Professional fundraising has “huge impact” in Kenya, says World Vision

Fundraiser Natalie Chapman (pictured) has arrived back from a trip to Kenya with World Vision with a new understanding of how face-to-face fundraising is making a difference in impoverished communities.

After recruiting more than 400 regular-giving child sponsors in a single year, Natalie was invited by World Vision – one of AGS Global Fundraising Services' charity partners – to visit Kenya for a week.

Travelling with Natalie to see the impact that child sponsors are having was Appco Vice President and Owner of Appco-contracted fundraising company, Mars Cowley-Smyth, as well as Dominic Lester-George and Alice Paterson from AGS Global Fundraising Services (Appco UK's professional fundraising division).

As well as travelling to areas in which World Vision is working, the group visited some areas not currently receiving aid.
"It made me fully grasp the concept of poverty, and understand both the tasks that people do and the problems that they face just collecting water," Natalie said.

"We met a girl called Sylvia who was 18. Her parents were no longer around and she looked after her two brothers and two sisters. She collected water from a dirty pool behind her house and no longer went to school because her responsibilities were at home.

"Seeing the contrast between that and the impact clean water from a World Vision water plantation could make to a community, generating income for the villages, was the most defining part of the trip for me."

For Mars, the experience underlined the importance of face-to-face fundraising.

In an emotional video message to fundraisers from Kenya, she said: "The message that I want to send to all of you is 'don't underestimate the value you add’."

"The reason you should feel pride in what you are doing on a day-to-day basis is you really are making a difference. The things that I've seen over the last week have been astonishing and the difference we are making as fundraisers is absolutely phenomenal.

"For us working with World Vision, we're trying to convince people that 75p a day isn't much to change a child's life – and it really isn't."

The group travelled with World Vision UK's Richard Lawrence, who was quick to highlight “the impact that face-to-face fundraising is having” and praise fundraisers working for Appco-contracted companies.

“About 70 per cent of donors for World Vision UK over the last five years have been signed up by people like you,” he said in a video message from Kenya. “That’s enabling World Vision to do some amazing work in these communities.”

Richard went on to highlight how a water project had helped one village. "Children are no longer having to carry water for two to three hours before school."

"It's making life easier for women, businesses are thriving and people's lives are so much better. And it all starts from your conversations, so thank you from World Vision."