When it comes right down to it the goal of a non profit is to put money where it matters, changing lives and saving people along the way. The Ubuntu Fund, which is pioneered by Jacob Lief and the rest of the board, including Andrew Rolfe, has been honing in on a concept that could change the way that we approach how non profits raise their money. This new iteration in fundraising has been called the Ubuntu Model and it might just end up saving lives all around the world as a result.


The Ubuntu Model is something that Jacob Lief came to when he was attending the World Economic Forum in Davos. Lief came to a realization that he would soon be sharing with Andrew Rolfe and the rest of the board: “The money was flowing in but we weren’t changing people’s lives.” Therein lies the problem for a non profit. You can raise the money but if you can’t get it to the people who need it, what was the point? The problem, Lief and Andrew Rolfe realized, was that they were too beholden by donors that wanted to control every movement of their donation. While the donations were welcomed, the interference and corresponding red tape ended up being equally damning. What is the solution here?


Well, the answer is that Andrew Rolfe and the rest of the team needed to focus where they were raising their money. Rolfe and co decided that their focus was going to be very specific: “We now go for high net-worth individuals or family foundations who understand that highly restricted funding isn’t worth our time.” This explanation, courtesy of Jacob Lief, puts the Ubuntu Fund model in sharp relief comparative to other non profits.


Finding donors who can give their money without controlling its every movement can be an almost Herculean task. Donors want to be involved and that is their right. However, it has proven to be counter productive in most cases due to the fact that the non profit no longer is controlling the flow of their work. The Ubuntu Model might just be the next game changing in non profit fund raising.