The Ubuntu Education Fund is a non profit charity that was established by CEO Jacob Lief. The goal of the non profit is to bring financial investments in so that impoverished children in South Africa’s Eastern Cape region can get the education that they need in order to improve their lives. Jacob Lief has been at the forefront of the non profit since its inception so he had to have taken it very hard when he realized that the non profit wasn’t working as he had hoped. In fact, Lief realized that he wanted to do a better job and thus brought about a great change.
The great change was a reformation in how the Ubuntu Fund raised money for their goal. The Ubuntu Model, as Lief would go on to call it, focuses on bringing in money from high net worth investors and solid family foundations. The reason for this is pretty simple: most benefactors were donating to the charity with extreme regulations put in place. Benefactors are allowed to dictate exactly how their money gets spent, no matter how professional the charity, benefactors like feeling that they have control over their expenses. Jacob Lief says of this change, “We now go for high net-worth individuals or family foundations who understand that highly restricted funding isn’t worth our time.”
Of course you can’t really get a new model like this up and off of the ground without support. That’s why the help of Andrew Rolfe, a chairman on the board, was such a big deal. Andrew Rolfe is a benefactor who has donated at least $100,000 over the past five years before becoming a full time member of the board. When Andrew Rolfe and Jacob Lief put their goals together it became abundantly clear that changes would go into effect for the better of the non profit.
Now, you can see that the Ubuntu Fund is making a direct impact on the Port Elizabeth townships in South Africa. Andrew Rolfe, Jacob Lief, and the rest of the Ubuntu Fund are doing more than they ever have before even with a smaller budget.