About the Project
The “Yen Somu Bi” (translates as “Let’s lend a helping hand”) project with funding from STAR Ghana Foundation seeks to throw light on domestic philanthropic giving by building an innovative research linked fund-raising and advocacy platform. This Platform will allow civil society organisations and ordinary citizens mount campaigns that appeal to different philanthropic individuals and entities and cause them to react by giving off their time, talent or monetary resources.
At this initial stage, the platform will be strong on user acceptance testing, focusing on the functionality of such a system in the Ghana online payment and transfers context and on its general usability among a largely semi-literate populace.
The project’s overall objective is: to influence national state and societal actors, including emerging philanthropists and individual donors to support the development of community philanthropy by creating favourable conditions to promote the power of local philanthropic giving as a form and driver of social and systems change.
The project will ultimately aim at empowering individuals, donors and the private sector to collaborate and use collective action to achieve various goals on a platform that is a thoroughly tested prototype for digital local fundraising and securing commitments for in-kind donations.
The Yen Somu Bi project will also help spotlight citizens’ perception on individual giving and identify ways in which civil society can interest individuals and possibly government in the local ownership of development processes which they champion through their work.
At the end of the day, this project will provide the much needed digital data on domestic philanthropic giving (giving for social and systematic change instead of giving for direct needs) and help to increase trust in Civil Society Actors (CSAs) through advocacy and campaigns which will eventually mobilize local resources or donations (money, skills, networks) to address community priorities.
About the Platform
This Yen Somu Bi crowdfunding space is a low-tech user-friendly online platform that serves as a directory and repository for all kinds of advocacy campaigns. It is an avenue for individuals and CSOs and individuals to create their own crowdfunding/advocacy campaigns.
This platform consolidates all the appeals for funds or non-financial support from CSO partners as well as that from the general public. It showcases successes chalked from some campaigns; impact stories and serves as a reference point that provides options for various causes that potential philanthropists can focus their support on.
As a crowdfunding space, the project team in direct consultation with STAR-Ghana has created a funding system and control, which fosters transparency as well as accountability for all actors involved. The project has an independent body that will regulate disbursement of funds and resources to ensure transparency and accountability in all campaigns. This independent body or fund-managers are made up of eminent personalities who are versed in managing a funding structure of this nature.
This platform will be updated regularly by undertaking both social and traditional media monitoring to capture various philanthropic campaigns. The crucial issues will be curated and prioritised on this platform. We aim to counter the transient nature of traditional media where it is possible people may miss campaigns which may be of interest to them by sending regular reminders and alerts to interested stakeholders.
Even though this intervention is very ambitious as we will be deploying a unique platform, the innovation here is that most crowdfunding platforms concentrate on raising monetary funds but this platform will go a step further than that by incorporating campaigns for non-financial causes.