Our New Giving Program – Be Part of Creating Sustainable Social Change

Lightup Impact Monthly GIving Program

“What can I do to make a difference in the world?” is one of the questions that come into the minds of many of us. “I live far away”, “I’m too busy”, “I’m not powerful enough”. And these are some of the answers we give ourselves. But guess what? Together, and a little bit at a time, we can all make a difference!    Perhaps this is best illustrated by the “Ant Andy and the Storm” story. Andy was one ant of an anthill that, one day, noticed a heavy storm coming. Andy had a sense of urgency, but he alone could not save the anthill, no matter how wise or strong he was. Andy addressed the community to face the challenge: it’s a need to act!  The ants huddled together, which enabled them to survive, and after the storm, they rebuilt a safer home. Lightup Impact’s history with donations Since 2021, and with your support of our crowdfunding campaigns, Lightup Impact has empowered young grassroots leaders in East Africa to create sustainable social change in their communities. Now, we’ve launched our very own monthly giving program to ensure the long-term success of this mission.    Building an ecosystem of successful and sustainable grassroots organizations in East Africa that drive social change is great! But it doesn’t come cheap. Many expenses are involved, from administration to marketing, technology, staff, networking to mobilize resources, and engaging local communities.   In the past, crowdfunding campaigns have been essential in supporting our programs and activities:   “Founder Tour Program 2022”: with the help of 67 donors, we raised    4 327 euros to support 6 grassroots organizations (4 from Kenya, 1 from Uganda, and 1 from Rwanda), each receiving 500 euros to support projects within their communities – benefiting around 200 children, women, and youth. Read more here.   “Skills Development and Innovation for Impact Program”:  with the support of 100 donors, we raised 16 015 euros, which we will use to train the leadership, advocacy, governance, fundraising, and communication skills of 2 grassroots organizations, Usanii Village Africa (Uganda) and Soulevement Lives CBO Kenya. This 1-year program will prepare these organizations to raise resources sustainably. Read more here.   Although these campaigns were incredibly successful, crowdfunding isn’t stable, and without the necessary funds, we cannot help other grassroots leaders create and grow their impact. The entire chain is broken. Why a monthly giving program? A monthly giving program is a recurring, convenient, impactful donation program that offers numerous benefits for donors, Lightup Impact, and our member organizations. Some key advantages include:   Long-term impact and commitment: With monthly giving,  you can make a long-term commitment to a cause and a more significant impact over time, even if your contributions are modest. When added together, these regular donations add up to a substantial sum, which can contribute to the sustainability of a cause(s).  Sustainability and financial stability: Having a steady and predictable income allows us to plan for the future, invest in long-term projects, and budget for and respond to unexpected challenges more effectively.  Reduced fundraising costs and ease of administration: Hosting regular fundraising campaigns and attracting new donors are costly and time-consuming. With a more sustainable income, we can focus on cultivating and retaining existing donors who are passionate about our cause(s). Additionally, automated donation reduces administrative burdens for both parties and ensures a smooth and efficient process that becomes part of a routine.  Flexibility for donors and better donor engagement: By giving small but regular amounts, you can contribute to many different causes you care about without making a large one-time donation. Our regular communication with you fosters a sense of community and reinforces the impact of your contributions. Maximizing impact and encouragement: With more stable funding, we can better plan and execute our projects. When others see the collective impact of a community of monthly donors, it can serve as a powerful motivator for new supporters to get involved.    At its core, a monthly giving program fosters financial stability, long-term impact, and a stronger connection between you (our supporters) and our cause. Where will your donation go? Lightup Impact is committed to transparency and ethical behavior. We have and will continue to clearly communicate our mission and the impact of our programs as we go along.    As a donor, you can expect detailed descriptions of how funds are allocated to specific programs, projects, or initiatives and receive regular updates on any impact created as a result of your donation. We have also made available the budgets for our ongoing or planned programs and activities and our financial reports from past years.     On our blog, you can learn more about our members and their initiatives and find various impact stories of how your contributions can help make a positive change.    We have an open-door policy and encourage donors to ask any relevant questions (contactus@lightupimpact.com). In the future, and according to demand, we will create a FAQ section on our donation page addressing your most common questions.    In general, your donations will go towards: financing our operating costs, making possible our annual conference, Lightup Impact Days, expanding our “Skills Development and Innovation for Impact Program”, and our Founder Tour and locally-led Founder Meetups. Read more about this on our donation page. Yes, you can do something to make this world better Every “ant” matters, and every donation helps. Participating in our monthly giving program will help create a stronger and more stable chain, and make you a permanent fixture in our community of changemakers.    Be the change today – join us in our mission and Lightup your Impact with us. Join our monthly giving program A special thanks to Dr. Natasha de França for authoring this article. 

Systems Change Through Collaboration: Making More Health

In an era where collaboration fuels innovation and impact, Lightup Impact proudly unveils a transformative collaboration with Making More Health (MMH). This alliance signifies a collective commitment to crafting a healthier world through systems change where individuals, communities, and even animals can thrive. Shared value for a healthier world MMH is dedicated to holistic sustainable development. They’ve championed a unique approach through the System Changer Network (SCN) Kenya, a coalition of eight local NGOs working in unison, sharing skills and catalyzing change. This network embodies MMH’s core values and aligns with the global movement, “Shift the Power”, making them ideal partners with Lightup Impact as sponsors of our annual conference,  Lightup Impact Days 2023.   We are thrilled to announce that four outstanding NGOs from SCN Kenya will share their accomplishments in a panel discussion at the event titled: “System Changer Network: How Local NGOs Create Change Together.”   These remarkable organizations include:    Tendo Social Development Group Positive Exposure – Kenya Wa Wa Kenya Mukuru Angaza Film Academy   To delve deeper into the incredible work and stories of these NGOs, explore their blog posts.  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5BNqH998Uiw Unveiling the collaborative force: SCN Kenya and Making More Health At Lightup Impact Days 2023, the spirit of empowerment will take center stage. On 11 September (Day 1 of the conference), panelists from SCN Kenya will discuss the platform their network provides for like-minded and well-matched local NGOs working with different communities and specializations to exchange knowledge and collaborate to develop solutions that go beyond the scope of an individual NGO. SCN Kenya is a unique resource that NGOs can leverage to foster innovative solutions, find strategic partners, and increase their collective knowledge.    Join panelists Cavin Odera (Wa-Wa Kenya), Sam Agutu (Tendo Social Development Group), Francis Gikfufu (Mukuru Angaza Film Academy),  and Jane Waithera (Positive Exposure Kenya), and moderator Mercy Kimalat (CEO of Assek) to discover more about the unique approach of SCN Kenya and how you can apply it to empower your own organization to drive positive change. Our collective impact Our collaboration with MMH enhances our commitment to empowering communities from the grassroots up, aligning perfectly with the theme of Lightup Impact Days 2023.    As we approach the threshold of Lightup Impact Days 2023, a resounding call to action echoes – join us in creating a healthier world and explore the vibrant tapestry of collaboration, innovation, and empowerment.    Learn more about the impactful work of SCN Kenya, and become part of this transformative journey. Together, we are redefining norms and paving the way for transformative change to sculpt a future where shared value shapes destinies and empowers generations to come.    The Lightup Impact Team  Join us in shaping a healthier world

Lightup Impact and the East Africa Philanthropy Network Join Forces

Journeying through change is a path best taken hand in hand. As the world rapidly transforms, we at Lightup Impact eagerly embrace the shifts, challenges, and triumphs that lie ahead. In our latest venture, we are partnering with the East Africa Philanthropy Network (EAPN) to co-host our annual conference, Lightup Impact Days 2023.   EAPN is the largest philanthropy support organization in the region and serves as a bridge connecting diverse philanthropic entities in Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania, Uganda, and beyond. We are united by our shared vision of fostering sustainable communities through responsive and impactful giving. By collaborating on Lightup Impact Days 2023, we are amplifying our collective drive to ignite change and champion innovative solutions that advance philanthropy in East Africa.   Continue reading to find out more about what community, philanthropy, unity, and action in creating sustainable change means to us.  Built on trust, bound by community Lightup Impact embodies the essence of unity,  weaving together over 100 grassroots organizations championing gender and health across East Africa. Our tapestry thrives on trust, forming a web of connections, nurturing partnerships, fostering skills, and providing guidance. Each connection is a promise to stand with our founders, design solutions that prioritize sustainability, and empower women and girls. Amplifying voices, igniting change Grassroots movements, though powerful, have often dwelled in the shadows, their voices unheard and unrecognized. Yet, these movements are key to transformative societal shifts. Our mission is to provide these grassroots heroes with a platform to share their stories. By amplifying their voices, we turn global attention to local issues, ensuring they no longer linger in obscurity but lead global conversations on empowerment and sustainability. A new era of collaboration Traditionally, “collaboration” suggests imbalanced dynamics in the development sphere. At Lightup Impact, we envision a world where every voice – regardless of size or influence – is heard equally. This symmetrical collaboration fosters mutual respect and a shared understanding, enriching perspectives. Uniting visions, amplifying impact The development landscape, brimming with passion, often finds visions at odds. Our role is to bridge these divides, crafting a shared purpose among changemakers. United visions lay the groundwork for collective efforts that magnify impact. Creating tomorrow together In an ever-evolving world, rigid solutions fall by the wayside. We’re dedicated to fostering a space for adaptable, sustainable solutions born from community needs. Solutions that flourish not through imposition but from community hearts, ensuring relevance and longevity. Navigating the winds of change At the core of our upcoming conference lie themes dear to our heart:   Grassroots system change: Beyond buzzwords, this signifies a seismic shift in societal norms. By championing grassroots-led system change, we affirm that real, lasting transformation starts from the ground up.   Youth empowerment: The youth lead today, not just tomorrow. Empowering them is an investment in a future they shape, steering policies and politics. Their vigour, innovation, and passion reshape the world.   Supporting the marginalized: Equitable societies treasure their most vulnerable members. Our focus on marginalized groups seeks solutions for their equal access to health, amenities, and politics—their resilience a beacon of inspiration.   Celebrating our community: Our strength lies in the Lightup Impact community. Through this conference, we spotlight remarkable organizations driving change in East Africa. Their stories echo the potential when communities unite for a common purpose.  Forging a path of unity: a journey beyond boundaries As we conclude this tale of shared dreams, we look forward to our partnership with EAPN – two rivers converging, flowing into an ocean of possibilities.    Lightup Impact Days isn’t just an event; it’s a wellspring of hope and transformation for East Africa. So, don’t miss out. There’s still time to join!    The Lightup Impact Team Secure Your Spot at Lightup Impact Days 2023

Shift the Power: Igniting Change at Lightup Impact Days 2023

In the heart of East Africa, a transformative movement is about to unfold – Lightup Impact Days 2023, our 2nd annual, two-day conference. It’s a celebration of grassroots power, community wisdom, and the shared aspiration for positive change. This year, the theme is crystal clear: “Shift the Power.”   Join us for an experience that promises to challenge norms, amplify voices, and co-create a brighter future. Empowering the Local: The Essence of #ShiftThePower This #ShiftThePower campaign is more than just a hashtag; it’s a rallying cry for a new approach to development aid and philanthropy. We’ve all heard stories of well-intentioned interventions that missed the mark. Consider the tale of a village where women walked to the river daily to fetch water. An external organization installed pumps, pipes, and taps, aiming to alleviate their burden. But the women’s response was unexpected – they resisted the change. Why? Because the daily chore of fetching water was more than just a task; it was an opportunity for them to connect, share, and support each other.  This story exemplifies why the #ShiftThePower movement matters. It’s about recognizing that the solutions lie within communities themselves, and development must be led by those who understand the intricate threads of local life. Lightup Impact Days 2023: A stage for transformation Lightup Impact Days 2023 sets the stage to amplify grassroots leaders and their narratives. This event isn’t just about discussing ideas; it’s about passing the mic to those driving changes from within. For two days, we’ll engage in interactive sessions, dynamic workshops and trainings, and thought-provoking discussions, all centered on the principles of community philanthropy and subsidiarity. The tracks of change: #ShiftThePower in action At the core of Lightup Impact Days are the key tracks that guide our conversations and actions toward impactful outcomes: Beyond the hashtag: walking the talk of change The power shift doesn’t end at the conference doors. We’re not just promoting change, we’re embodying it. Lightup Impact Days is a call for action, urging organizations to re-evaluate their role and become catalysts for bottom-up change. It’s about allocating resources based on subsidiarity – acknowledging that real issues are best addressed at the local level.   The world is witnessing a new democratic movement in philanthropy and development. Community foundations, women’s funds, and social enterprises all challenge the top-down approach. They emphasize that local people are the true architects of their destinies. Lightup Impact Days stands at the crossroads of this movement, where we come together to learn, grow, and shift power. Join the movement: illuminate the path forward Imagine a world where development is not imposed but emerges from the ground up. A world where communities thrive because they have the power to shape their futures. This is the vision of Lightup Impact Days 2023, and you’re invited to be part of it.   As you engage in discussions, network with like-minded changemakers, and immerse yourself in the stories of grassroots heroes, remember that you are igniting a powerful transformation.    So, mark your calendars, pack your passion, and get ready to be part of something extraordinary. Register for Lightup Impact Days 2023

Lightup Impact Days 2022: Sustainable Development of CBOs and NGOs in Gender and Health in East Africa

On 30-31 May 2022, over 50 Lightup Impact community member organizations and external partners gathered in Nairobi, Kenya, to foster exchange, networking, and collaboration. It was a crucial step toward strengthening the organizational development of CBOs and NGOs in East Africa. The two-day event focused on the sustainable development of CBOs/NGOs in gender and health in East Africa, with ample discussion of key leadership strategies, system strengthening, and resource mobilization.   It hosted inspirational speakers from several regional organizations (see speakers list at the end) who gracefully shared their experiences and knowledge. We were privileged to have Hon. Dr. Linah Jebii Kilimo, chief administrative secretary of the Ministry of public service, gender, senior citizens affairs, and special programs, as our keynote speaker, taking us through the anti-female genital mutilation (FGM) campaign and how it all began. Previous image Next image Why the event? CBOs and NGOs are vital in advancing gender and health equality, especially in resource-limited communities. However, without the necessary resources, many impactful organizations struggle to get off the ground and become sustainable i.e. meeting the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their needs. Organizations aim to balance economic, environmental, and social issues with sustainability.   Capacity building is a well-known strategy for achieving this balance and works best when tailoring systems to the people and the environment. When organizations and communities can develop and strengthen their skills, processes, and resources, they are better positioned to survive, adapt, and thrive in a fast-changing world. Throughout our event, speakers and participants discussed several key points to achieving sustainability. Topics of discussion at the event Leadership is key to sustainability Sustainable leadership emerged as one such key point. Keeping the various pillars of sustainability in mind, this type of leader prioritizes capacity building at all levels. Taking organizational goals and long-term vision into account, sustainable leaders focus on, for example, extensive collaborative engagement, working proactively, and improving the quality of life of all stakeholders involved. In this way, sustainable leadership gives organizations opportunities for sustained competitive advantage, innovation, continuous improvement, and long-term success.    Caren Wakoli, founder and executive director of the Emerging Leaders Foundation (ELF-Africa) – an organization that nurtures the next generation of ethical leaders for Africa’s transformation, provided further insights into this important topic. Some key takeaways from her talk were that being a leader is difficult, but to be successful, leaders shouldn’t shy away from asking for help or sharing responsibility. She also emphasized that leaders should focus on their leadership development first, acquiring skills in social entrepreneurship, pitching, negotiation, and people management. And finally, ideally, founders should build and routinely evaluate a credible board that can assist in developing strategy and overseeing management, ensuring that organizational goals are met on time. Caren Wakoli in action as a transformational leadership trainer who delights in mentoring young women and men to achieve their best potential in life System strengthening Capacity building is a consistent and persistent strategy focused on creating a sustainable and effective organization. Simply put, it involves any action needed to push an organization to its next level. Making this part of organizational growth crucial for any organization that wishes to strengthen its systems and advance, but more so for startups. Whether it’s operational, systems, or financial development, organizations should always focus on their vision and mission when building capacity.    For a better understanding of this approach, Arinolah Elizabeth, an organization capacity-building consultant from Warande Advisory Centre, walked the founders through an engaging and interactive session, which began with how and why the founders started their organizations. Arinolah reiterated the importance of a deep understanding of organizational vision and mission when building capacity and eventually strengthening organizational systems, “no matter the developmental stage, corporate vision should be the focus, with the mission as the guiding tool”. She closed the session with, “as organizations progress, founders will find themselves among a team of allies willing and capable of walking the journey with them, helping to create impact as they continue to sharpen skills and build relations through networking and opportunities”. Arinolah Elizabeth breaking down capacity-building techniques to the founders during a session on system strengthening. Arinolah Elizabeth engaging Christopher Nyambury founder LVDAH during an interactive session on resource mobilization. Resource mobilization Having the right resource(s) at the right time can determine if a movement, event, or organization succeeds or not. Resource mobilization theory, originating in the 1960s, argues that the success of social movements or collective action depends on the ability to obtain the necessary resources.   Specific to the topic at hand, there are five categories of resources, namely 1) material (e.g. money), 2) human (e.g. labor), 3) social-organized (e.g. social/community networks), 4) cultural (e.g. organizing a community event), and 4) moral (e.g. celebrity endorsements). Discussions at the event highlighted resource mobilization, labeling it the backbone to “achieving the dream” – helping organizations to execute their vision.   When discussing fundraising, Arinolah Elizabeth highlighted relationship building or “friends-raising” versus purely raising funds, and the guest of honor, Hon. Dr. Jebii Kilimo, stressed the value of sharing experiences and telling stories to engage a community of changemakers effectively. Local expertise matters To expose the founders to opportunities on the ground, Martha from iMPACT direct spoke on local expertise and why it matters. She explained how iMPACT Direct is leveraging experience from their own projects across Africa to change how locally-led NGOs approach fundraising and giving.   With help from iMPACT direct, locally-led African NGOs can gain better access to funds and build trusted partnerships, providing them with opportunities to showcase their expertise and strengthen their organizations.   According to Martha, locally-led NGOs are prime candidates for financial aid to create change in their communities as they are not only acutely aware of their challenges but also the solutions they need to implement and resolve these challenges. Martha from iMPACT direct talking on local expertise matters. The NGOs that iMPACT direct work with are usually the first to respond and last to leave when it comes to the implementation

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We increase the visibility and impact of social organizations with a focus on women’s health and gender equality in Kenya. We support the growth of our founders through tailored mentoring and networking opportunities