Changing Lives Together
Changing Lives Together is a non-profit organization with headquarters in Folsom, California. Its mission is to provide sustainable economic development for impoverished communities in rural Ghana. Its healthcare programs intend to reduce infant and maternal mortality rates as well as to increase the survival rate of patients in the Brong Ahafo Region and other rural communities in Ghana. Changing Lives Together has many different projects throughout Ghana ranging from adopting classrooms at schools to traveling clinics that focus on improving the lives of those in Northern Ghana.
This is one of the most extensive projects IDG has taken on since its establishment.
Changing Lives Together Project
Objective I: Market Analysis
- Phase 1: Researched potential business plans relevant to the healthcare industry in rural communities. Compiled organizational recommendations and detailed approaches for facility maintenance and operations
- Phase 2: Conducted market research for the facility and the organization in order to increase global support for its operations. Based on data collected by IDG during and in the time after the project trip to Ghana, IDG worked to develop the estimated patient volumes that will be provided services at the cardiology facility.
- Phase 3: Created data preparation documents in order to organize future data collected
Objective II: Business Plan & Cost Estimation
- Phase 1: Researched organizational structures and operations methods for different medical facilities around the world and tailoring methods to be relevant for operating in Ghana (based on input obtained from IDG’s visit to Ghana). Created a business plan template detailing necessary steps for the creation of a medical facility.
- Phase 2: Researched necessary equipment, costs, and staffing availabilities necessary for the creation of a cardiovascular facility. Compiled costs and provided a comprehensive summary of necessary funding allocation for the facility.
- Project Costs: Estimated construction hard and soft costs for the cardiovascular facility, medical and non-medical equipment, furniture/fixtures, IT systems, project development costs, working capital, contingency.
- Financial Plan: Developed financial (cash flow) projections for the first five years.
- Phase 3: Created data preparation documents in order to organize future data collected. Developed a template for future data entry processes.
Friends of Yimbo
Friends of Yimbo is a non profit organization founded by Ben and Charles Odipo that collaborates with the people of the Yimbo region in western Kenya. It believes that by changing the life of one individual at a time, FOY can empower an entire community. Its mission statement is “to work with the people of Muguna Village to alleviate poverty, and build better and healthier lives by empowering them to manage and sustain their own development.” The organization’s focus areas are clean and safe drinking water, education, micro-enterprising for women and youth vocational training, community health, and proper nutrition for children. FOY operates on an 80:20% philosophy where it covers 80% of the project costs, and the people of Muguna, Yimbo cover the remaining 20%. This model ensures the commitment of the community to the projects and maintains the long-term strength of the partnership.
Friends of Yimbo Project
The purpose of this project was to assist FOY in making a long lasting impact in the Yimbo region of Kenya. Since, the primary resource FOY utilized was money, in the form of donations, the recommendations in this project were to be centered around increasing the quantity, diversity of sources, and sustainability of donations to FOY.
Phase I: Website Research and Recommendations
- Profiled best practices of comparable nonprofit websites
- Recommended improvements for FOY’s newly created website
Phase II: Strategic Plan Review
- Researched and identified effective strategic plans
- Evaluated comparable nonprofit strategic plans
- Recommended an edited FOY strategic plan
Phase III: Funding Strategy
- Investigated the expansion of the donor base and alternate funding sources
- Profiled potential corporate social responsibility (CSR) partners
The Kaeme Foundation is a non-profit organization with headquarters in Palo Alto, California and Accra, Ghana helping place orphanage-housed children into homes with loving families. Kaeme partnered with Ghana’s Department of Social Welfare to identify orphanages in Ghana, source their records, and speak with the caregivers and children in order to create a profile on the child’s health, history, and personality. This process provided the Department of Social Welfare with the information necessary to determine the best care option and family match for each child.
The Kaeme Project
Phase I: Fundraising Strategies
- Researched corporate donors and grants for revenue generation
- Assessed current outreach and social media strategies to attract donations
- Recommended additional outreach content and social media partners on Facebook to increase the spread of Kaeme’s message and opened up additional avenues of funding.
Phase II: Public Awareness Campaign
- Researched successful public awareness campaigns that launched in various countries in Africa to analyze what was needed for the creation of Kaeme’s campaign.
- Assessed Kaeme’s existing marketing and PR collateral, and provided recommendations to improve the messaging and layout.
- Created a plan for the campaign including partner identification, methods of information dissemination, and messaging.
By GDP per capita, Malawi is the world’s poorest country. According to the International Fund for Agricultural Development, 74 per cent of the Malawian population lives below the income poverty line of US$1.25 a day. Most families cannot afford to finance their children’s education, which ranges between $30 and over annually. At secondary school age, only 33% of the sum that should be enrolled in secondary school education is present in school. From this 33%, only 42% are girls. Most girls marry early in exchange for dowry; payment from the husband’s family. With the infrequency of social mobility in Malawi, her daughter and her daughter’s daughter often face the same fate: early marriage and insufficient schooling. Over time this vicious cycle has created a substantial population of women who are undereducated, jobless and facing extreme poverty.
Tiwale was set up as a youth-led community based organization to empower Malawian women by providing economic opportunities through leadership workshops, micro-finance loans, vocational skills training and education grants.
Tiwale started with a team of five youth ranging from 14 to 19 years old. The goal was to design a business-education training program that was to be followed by micro-loans for women in poverty. The intended prototype was 10 women for the education program and 4 women to start businesses. The response however was tremendous with a surprise participation of 150 women in the education program and a selected 12 women to initiate businesses in the micro-loan program. To date, Tiwale has grown having trained 150 women in the education programs, guided 40 women to start businesses and led another 50 women in a vocational skills training program. We have had a 100% repayment rate on our microloans and 70% sales of produced fabrics last year.
Our dream had always been to promote the education opportunities for Malawian women and so with sold fabrics from our vocational skills training program, we secured US$2,500 and bought a plot of land to build an education center. With this space, we provided secondary school education classes, computer training summer camps, weekly art studio space popups and biweekly health education gatherings. With these activities together, we support 200 women annually. To build this center and start operations for one year, we established a budget of US$15,000, including the need for books, computers, lab equipment, stationary, school bags and first aid tools.
The Tiwale Project
Crowdfunding via Indiegogo and Social Media Outreach (60%)
- Designed an Indiegogo campaign including formatting the general layout of the Indiegogo page as well as collaborating to design perks.
- Identified social media platforms for Tiwale used for advertising the Indiegogo campaign and drafted sample emails that Tiwale used in outreach efforts.
- Updated social media and blog posts for Tiwale three times a week.
Sourcing Donations: Present other avenues for sustainable funding (40%)
- Researched and identified domestic companies willing to donate to Tiwale. Researched corporate social responsibility (CSR) initiatives and business models in order to generate funds for Tiwale’s goal of equipment for a proposed educational center.
- Provided 5 grants that Tiwale could apply for to obtain sustainable funding.
Together We Can Change The World
Together We Can Change the World is an organization that is helping South East Asia create sustainability. To do this, it has gone on several tours to five different countries in South East Asia where they work with different villages. The people on these tours are volunteers that comprise of a variety of professions including motivational speakers and authors. When in these villages, they promoted sustainability by educating the women and children, as well as assisted them with their different business practices. Together We Can Change The World has actively worked with 20 different villages at one time and its goal was to create sustainability in these villages in 5 years. It also supported other organizations in their projects in South East Asia. Together We Can Change The World seeked to expand the different avenues with which to help SE Asia with its own organization.
The Together We Can Change The World Project
PHASE I: IDG conducted a focus group of eight to ten students using a skeleton website to test for navigation. They also used, with permission from the client, the TWCCTW webpage to gather different perspectives on what they like and dislike about the layout/content.
PHASE II: IDG examined the data from the focus group and created a report with a written layout of an ideal website based on opinions found in the study, and its analysts experience. It redesigned the navigation (tabs) of the webpage and the content, making it more concise and user friendly.
PHASE III: IDG created a written plan for use of social media that can be used by the client. It also created a Twitter and Instagram for the client.
IDIAS Bioenergy aimed to provide a solution for sequestering the vast amounts of carbon dioxide (CO2) being emitted into the atmosphere. By recycling these carbon emissions into a process that outputs large volumes of algae biomass, the biomass can in turn be used to produce a variety of high-quality sustainable commodities. Introducing IDIAS Bioenergy’s algae growth technology, created to significantly reduce the cost of cleaning the air around power plants and other CO2 emitting facilities, as the emissions captured are now being capitalized upon, turning harmful waste into useful products.
The IDIAS Project
PHASE I: Performed a focus group study to collect data of what a successful logo and company image would be in the eyes of consumers and small businesses.
PHASE II: Drafted a sample pitch outline based on this image for IDIAS to use as a foundation in talking to potential clients.
PHASE III: Developed pitch outline to include a sample script and a presentation deck for electronic presentations. Created a one-page marketing strategy based on market research and focus groups.
PHASE IV: Developed logo and accompanying tagline into a form usable immediately by IDIAS.
PHASE V: Final deliverable included all developed components (Logo, Tagline, Pitch, Marketing Strategy Foundation).
Big Shared World
Big Shared World is an initiative spearheaded by Colleen Waterston that seeked to engage people across the globe, and foster discourse on the world’s current state of increasing global connectivity. Sharing her experience through a media platform, Colleen aimed to travel to 30 countries and ask at least 300 people the following same three questions:
- What does a good life mean to you?
- In your opinion, what is the biggest threat to humanity today?
- What do you think the world will be like 50 years from now?
By traveling the world and connecting with people of all kinds, Colleen hoped to learn more about the community that we as global citizens share, and gauge our interconnectedness through the responses to these same three questions across the globe.
The Big Shared World Project
Phase I: Created a coding process for Big Shared World data analysis, analyzed responses, and demographic metrics.
- Coding Process – IDG created a method of coding the available data gathered by the client to analyze the current available data, and to be used by the client in future data needs.
- Data Analysis – IDG used the proposed coding process to analyze the available data and key demographic metrics.
Phase II: Authored an annotated bibliography that reflected the common themes found through data analysis.
- IDG researched articles and historical events based upon participant responses and compiled findings into an annotated bibliography to be used as references for the BSW book.
The Unreasonable Institute is an internationally recognized model for supporting social entrepreneurs to tackle the world’s greatest challenges. It’s ultimate goal was to help entrepreneurs with start-up ventures to scale up in order to meaningfully impact the lives of one million people each. The Unreasonable Institute hosted a five-week program that convenes 50 world-class mentors and 100+ funders with rising entrepreneurs, fostering an “unreasonable advantage.” Upon program completion, the entrepreneurs received training from pro-bono executive coaches, support from funders and mentors, as well as guidance and access to the network of the Unreasonable Institute team. Over the past five years the program has made a significant impact, reaching 82 ventures from 37 countries.
The Unreasonable Institute Project
PHASE I: Following the identification of the five key business development areas by the Unreasonable Institute team, IDG established a criteria and pitch to vet third-party service providers.
PHASE II: Utilizing the criteria pitch created in PHASE I, IDG researched companies for the five key areas. The company research was conducted through online industry research and interviews with members of the Corporate Social Responsibility community.
PHASE III: IDG examined the findings from PHASE II and authored a final report entailing its research and profiled top leads that build partnerships supporting the program’s goals.
Stockton Impact Corps
Stockton Impact Corps (SIC) is a microfinance organization based in Stockton, CA whose mission was to act as a catalyst mobilizing community assets to create economic opportunity in Stockton. To achieve its mission, SIC offered business owners small business development training and micro-loans. These loans provide entrepreneurs with the initial capital to get their business started and during the repayment of the loan, prepared them for more traditional borrowing from a financial institution. In order to truly scale the organization, SIC pursued alternative funding methods outside of donations, and increased its client outreach and visibility of services. Identifying potential impact investors and outreach tactics allowed SIC to increase the sustainability of its organization and the impact it created in the Stockton community.
The Stockton Impact Corps Project
Phase I: Identified funding sources: Researched potential investors and alternative methods of fundraising.
Phase II: Scaled the client base: Recommended additional avenues for client recruitment.
Phase III: Built marketing platforms: Initiated the creation of tailored marketing strategies for fundraising and client outreach.
IDG extensively researched potential options for office spaces and residencies and then subjected them to a filtering process based upon safety, availability, cost, and amenities to determine which general area of Buenos Aires was preferable. Within this filtering process, city zones were selected based on safety measures. From there, office spaces were selected based on how closely they met the criteria of having wifi, enough space to hold 90 students, and relative location to nearby hostels. Then, residencies were selected with special regards to the accessibility of medical facilities and grocery stores. All research was done through a careful analysis of data. The descriptions retrieved from websites were sponsored by both the facilities themselves and unbiased third parties.
Cheetah Conservation Fund
Cheetah Conservation Fund’s mission is to be the internationally recognized center of excellence in the conservation of cheetah and their ecosystems. CCF worked with all stakeholders to develop best practices in research, education, and land used to benefit all species, including people. CCF realized that to enlist the help of livestock farmers and game ranchers in the fight to save cheetahs they must have given them incentives. For example, improving their standards of living. Thus, CCF has devised a variety of programs to teach farmers how to live with predators that have shown to raise their standard of living.
The Cheetah Conservation Fund Project
Partnership Strategy: Compiled the latest research on climate change and environmental degradation affecting the Arctic tundra and African savannah in order to identify partnership opportunities with organizations related to this mission.
PHASE I: IDG analyzed the field of climate change
- The effects of climate change on both organizations (CCF & PBI)
- Key organizations in the industry and their focus within the umbrella topic of climate change
PHASE II: Examined and compared the findings from PHASE I in order to identify similarities between the two areas and highlighted potential positioning strategies for the CCF & PBI
PHASE III: Compiled profiles of the top organizations involved in combating climate change as well as developed partnership strategies for each organization. These profiles included:
- Organizational information
- Positioning strategy (based on the template created in PHASE II)
Bamboo Finance is a Swiss-based, commercial global investment advisory firm specializing in the financing of social entrepreneurship. Their goal was to support innovative, commercially viable enterprises designed to generate significant social impact and solid financial return. These are companies which deliver essential goods and services that directly benefit low income communities by providing access to affordable housing, healthcare, education, energy, livelihood opportunities, water, sanitation and the like.
Bamboo Finance’s mission was to create value for their investors, partners and the field of social entrepreneurship. They achieved this by promoting appropriate finance for the growth of enterprises which had a positive impact on society.
To date, Bamboo Finance’s largest investment is in CareCross, a branded network of physicians that have provided quality primary healthcare services to South Africans for over a decade. CareCross Health, a Managed Healthcare Organization, managed benefits for over 250,000 members providing access to a national network of over 4,000 private medical doctors and dentists through approximately 30 medical insurance companies and major corporate clients. Already offering the largest network of doctors to South Africa’s white-collar market, CareCross expanded to offer low-cost comprehensive insurance coverage to low-income workers whose employers are not offering private health care coverage.
The Bamboo Finance Project
- Grant Research & Proposals: IDG conducted grant research for CareCross to identify potential partners that can provide grants to reach a goal of EUR 3.5M to accelerate the uptake of the OCSACare product through subsidies. Grant proposals were drafted and submitted to three potential partners. The data collected was organized and used to complete the following deliverables:
- Partner Database: The data collected from IDG’s grant research process, whose objective is to identify potential financial partners to subsidize the OCSACare product of CareCross, was organized into a Partner Database. The Partner Database included the following information for each partner: contact information, relevant field of interest, relevant field of geographic interest, giving capacity, 501(C)3 requirements, application details and deadlines.
- Grant Proposals: IDG worked with Bamboo Finance and CareCross to draft, review, and submit grant proposals to three foundations. The three foundations were suggested by IDG, a suggestion based off of the Partner Database information, and approved by Bamboo Finance, CareCross and IDG.
- Social Impact Metrics Dashboard: IDG worked with Bamboo Finance to develop a social metrics dashboard for CareCross. These metrics allowed Bamboo Finance to consult CareCross on measuring its social impact across South Africa through its portfolio of eight products and services.
This project included the following four sections:
- Metric Questions: IDG identified critical questions concerning the development of metrics desired by Bamboo Finance and CareCross. These questions identified and categorized metric groups. The questions included explanations of their significance.
- Metric Recommendations: IDG identified metric recommendations for consideration of Bamboo Finance. These recommendations included concrete metrics with a list of references citing the source and significance for each metric.
- Data Collection and Analysis Strategy: IDG presented Bamboo Finance with a strategy for data collection for the recommended metrics. This strategy also included methods to analyze the data and create a metrics dashboard.
- Final Report: IDG presented Bamboo Finance with a final report that included a comprehensive metrics dashboard and analysis.
Fashion4Freedom is a social enterprise and design incubator that creates products and processes that lead to ethical and alternative supply chains which ultimately end environmental and labor exploitation in the fashion industry. The business objective was to deliver added-value to customers through its four ethos initiatives of people, process, products and preservation. Profits from the sale of high fashion products go towards education, community rehabilitation and opportunity for economic development for those exploited in supply chains. The ultimate goal was to restore dignity for victims of human trafficking, and humanity between businesses and communities, providing an opportunity of self-reliance free from poverty and abuse.
The Fashion4Freedom Project
PHASE I: Researched Fashion4Freedom’s position in the fashion and social industries.
PHASE II: Determined a marketing strategy to help enhance positioning of Fashion4Freedom.
PHASE III: Launched the “Wear Freedom on your Sleeve” campaign and measured the success of the overall marketing strategy.
Produced by small family workshops, Singing Hands products support the traditional way of living in minority villages in remote areas of China. Following the fair trade model, all profits go directly to the artisans who decide how to invest them in their community. By purchasing their products, you allow artisans to work from home. They do not have to leave anymore for faraway factories that exploit migrant workforce to make ends meet.
Singing Hands has found home in Dimen village deep in the mountains of Guizhou province in China. Dimen belongs to Kam minority. It has been virtually isolated from the rest of the world and resisted modernization for centuries. Recently, the outside world has come to Dimen full force and visible changes are happening every year.
The average yearly wage in Dimen village is $1000, well below the average for even rural China. Young and middle-aged people often seek employment in faraway factories to help ends meet. Meanwhile in the village, tourists have increasingly seduced the Kam to sell their precious heirlooms robbing them and their future generations of their heritage and identity.
By making simple artifacts with local aesthetics, Dimen artisans can generate income without losing their irreplaceable treasures. They will have no need to leave the village to make ends meet.
Moreover, the younger generation has an incentive to learn about their heritage and culture from their elders now. Wu Mengxi, Singing Hands lead artisan, has involved three generations of women from her family.
The Singing Hands Project
PHASE I: Researched operations and bylaws of other similar cooperatives to weigh pros and cons that applied to this cooperative.
PHASE II: Researched Chinese export laws and United States import laws in order to align the set of bylaws for the cooperative.
PHASE III: Drafted a complete set of bylaws.