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Leveraging Contributions for the Greatest impact

NetHope’s funding model reflects its unique public-private partnership structure.

August 15, 2011

NetHope’s funding model reflects its unique public-private partnership structure. The primary sources of funding are cash and in-kind contributions from members, corporations and foundations. NetHope also receives cash contributions from individuals, as well as employee matches from corporations. NetHope membership continues to grow at a controlled pace, with more than 30 current international member organizations plus federated members and affiliates of regional NetHope Chapters. All new members and affiliates work in the developing world bringing valued expertise in the areas of emergency relief, financial services, health, education, agriculture and natural resource management.

Leading supporters of NetHope include Microsoft, Cisco, Accenture, Baker & McKenzie, Waggener Edstrom Worldwide, Intel, The Rockefeller Foundation, Blackbaud, CDW, the Michael & Susan Dell Foundation, HP, iDirect and Dell. This group of core supporters has expanded to include Adobe, the Fidelity Charitable Gift Fund, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, ESRI, Voilà Foundation and Google. In addition, NetHope entered a five-year partnership with USAID, the GBI Alliance, which provides funding to further efforts in the Connectivity and I4D strategic program areas. Each of NetHope’s supporters also donates their expertise and other in-kind assets, which are almost impossible to quantify but are always invaluable to NetHope and its membership. The NetHope funding model works because members and supporters each contribute in meaningful ways — beyond just dollars — with a common goal to collaborate, connect and innovate using technology to benefit the people of the developing world.

Each NetHope member organization describes the value of NetHope membership a bit differently. For some, it is realizing the benefits of belonging to a social network of like-minded professionals, who have common challenges in helping their organizations improve the quality of life for millions of people. Other members will look to more easily quantifiable benefits, such as discounts on software, hardware and services. Of course, all members benefit from the improved efficiency they get by solving problems together. Another key benefit is the ability to reach out to potential corporate and foundation supporters in a unified way. A given corporation or foundation might receive hundreds, if not thousands, of funding proposals from the nonprofit world every year. Often the funding proposals seem very similar. All seem worthy. The NetHope model allows funding to be leveraged in such a way that supporting one project can be multiplied to benefit many.

By using the collective expertise of members and supporters to develop proposals with the “best of the best” thinking, hundreds of highly trained professionals can work together toward a common shared purpose. Just as important, NetHope only embarks on projects that reach a “critical mass” of interest across the membership. Not all of our members will engage in a given program, but all of them benefit from the outcome of the collaboration and the lessons learned. The bottom-line message is that NetHope’s supporters can feel comfortable that their cash or in-kind contribution will have a much bigger impact than any stand-alone donation ever could.

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