Public Service Announcement: for not-for-profits out there.

I was on a panel at AVPN’s Global Conference last week in Kuala Lumpur together with Dee Bourbon from Chervon Group, Antara Lahiri from Micron Technology, Aimy Lee from Penang Science Cluster, moderated by Moutushi Sengupta from AVPN

Among other takeaways from one of the most engaging panels that I’ve been in, is the realisation that both Aimy and I did not fully understand what “unrestricted funding” meant. So I had a few ah-ha moments below:

⚡ Ever heard of Trust-Based philanthropy

Some amazing funders are moving towards trust-based philanthropy, where they trust operators like us, to do the best we think is right for the communities that we serve.

In turn, we should inspire trust, by providing full transparency in the work we do, communicating and engaging these funders in meaningful ways.

⚡ Unrestricted funding means you can allocate the funds to what you think meets the needs of your organisation and drive the most impact

You do not need to stick to the rigid budget that you’ve done up one year ago, which may or may not be relevant. Brilliant!

⚡You are allowed to make mistakes and fail 😱😱😱

This is probably the biggest takeaway for me. By nature, innovating means taking risks. If you don’t fail at all, it is probably because you have not innovated enough!

Unrestricted funding allows for experiments and failure. Of course, no one wants to fail. But it is definitely comforting to know that we are supported to push the boundaries and be bold in our work.

Thank you AVPN again for inviting me! I wasn’t kidding that a tear dropped from the side of my eye :) :), learning about unrestricted funding and how progressive some funders have become.

Janine Teo, Chief Executive Officer, Solve Education!

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