In the afternoon we moved the focus from inside to outside. Leading questions were: how do children and the larger community benefit from the work the women do? And: what resources should be mobilised so their work can grow and can become sustainable?
Zaide Harneker manages a small grants fund that supports community based organisations. As fundmanager she is only too familiar with the tendency of social enterprises to see fundraising as the only way to mobilise resources for growing their enterprise.
After having focused on what the women have on offer (preventing continued child abuse, preventing school drop out, preventing teenage pregnancy, providing a safe haven where children can share their problems, providing food so the children can concentrate on their homework, encouraging children to invest in themselves so they can build a future for themselves), Zaide introduced them to the broader perspective on resource mobilisation. The biggest resource is the entrepreneur and the staff of the organisation: they bring abilities and a passion for their work that needs to be nurtured. The second resource is all the people, skills and things available in the community itself: parents, church members, local counsellors who can support in material and immaterial ways. And lastly, it is important to look at attracting funds and resources from foundations and government organisations who have an interest in supporting the activities of the women in the network: day care programs and income generating activities.
Zaide’s introduction to resource allocation helped define the homework for the coming months. Each of the women participating will work on an activity plan. They will clarify for themselves: what resources do I already have that I can continue to build on? What new resources do I need to mobilise? What ‘next steps’ will I commit to so that I develop the resources I need?