Team IFC: Sam Kayongo

In the next in our Team IFC series we meet IFC Tanzania’s director, Sam Kayongo. Read on to find out more about…

Tell us about your career in a snapshot

I am working full time as consultant with several businesses, non-profit and faith-based organisations.

What led you down this path?

I started my career 19 years ago in Uganda doing administrative and managerial work with a public institution in Wakiso District for 5 years, while at the same time pursuing my Masters program at Makerere University. I thereafter worked with a Lutheran church diocese in Tanzania for 7 years as head of the development department. Having obtained this solid experience I moved on to form a consultancy company called Kagera Development Facilitation and now work full time as a consultant. I am also Director for IFC in Tanzania.

Why IFC?

IFC offers a wide network and experience with its Directors in almost all continents around the world. I also benefit greatly from the advice offered by IFC Chair John Baguley and other staff working with IFC in the UK.

What is your role with IFC?

I am the site Director for IFC-Tanzania.

What are the fundraising challenges in your region?

There are several challenges in Tanzania and East Africa regarding the fundraising sector:

1. Absence of fundraising formal education: There are no colleges offering training in fundraising management and resource mobilisation. Many practitioners in the field learn on their jobs and largely rely on intuition rather than the available body of knowledge to perform their tasks. In such an environment most of the methods on fundraising are done by trial and error. Often ending up frustrating the efforts of the organisation and at worst affecting donor confidence and morale when things are done wrongly or unethically.

2. Low development of the philanthropic culture and supportive system: The community in Tanzania and many countries in East Africa are affected by poverty and hence hold a mentality of recipients and not givers. Even with the few middle class and wealthy, they are not sensitised on the importance of philanthropic giving. This factor is compounded by lack of a regulatory system to motivate local donors to give towards essential community needs and be formally recognised by state or mandated organs, gain tax exemptions on gifts, and such related incentives.

3. Lack of clear fundraising goals: Many organisations do not have clear fundraising goals let alone coherent strategic plans. They are hence deemed to fail even before making any attempts on their priorities. This indicates a need to sensitise the organisations to formulate resource mobilisation strategies and be committed to implement them.

4. Not making provisions for fundraising budgets: Most organisations do not have budgets for resource mobilisation activities. When funds are received they are directly designated towards other expenditures. It is a common practice among organisations to expect to get more funds without spending on the fund development process. Hence activities related to raising resources such as fundraising personnel services, donor meetings, grant applications and organisation of events are starved of funds. Some organisations even dare expect that such activities should be carried out without initial investments and be paid off from the incomes they realise. This tendency is more profound in the case of resource mobilisation personnel emoluments whom some organisations claim they be paid from proceeds of the incomes they fetch. This practice is not only procedurally wrong; it also renders the work of resource mobilisers difficult since they cannot work without wages to sustain them.

5. Dependence on few funding sources: Most of the organisations prefer to adopt fewer sources of funding due to lack of knowledge, low commitment on funding development, minimising expenses and time required for fundraising. Use of a single or a few funding sources is denying the non-profits an opportunity to fully utilise their potentials in achieving set visions.

Tell us about a fundraising success?

I made winning grant applications with the Lutheran church that financed agricultural, micro-finance and women empowerment projects targeting poverty reduction.

What does the future hold for charitable fundraising?

The fundraising field is gaining more value as non-profits increasingly realise its pivotal role in their existence. Inevitably more charities will work towards bridging gaps that hinder successful fund development and ultimately instigate a positive revolution in the entire sector.

Where would you like to see charitable fundraising be in the next 5 years?

More organisations should be fulfilling the minimum criteria for successful fundraising in their organisations. The Governments should also realise that the fundraising sector is critical to achieving broader development goals and fully support its growth.

You’re voted in as the next Prime Minister, what’s the first thing you do?

Appoint a commissioner for philanthropic affairs.

Tell us a fun and interesting fact about yourself.

Whenever I face hardships, or call it stressful moments, my mind generates several solutions. A few times I have met unkind persons in my life that have done horrible things to me with an intention of drowning me only to be amazed that they propelled me to move forward faster!