Words That Count

The launch of the Words that Count Growth Academy

What a week this has been!

After much debate, delay and distraction, the Words that Count Growth Academy has finally become a reality.

So, what the heck is the Words that Count Growth Academy, anyway?

During 2020 (or the year that never was), I realised that there are so many non-profit directors and fundraisers who have had the responsibility for fundraising thrust upon them. And this responsibility was given, almost universally, without any preparation or training, and the poor chosen are expected to understand the nuances and intricacies of the fundraising world … preferably yesterday, so that the money can start flowing tomorrow.

Those of us who have been around the block a few times know that fundraising is a marathon and not a sprint. And more than that, as is the case with long-distance running, fundraising requires stamina … and this is something that comes with training … and lots and lots of practice.

In Africa, the opportunities for training are few – and relevant, appropriate and context-specific training is rare as hens’ teeth! So, as I made banana bread, sewed fabric facemasks, and generally behaved like a doomsday prepper in my suburban home, I began to imagine how to solve this thorny problem for my colleagues in the trenches.

Another problem common in our world is funding for such interventions. Almost every non-profit that I have worked with over the years is very aware of stretching their income as far is it will go – and conscious of the fact that they have to be responsible stewards of the resources that they have been entrusted with.

So – the solution also had to fit a range of pockets. The thinking continued.

And earlier this year, it came to me in the middle of the night – start a community of fundraisers and non-profit leadership who will benefit from monthly masterclasses, a huge variety of resources, Facebook lives and a private group where questions can be asked and answered in a professional and nurturing manner… And the opportunity to pick not just my brain, but the brains of the experts that we are going to bring in to share their knowledge and experience with you.

Now we had a framework, but what would training from these experts cost? Actually, very little. I am extraordinarily privileged to have a network of experts, not just locally but globally, who have already said ‘I’m in’ when I broached the subject with them! And after more than 20 years in the sector, I may have a gem or two to share along the way, myself!

And so, for a monthly investment of just R349, VAT inclusive (or US$47 for people living outside South Africa), you or a member of your team will have access to masterclasses on a variety of topics – all equipped to make fundraising easier and way more successful for you!

And the best part is that for as long as you are a member, you will have access to ALL these resources – not like some platforms that limit access to previous training sessions. We want you to go back and refresh your memory when you have a particular task to complete, or you are faced with a new challenge. Because, chances are, there will be a masterclass for that – and if there isn’t, all you have to do is get in touch with the Academy team and we will find an expert to solve your problem … because, hey, if you are struggling with something, it’s pretty likely that you are not the only one!

And so, we kick off on 3 May 2021 – sharing the wisdom of international business coach, Diane Lindemann, who will take us through the process of identifying our ideal donor – deep-diving way beyond the demographics and into the factors that, with practice, will drive your networking and marketing activities (which, by the way, are the topics for the next two masterclasses!)

PS – if you are reading this before midnight on Friday, 30 April 2021, I have some exciting news! Although our founders’ slots are filled, I decided to extend a special offer to the early birds out there.

In South Africa, it’s Freedom Day on 27 April … so exercise your freedom to associate with the Words that Count Growth Academy for just R299 (US$40) per month! And even if you miss this special, join us anyway. You won’t be sorry!