I possess no understanding of who sold us this lie in Cameroon (Africa), that creating NGOs and Foundations is an achievement. You are just leaving school and thinking of starting a Foundation/NGO. You are unemployed and thinking of starting an NGO. You can barely take care of yourself; you are creating an NGO.
Instead of creating a not-for-profit organization (Foundation/NGO), first, create something you can monetize, then bootstrap to build forward and when you start getting stable profits, start putting aside a monthly percentage to give back to the society or to the cause you believe.
Young people greatly misunderstand the concept of NGOs.
In the real sense, Foundations and NGOs are for people and companies who have made their money and desire to give back to society without passing through the government, maybe because of trust issues. If you have a government like Cameroon, can you trust them with millions to run projects? Only corruption and embezzlement will take place.
Consequently, creating a Foundation/NGO and the following week, you are up and down people’s inboxes and offices begging for money to run projects or writing grants here and there for years no assignments you start feeling you are a failure when you are not. You just started the wrong way. I respect stable careers with monthly income and regular businesses (small or big) to start Foundations/NGOs.
As a young person, your primary goal after school should be to get valuable workplace skills, either by getting entry-level jobs, internships or volunteering; your goal should be to get stable financially by starting a business that can give you money. If you must begin to something around the not-for-profit sector, start with using the skills you have to create impact at your level while you build a portfolio that you can use to position yourself where the proper authorities can find you.
Look around you, and you will see tens of young people in the name of running NGOs and creating an impact while they are living hand to mouth year after year and being a burden at the same time to their families and friends. Yes, we should all give back to society, but it should be sustainable.
Here is a perfect example of starting sustainable NGOs in Cameroon; Ngassa Nina (may she continue to rest in peace) started her restaurant, became profitable, then created The Ngassa Nina Foundation to give back to society by empowering young girls. Did you see her begging money through MOMO to fund her projects?
Firstly, Sandry’n Nchotu, a successful network marketer with a long rich, made her millions from network marketing, then created her NGO to give back to society by empowering IDPs. She did not inbox anyone to beg for money. Instead, when people see moves like this, they appeal to support.
Secondly, Fakeh Cynthia, who made her millions from network marketing, has donated so much to IDPs through her non-profit initiatives without begging in a suit.
Thirdly, Nju Dima Ako, who made millions from his various businesses, have gone to orphanages to donate food supplies in Buea, Douala, without bugging me, his friend, to support his NGO.
Fourthly, Fotabe Elmine, who had built a stable career, set up a university that provided massive scholarships to young Cameroonians.
Look at the fantastic work Papa Rk (Roland Kwemain Roland Kwemain) is doing through the Cameroon Leadership Academy. Housing, feeding, providing logistics and training to 100 young people once a year for one week funded mainly by his company before other partners come in.
I prefer not to discuss about the activities of the UBA founder . An individual who cannot provide 100 million dollars to support Entrepreneurs for free. This is the fundamental model of Foundations/NGOs. According to the people I have mentioned, if they want to raise funding through grants, they will easily do that because they will write with a rich portfolio of results. Without external funding, they will still create an impact. I know people who started the wrong way will try to argue. But that is your problem. You will still argue and go begging. Start thinking of running a sustainable model, not a begging model.
Note: If you are in the diaspora and thinking of doing something back home, please do not think NGO. Let us talk and propose a better model. Free things only make a country poor.