Ever since we started thinking about FieldWorks I’ve noticed that there are more and more people like us trying to do the same or similar things. Helping people find good non-profits. Every time I come across one my heart sinks just a little. I know, why should I be sad?
If I’m truly mission-driven, then I should be happy. Someone else has done it, and we can spend time thinking about something else. Fede and I have constantly said we don’t want to be part of the problem and we don’t want to create something that already exists.
And yet …
What’s out there just still feels like the same old, same old — just polished a little differently, packaged a little more conveniently. But it perpetrates the same stereotypes and behaviours.
Why do i think we’re different (or “will be” if you want to really kick us while we’re down)? Most platforms focus on you the donor. Its about making you feel good about your donation and your desires. I’m not judging, i can’t say whether that is right or wrong. But this has created a power imbalance.
A good NGO is one that has a transparent and trusted relationship with their community. Where the community feels there can be an honest, reasonable discussion with the NGO. And where the NGO works collaboratively involving the community in all the stages of the “project”.
While many of you might be nodding your heads, think on this,…you’re not part of that bit of the equation.
We really should be focussing on what the NGO say they need, what their beneficiaries say they need and how we can help them access the resources to address those needs. Knowing what was / wasn’t achieved is important, but again ultimately it is not about you.