Chief Executive and founder of the Ubuntu Education Fund, Jacob Lief is an individual committed to bettering the education systems in South Africa. According to him, donor funding is not useful if it comes with restrictions attached to it. These may include restrictions on spending; demanding involvement in the operations of the organization, and any other preconditions that affect how grants are utilized.
This is what influenced the leadership of the Ubuntu Fund to reconsider the type of funding they accepted. Even though most people consider the donors to be the main players in philanthropic decision-making, this is not always the case. Grantees hold the decision to accept or reject a donation that has outrageous terms. Therefore, Jacob Lief and the Board of Directors of the Ubuntu Fund, including the chairman Andrew Rolfe, decided to focus on donors who understand that controlled funding is not beneficial to the foundation.
Although this decision has significantly reduced the influx of financing, the available funds can accomplish more. It is not easy for nonprofits to secure donors who offer to fund without restrictions, the key is to carry out discussions beforehand to lay out the objectives of both the donors and the receiving organization. This will avoid tensions and conflicts caused by misplaced priorities and give nonprofits the flexibility needed to innovate.
About the Ubuntu Education Fund
It was funded in 1999 by Jacob Lief and Malizole “Banks” Gwaxula to concentrate on tackling the educational dilemma in South Africa. The nonprofit bases its activities on what is known as the “Ubuntu Model” that is founded on creating social impact beginning with the family, focusing on the community, creating lifelong relationships with the children so as to create a sustainable institution.
The Board of Directors consists of well-known civil society and business dignitaries from the U.S, the U.K, and South Africa, with Andrew Rolfe as the Chairman. Throughout his career, Andrew Rolfe has been committed to helping people, and as the board’s Chairman, he has been able to do this extensively.
Andrew Rolfe believes that children can receive a proper education if they do not worry about how their education is being funded, or who is funding it. This gives them the education, stability, and health required to circumvent poverty.