Making charitable organisations sustainable (Joshua Peters SJ)

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By Honore Onana Olah, SJ

Jesuit Justice and Ecology Network (JENA) partnering with Santa Clara University’s Miller Centre for Social Entrepreneurship organised a workshop from 26th to 28th February 2019 in Nairobi- Kenya. One of the participant, Joshua Peters, a Jesuit from the Midwest Province of the Society of Jesus, current student of Berkeley University of California (USA) and now doing one semester at Hekima University College in Nairobi – Kenya, was kind enough to allow us an interview:

(Highlights)

I was fascinating by ideas based on making organisations sustainable financially, so we do not have to depend on donors to finance the operations because that takes a lot of works. You have to dedicate a lot of time and energy to raise a lot of dollars. But if your organisation can find a way to be self-sustainable, you can do more and more effectively and have a large social impact and you can also do without having to depend on donors.

Can you tell us briefly about the Elevator Pitch?

You have to imagine that you are an elevator for a fifteen (50) story ride and you met someone who had financial resources or connections. How could you convince them in that such elevator ride that they should give you money or at least have another conversation with you? So you have to be very pointed and very clear about the way you pitch your idea. Imagine that at the time you will reach the fifteen floor they will give you the money you want…So brief, but impactful!

Being a Jesuit from USA but studying at Hekima is it appealing for Jesuits in formation such kind of meeting?

I think it is a very important thing for any Jesuit in formation. I think the value and the ideas that the Miller Centre is bringing forth about sustainable organisations are applicable in any context…it has to do parish life, retreat work, universal social enterprises…that the money we do raise will be used for more greater social impact. I think if we learn that information it will make us better pastors, directors of works. It will benefit the Society of Jesus and the people of God greatly.

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