As one of the leading non-profit organizations dedicated to improving the quality of lives of South Africans living within the Greater Port Elizabeth, Ubuntu Fund had to endure years of financial uncertainties and operational restrictions due to the influence of their financial donors. Since most of the donors released their financial donations on a yearly basis, Ubuntu Fund and other non-governmental had to contend to project closure or suspension as they had to reapply for the grants to finance the projects. In some cases, Ubuntu Fund management had to contend with donors who had restrictions on what projects their donations can be used to finance. Moreover, their operational efficiency especially when it comes to decision making were inhibited by the various representatives appointed by these benefactors to represent their interests on the board of management of these charitable organizations.

However, the management of Ubuntu Fund headed by the chairman of its board of management, Andrew Wolfe, adopted a new model of operation. Christened the Ubuntu model, the new approach restricts the influence donors can have on Ubuntu’s operations. The new model gives Ubuntu the operational autonomy to decide how to spend the money donated. Therefore, it does not receive donations from entities with restrictions on how their funds are spent. This is because such restrictions disrupt the organization’s ability to meets its operational objectives. It is a policy that Andrew Rolfe, the management board chairman, has actively championed for since his appointment.

Ubuntu Fund: Towards Management Inclusivity

Ubuntu Fund was founded by Jacob Lief with the primary objective of improving the lives of the needy. Towards this end, the organization adopted an unprecedented approach to its operations: operational autonomy. This allows them to make key decisions independently without the influence of their donors. Additionally, the non-profit organization employs an inclusivity approach to its management where their main donors can appoint a representative to its board of management. Since these representatives such as Andrew Rolfe are experienced professionals in various fields, they play a critical role in the organization’s success. They bring a wealth of knowledge and experience to the organization’s management. Andrew Rolfe and other board members are experienced in some of the key areas Ubuntu Fund focuses on including education and diseases such as HIV/AIDS.

Categories: Operational Autonomy

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