• September 28, 2022

Making a difference through fundraising campaigns; models and techniques that work

Wristband sold at 5000shs to raise funds for the build a dorm project event at Makerere sports field.

In March 2010, a strange fire gutted Kasubi Royal Tombs. For then newly appointed Prime Minister (Katikiiro) of Buganda Kingdom, Charles Mayiga, this was such a great challenge losing one of the kingdom’s cultural and touristic treasures. But instead of grossing over the loss, Mayiga showed a desire to make a difference, and instead of thinking about it, he did it.

Mayiga and team are now credited for restoring the glory of the cherished United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organisation Heritage site. As we all know Buganda kindgom doestn collect taxes so where was Mayiga to get the $854130 (about 2.6 billion Uganda shillings) for the restoration of the Kasubi Royal Tombs?

What we can now tell is the fact that due to the huge task at hand, the Katikiro submerged himself into the world of fundraising through his popular Ettoffaali project. – a crowd fundraising campaign, which saw him traverse different parts of Buganda and beyond raising money from crowds that would be mobilised to come and contribute.

Charles Peter Mayiga is not the only person in Uganda to use fundraising creatively to raise much needed funds. Many people like Esther Kalenzi– the brain behind the 40 days Over 40 Smiles foundation, are learning and riding on different ways of fundraising to raise money for particular causes. Kalenzi’s

Wristband sold at 5000shs to raise funds for the build a dorm project event at Makerere sports field.

fundraising campaigns has managed to raise funds to help children live better lives. Kalenzi has made Social media and sporting events as her main mobilization tool for people and raising funds. Refering to the use of sports fundraiser, Kalenzi notes that as people enjoy the games, they freely buy what to eat and drink, by so doing they are in directing raising the funds.

Some of you might remember kalenzi playing a leading role in “the build a dorm project” through a Social media campaign “buy a brick ”, to benefit children at Happy Times Junior School in Luweero. She describes part of her responsibility as “organizing for the strategy and fundraising meetings.”

Many nonprofit organizations, foundations and individuals depend on International donors for funds. However organizers of build a doom project -during a sports fundraising drive at Makerere sports ground begged to differ saying “The old donor model does not empower people to own the donation and continue to the fund project ,” says Kalenzi, a founder of 40/40 and a team leader of  The Build the doom project.

The desire to impact lives through local initiatives like Ettoffaali campaign and 40/40 campaign has brought about discussions on how money can be raised to meet urgent funding needs.

The frequently asked questions whose answers are rarely available are, where is the money going to come from and how much is needed? How does one get the money in case there is no one donor or investor willing to avail the funds? That is why more and more people are resorted to fundraising campaigns. But what fundraising strategies really work?

One needs to note that creating programs and campaigns for fundraising are often hard to implement and their impact may not be so visible. We all know

Since money is never available to fund any project, there are key issues to consider as you think about developing a Fundraising model that will work.

From the onset, one needs to know that fundraising  models aren’t opportunities to get rich quick. But an avenue to raise funds for a particular cause. The reason why donors/funders never want to continue with funding projects is the misuse of the funds. Money is sometimes channeled to doing personal business than that of the project.

“If you are raising money from the public the level of accountability required from you is very high, you need to account to the people with the same measure you invited them to contribute,” says Benjamin Rukwenngye, a member of 40/40 Foundation. He says it is important to develop an appropriate funding model.

Organizations need to be clear about what they want to achieve with a funding model, this calls for clarity about its fundraising goals. The goals of each project may require a different funding model.



[mks_one_half]Why develop a Funding Model

Finding a funding model is indeed a journey—typically neither short nor linear. And there’s no guarantee that even what may seem to be the best model will meet the funding aspirations of your cause or business. Why, then, develop a funding model?

Identifying and developing a funding model is a long-term investment that requires patience, but it’s an investment that’s worth making. Experts suggest that instead of seeing every funding as a good venture, take a systematic approach to assess each opportunity, identify the strength and weaknesses of investing in any funding model.

If the process still sounds overwhelming, Rukwengye’s suggestion is to “believe in the cause” by having the will, being committed and offering your time to the fundraising campaign. Accountability to the public is important.


[mks_one_half]Click on the play key to listen to Benjamin Rukwengye explaining their choice of fundraising model and how they have impacted community through the use of social media and sports activities[/mks_one_half]



“Non for profit thrive on their reputation,” says Rukwengye who also has supported in the build the doom campaign. The campaign used sports activities like five aside football, netball, volleyball and other sports activities to raise money.

Using Social Media as a  Fundraising Model

Social media is increasingly becoming a very important channel for charities and non for profit foundations and Organisations. With the increasing numbers of individuals in Uganda on internet, Charity organizations are choosing to use social media not only for fundraising but also mobilizing individuals for different event s that require raising funds. It’s therefore clear that social media presents a fundraising opportunity that is only going to grow.

Βut while most charities, NGOs and social enterprises have integrated social media into their overall strategies in some way, the majority is still far from making the most of social media as a fundraising tool. Others believe that the use sports activities /events is more  productive and attracts people to fundraise for any given cause.

40 Smiles over 40 days fundraising approach

The foundation through a Social Media Campaign called #BuyABrick and #BuyABag,in ten days raised 8 million shillings. The organization that has been in existence for two years now through its activities has been able to crowdsource more than 250,000,000 Ugx ($70,000) by running social media campaigns. The foundation has had other social media campaigns like the 5 aside football event which raised 10 million Ugx($3,448), basket ballgames called Hoops for grace and Karaoke and poetry sessions called croak and rhyme.

Networking and knowing your target group for any fundraising is a key as well. “You may attempt to interest potential donors by giving them tickets to any event,” says Byron Walugembe, a Finance administrator at Prime Consults.

He says knowing people that will support your cause through the different activities is important. Organize events that will attract people to have fun.

“Our target group is our biggest contributors, we organise events and people get to pay, to play in them. Think beyond only inviting wealthy people, a fundraising that is all inclusive will have greater impact,”agrees Rukwengye.

In the end, people who are inspired by your campaign will be your best supporters. “It’s a gradual process, we feel we have people who believe in our work which keeps us moving” Rukwengye says.

Popular Fundraising campaigns in Uganda

Events like, Ettoffaali, 40/40 campaign, MTN Marathon are popular fundraising movements that focus on people to raise funds. The approach of these movements is typically crowd funding.

“We are crowd funded organization that uses events like football, basketball, music and raising money through social media campaigns” Says Rukwengye. Keep in mind that people are most likely to fund a particular cause they are familiar with, forexample the Ettoffaali fundraising campaign, Cancer run, Safe water, people that have attachment to such issues will be willing to support the initiative.

So far Ettoffaali through crowd funding has raised  over 9 billion Ugx ($2,669,040), MTN marathon through sports-athletics has raised in excess one billion ($415,184) and 40/40 foundation in just a fews years has raised more than  250,000,000 Ugx ($70,000) geared towards changing lives of Children

Related articles and fundraising campaigns/projects

How to fundraise for Charity:https://blog.udemy.com/non-profit-fundraising-ideas/
Uganda Fundraising:https://www.gofundme.com/3ndxzgx8
Beauty in fundraising:http://elleafrique.com/esther-kalenzi-beauty-in-giving/

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