OLA people in search of a better world! Apologies for the long radio silence. I hit a bit of a writer’s block and Fede has been busy reminding himself what it was like to have a normal ‘job’, with a stint of forced emotional self-discovery along the way. But…we have returned as verbose and pedantic as ever, stubbornly moving forward towards success and world domin…ahem… a better world.
So, a concise round up since July;
We started working with a UX designer to understand “what the customer wanted” and launched a little research process
We found a great technologist, Suraj Vadgama, who agreed to become our part-time CTO & all round tech guru, who has been developing some ideas on what our first platform could look like
In August Federico and I went to Guatemala to visit potential NGO partners for Impact Marathons. There we met 4 strong NGOs; some with elements that would put to shame many of the larger better resourced actors (more on that over the next few weeks). We were able to put to use our beneficiary centred assessment approach, and the feedback we got from both the NGOs and the Impact Marathon’s was positive. We hope to do build on this with other clients now.
In September Federico attended the Thousand Currents Academy in New York. This was a great opportunity for FieldWorks to connect with other development actors who are working more closely with local NGOs. Thousand Currents (previously IDEX) has been one of the forerunners of supporting local NGOs directly and almost unconditionally to great success and respect
Suraj on the other hand continues developing Beehive, a platform that intelligently matches UK social-impact organisations with the right funders. If you’re a UK charity or granter please do take the time to see how Beehive can help you.
Finally, on the side we have taken on some small personal consultancies to keep the lights on but also to broaden our network and experiences.
So, we’ve been doing stuff.
What next?! Aha! the million dollar question. Dotted between all those bullet points we have had the opportunity to meet some senior people far cleverer than us; Big Lottery Fund, Comic Relief, Gates Foundation, New Philanthropy Capital and Global Fund for Community Foundations. All who have been very kind in sharing their thoughts on the sector, trends, and what FieldWorks should think about. Which is a lot. But at the same time, comfortingly, nothing so extreme as to make us think there isn’t a small niche for us out there.
After, what many of you probably think is an unbelievable amount of time, thinking and talking we’ve whittled away our massive 2016 idea. Divesting ourselves of the vestiges of the INGO approach to problem solving (we will solve the whole problem by doing almost everything immediately) has taken some time.
As we approach the end of the year we’re going to focus on one small problem. That of international grant-makers (people or institutions) being able to consistently find diverse and trustworthy grassroots organisations. So we will build a real-live working platform that local NGOs can sign up to and we have started approaching foundations to understand how this could interest them. In the meantime, building on our experiences with Impact Marathons, we will be looking for further client work. We can help institutions and philanthropists with a real sense of social purpose, find and assess local NGO partners.
Keep in touch! If you’re ever in London, we always love to talk, to meet new people and old friends.