Sima aunty’s Indian matchmaking skills are so superlative that she is now matchmaking nonprofits and social enterprises, with funders. (Not really, but what if?)
Here, we imagine what a conversation with her would go like if you were the nonprofit or entrepreneur, and she is giving you advice about your prospective funding partner.
1. When your nonprofit programme fits every single criteria and strategic priority of the corporate donor, but after 26 months of meetings, calls, and assurances, it does not work out
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2. The gems of wisdom she offers, after just informing you that in order to close the deal, you need to ‘pivot’ your tribal health programme in rural Jharkhand to focus on child and maternity health in Mumbai instead
3. The advice she gives you, when you express concern that if the partnerships work out, you will need to fill out a different reporting format for every single funder she has connected you with; all nine of them
4. When you ask whether this potential funding partner will support basic institutional expenses such as salaries
5. When you ask her if she would help an organisation working outside health/education/livelihoods get funding.
6. Sima aunty: “I know people who want to eradicate poverty, who want to make sure everyone has clean water and proper jobs…
7. What Sima aunty was doing while screening your calls, and working hard to get a potential funder to give you seed money (Namu Myōhō Renge Kyōoooooo)
8. When a potential funding partner is pointing out a few gaps in your programme to Sima aunty, and she feels like she needs to add value to the conversation
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9. When Sima aunty gets two family offices to agree to co-fund an awareness drive for men’s rights activists
10. What she tells you after making you fill out a 25-page grant proposal, rework your theory of change, pivot your programme, reduce your salary costs, and agree to working in three new geographical locations