for you.
Myth: No-one in Western countries experience poverty.

Truth: In American alone, a study found that 42% of men who were born into the bottom of the economic classes remained there as adults. Social mobility is becoming increasingly difficult and it seems the rich are getting richer and the poor are getting poorer. Of course poverty is all relative, as people living in poverty in the USA still have more facilities than those living in poverty in rural sub-Saharan Africa.

Myth: Welfare makes poor people lazy.

Truth: In fact, it has been shown that people living off welfare are more likely to become entrepreneurs and take bigger business risks that could pay off, as they are protected by the safety net that welfare gives them. Not all benefit claimants are lazy, most people genuinely need them to keep their head above water and provide for their families.

Myth: Africa is poor and always will be.

Truth: No country started off as rich, and there is no reason why the African continent cannot break out of the shackles of poverty that are holding them back. Did you know that Nigeria has the fastest growing and largest economy?

Myth: Only governments can make a difference.

Truth: While governments hold a lot of power, there are so many fantastic organisations and charities that are working around the clock to support people in need from all over the world. 

So let's make change happen!

You can make that difference. Ripples Foundation is committed to the empowerment of the African village woman, and in turn her children and community. To support us and improve the lives of hundreds of women, please donate to our appeals by clicking here. Your money will be used to start up new small enterprises to generate money for village women, medical outreach programmes to treat those in need, and educational programmes for children to give them the best start in life.

You can make change happen.
Alysha Bennett Web Developer

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Friday, June 3, 2016

How We Work On Ground In Africa

Last week we learnt all about our team in the UK Office, so this week we turn our spotlight onto our teams on ground in West Africa. We rely on a small team of core staff and a fantastic network of volunteers to deliver our projects in the villages that we support, and it is so important for Ripples Foundation to maintain close connections with both the volunteers that we work with and the residents of the villages that we deliver projects in.

The first thing that Ripples does whenever we start a new project in a new village is to meet the traditional rulers of that community. We would never start a project without first meeting with the chiefs and explaining our intentions for projects in their village. Once we have their blessing we feel comfortable to start delivering the new projects. 

Our fantastic network of volunteers on ground near our projects are absolutely vital to the delivery of our projects. Often our volunteers start off with small tasks and then find themselves able to lead their own teams. One case in point would be that of Dr Abdurrahman Nasir and Dr Maryam Aliyu Nasir, who both started out as medical volunteer doctors as part of one of our Medical MOT's in Kano State, and are now running the Media Apprenticeship Programme for us!

Ripples teams in West Africa are run by small teams of core staff and then supported by our volunteers.

One element of our projects that is essential are the monthly project audits for each project that is currently being worked on. This is the chance for the women that we support to tell us if they have any problems and for us to assess the progress of each project. We do not subcontract our work out to other organisations, the people who manage the projects are the same people who visit the project locations and meet the women themselves. We take a very personal approach to all our operations and we believe that this makes our method easier for the women to understand and happier to contribute to.

Above all, we are looking to instil a sense of pride and ambition in our women, who can then pass that attitude down to their children and spread it across their communities. 

Please take a look at the video below to see our projects in action.

Can you spare the time to volunteer on one of our projects? Sign up using the form at the bottom of the Volunteering page on our website by clicking here

We would love to see you helping us to make change happen!
Alysha Bennett Web Developer

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