Case studies > Skills sharing > Strategic development

Rafiki Thabo Foundation

This is a photo of small charity member Rafiki Thabo Foundation in action. Click the image to visit their website

Glenn Scott, one of our supporters and a retired Oxfam Legacy Fundraising Manager, was matched in April 2014 with Janet Hayes, the Director and sole staff member of the small charity The Rafiki Thabo Foundation.

The Foundation primarily operates at grassroots level in the Taita-Taveta region of Kenya, the Tayateyaneng area of Lesotho and South West Uganda. The aim of the Rafiki Thabo Foundation is to empower local people. This is achieved through seeking to work alongside the local people’s partners in all three nations to help alleviate poverty through three ways: education, medical and community development.

Janet Hayes requested support from the Small Charities Coalition in strategic development for Rafiki Thabo. The match was created and then carried out remotely, with Janet based in Oxfordshire and Glenn in Worcestershire. However, this did not impact the effectiveness of the match, with contact being carried out via email, and three face-to-face meetings completed in order to develop the strategy further.

Just a huge thank you from me, the Trustees and our beneficiaries! We may well have arrived at a strategy without Glenn’s support but it wouldn’t have happened within the same timescale and it wouldn’t have been such a rich strategy! – Janet Hayes, The Rafiki Thabo Foundation.

Janet and Glenn’s match developed into a hugely successful year long partnership, which enabled both Janet and Rafiki Thabo to produce and implement a five year long organisational strategy. This included a fundraising and communications plan too. Glenn highlighted how he was able to ‘suggest frameworks for developing the relevant documents and to review them with the charity once drafted’.

The feedback from the match was extremely positive, with Janet describing the relevance of Glenn’s experience to Rafiki’s work, and the level of significance it has had for the charity. She explained, saying the following:

I learned a great deal about fundraising and communications from Glenn – he had very relevant experience from his time in Legacy Fundraising at Oxfam and previous roles as a Trustee and a Director of small charities supporting education in Africa.

We now have a clear strategy in place which means that our Director, the trustees, and our committees in-country are all united and clear on the direction we want the charity to take.

Continuing on, Janet then stated:

It was great to have someone from outside the charity working with me on the strategy – Glenn bought a fresh – and well-informed - pair of eyes to what we were doing and it was good for me to have someone to be accountable to and get things done for, by a particular date!

Glenn informed us of the benefits and enjoyment that he also gained from the matching process. When asked what he would recommend to other potential supporters, Glenn told us this:

We all have a skills and knowledge base that we have developed over the years. Sometimes we move to a different stage in our careers (in my case, retirement) and may find that the opportunities to use these skills and knowledge have reduced or even gone completely. While working, I enjoyed the challenge of planning and found the opportunity to use these skills and experience on the match extremely satisfying. I also appreciated that SCC took the trouble to match me with a charity that I felt comfortable working with.

Janet further endorsed the value of a skills match by emphasising the fact that as the service is free, it makes it very accessible to small, resource-constrained charities. Additionally, due to the skills and expertise that Glenn brought, the match was a great example of a successful linking between the supporter’s experience and Rafiki’s needs.


Match completed in May 2015

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