Jacob Lief founded the Ubuntu Education Fund in order to help bring education to the impoverished, at risk, and disadvantaged children living in the Eastern Cape province of South Africa. His goal is a noble one and as such deserves to be treated with the utmost importance. Unfortunately, it can be difficult for non profits to garner the funds needed in order to render a real change on their goals — and it can be even harder still to get benefactors who truly understand these goals. Fortunately for the team at the Ubuntu Fund, Jacob Lief came up with something special: the Ubuntu Model.
The Ubuntu Model is a new way of thinking that many non profits are going to start utilizing here in the future. Many people don’t realize it from the outside looking in, but there are real concerns even when money is coming into the charity. Jacob Lief was at a speaking session during the World Economic Forum when he concluded that his charity wasn’t being effective enough. The reason? Donations were coming into the charity but they were earmarked for tasks that didn’t need the money. This is a perk of being a benefactor but it is one that often causes problems for the people running the fund.
The Ubuntu Model, popularized by Jacob Lief, was first run through the board which includes esteemed benefactor Andrew Rolfe. The Ubuntu Model focuses solely on high end benefactors and family foundations that can afford to donate with no strings attached. The reason this is importance is because it puts value back into the hands of the charity. Jacob Lief and Andrew Rolfe put their hands together and came to the board with this model. At first there was a general reluctance but it soon gave way to optimism as the new model began to work. Andrew Rolfe and the rest of the board soon saw that, though there were fewer donations coming in, they were all being spent more efficiently. The Ubuntu Model was working and the Ubuntu Education Fund was once again making a difference in the lives of the people who needed it. To say that Andrew Rolfe and the rest of the board were happy would be an understatement.