Let’s use “Yen Somu Bi” online giving platform to scale-up fundraising- Penplusbytes Boss
Executive Director of Civil Society Organisation, Penplusbytes Juliet Amoah has urged the book runners of non-governmental organisations, philanthropists, Corporate Ghana and other CSOs to heavily rely on its newly designed online giving platform: “Yen Somu Bi” (www.yesomubi.org) enhance their fundraising activities towards developmental projects whilst supporting the needy to close structural inequality in society.
Known as “Yen Somu Bi”, the online giving platform was designed by the foremost CSO, Penplusbytes to help raise funds for entities to undertake their social protection and welfare projects.
Ms Juliet Amoah, Executive Director of Penplusbytes addressing participants during the one-day event in Accra-Ghana
Speaking at one-day learning session hosted by Penplusbytes with key partners at the Urbano Hotel in Osu, Accra on Wednesday 12 January 2022 to discuss the “Yen Somu Bi” online giving platform to solicit relevant inputs from different industry players, Executive Director of Penplusbytes Juliet Amoah said “the time has come for the book runners of CSOs to adopt online giving platforms to complement existing traditional sources for fundraising towards philanthropic works because donor supports continue to dwindle”.
As part of the meeting, findings of a dipstick survey conducted by Penplusbytes were validated to orient participants on the “Yen Somu Bi” online platform to fashion out remedy to challenges and gaps identified in the implementation of the yen somu bi online platform and garner support for the full deployment of the Yen Somu Bi crowdfunding platform in subsequent phases of the project.
These include a brief introduction about the yen somu bi project and online platform, presentation of the dipstick survey, building on a common understanding of philanthropy and unpacking the sector in Ghana, touching on limitations, success stories, opportunities and the way forward. This was an organized as and open forum with the participation of a broad range of stakeholders: fintech experts, local fundraisers, philanthropy works, tech expert and the media.
In Ghana, charitable giving has become a necessary and vital complement government spending, especially during a crisis. Private, corporate or individual-based charity identifies problems and funds bottom-up solutions, sometimes before the public sector knows there is an issue. While government may invest in successful, privately-funded initiatives, it oftentimes does not lead the charge. Domestic philanthropy has become a catalyst for development and providing solutions for the needy in society.
About the Project
The “Yen Somu Bi” (translates as “Let’s lend a helping hand”) project with funding from STAR Ghana Foundation seeks to throw light on domestic philanthropic giving by building innovative research linked to fund-raising and advocacy platform. This platform will allow civil society organisations (CSOs), NGOs and community-based organisations (CBOs) mount campaigns that appeal to different philanthropic individuals and entities and cause them to react by giving off their time, talent or monetary resources.
At this initial stage, the platform will be strong on user acceptance testing, focusing on the functionality of such a system in the Ghana online payment and transfers context and on its general usability among a largely semi-literate populace.
The project’s overall objective is to influence national state and societal actors, including emerging philanthropists and individual donors to support the development of community philanthropy by creating favourable conditions to promote the power of local philanthropic giving as a form and driver of social and systems change.
About the platform
The Y”Somu Bi” crowdfunding space is a low-tech user-friendly online platform that serves as a directory and repository for all kinds of advocacy campaigns. It is an avenue for CSOs and other related entities to create their own crowdfunding/advocacy campaigns.
The Yen Somu Bi” Giving for Change Learning Session:
Over the past month, Penplusbytes has deployed an online platform (https://www.yensomubi.org) combined with new digital tools that provides CSOs an easy avenue to raise money, goods and talents (volunteers) from their network, and online community. Yen Somu Bi platform makes it simple to share individual campaigns in a variety of ways to bring in donations, track your progress, and post updates to engage one’s community.
This platform consolidates all the appeal for funds or non-financial support from CSO partners under the Giving for Change (GFC) programme as well as that of other CSOs. It showcases successes chalked from some campaigns; impact stories and serves as a reference point that provides options for various causes that potential philanthropists can focus their support on.
As part of the project implementation, Penplusbytes also conducted a dipstick survey on philanthropy aimed at finding whether ordinary Ghanaians and organizations will give in kind or cash in support of just and relevant causes and also find out what motivates them in giving. A sub-theme for this report was to also find out if Ghanaians will be willing to use online and mobile platforms to give for charitable causes particularly if these are championed by civil society.
Evidence gathered from the dipstick research and the platform usage points to the need for a learning session that will bring together CSOs in the philanthropy sector, religious bodies, donors, Fintechs as well as software developers and financial regulators, to interact in a manner that acknowledges the limitations and opportunities in the sector, while recognizing that collaboration is necessary for effective and sustainable fundraising that will achieve the desired results.
The overall goal of the forum is to leverage on the findings of the Penplusbytes dipstick survey titled “Domestic Philanthropy – A Panacea for Community Development” (Resource Mobilisation Using Traditional and Digital Tools) and other similar works to chart a concrete way forward on using new digital tools for fundraising.
Below are exclusive pictures from the event: