Alumnea’s non-profit helps impoverished children in Africa
Published: Sunday, November 13, 2011
Updated: Monday, November 14, 2011 14:11
‘Grantmakers for Effective Organizations', an affinity group consisting of 2,000 individual members representing 350 grant-making organizations, defines an effective nonprofit organization as one that has "the ability to fulfill its mission through a blend of sound management, strong governance, and a persistent rededication to achieving results."
Establishing a non-profit organization requires a full understanding of the key characteristics that will be important to future donors. They include a vital mission, clear lines of accountability, adequate facilities, reliable and diverse revenue streams, and high-quality programs and services.
According to professor Jack Krauskopf, distinguished lecturer and the director of the Center for Non-profit Strategy and Management in Baruch's School of Public Affairs, starting and managing a non-profit organization can be extraordinarily difficult. Professor Krauskopf believes that "starting a new nonprofit organization can be the way people can put their ideas for social change or other ventures into practice. But starting an organization takes substantial time, effort, and financing." In almost every part of the world, non-profit organizations are subject to scrutiny, regulation and sometimes even outright hostility.
Though a great deal is accomplished by people working together to solve problems, meet community needs and essentially create valued institutions, rivalries and limited resources have blocked many a good plan.
Alumnae Aissata Camara represents one of the most admirable and successful leaders to have created a flourishing non-profit while still attending classes in school. ‘There is No Limit', the organization she and her sister founded is focus on the fight against global poverty, gender equality, violence and diseases. The organization emphasizes the need to work alongside women and children to help whole families and entire communities escape poverty and become sustainable. Camara and her sister have worked endlessly to try and improve basic education, increase access to clean water and sanitation and expand economic opportunity in West Africa Guinea.
Professor Krauskopf expressed the difficulties of starting a non-profit organization by saying "people with new ideas might first want to explore whether they can realize their dreams and concepts through an existing nonprofit organization that will be supportive, before deciding to start a new one". This was out of the question for Camara, for she knew that she ultimately wanted to help change the world. Her ambition to begin ‘There Is No Limit' initially derived from her own passion to help people that are not as fortunate as others. "We have experienced a lot [...] of hardships in our own lives and we wanted to make sure others are not faced with similar challenges. We wanted to create lasting change in their lives-sustainable change."
Camara always wanted to help people but unfortunately had limited time and funds. After years of thinking and seeing the condition of poor people around the world, she decided the time was right. Camara and her sister realized that everything they did always connected to helping people and they could no longer ignore their calling.
"We took up the challenge and are thankful each day for the work we are able to do." she said
Camara explained that running a nonprofit organization is relatively harder than sustaining and starting a traditional business. ‘There Is No Limit' although a non-profit, is ran like a traditional business.
They use the same business principal for-profit businesses use. Their beneficiaries are their customers and stakeholders. Their ultimate and empowering goal is to ensure programs that are useful to them; programs that can truly change their lives. "Running a non-profit is more difficult than running a traditional business because of the added pressure of knowing that someone's life and future depend on how well you do your job."
Attending Baruch College helped Camara confirm that she wanted to help those less fortunate. She expressed that she felt "lucky" to have access to a great education and to professors who truly care about her success. "I made lasting friendships and I learned to value everyone; Baruch is filled with people who want to change the world. In short, attending Baruch helped me realize how lucky I am because I could have easily been one of the people I am now helping."
Camara's dedication and never-ending persistent demeanor helped her in becoming the successful and admirable person she is today. "I am just like every Baruch student and every person. What sets me apart is that I took life's challenges and I turned them into positive work. Running this organization is a personal quest for me and I will not give up. I believe that everyone can make a difference and it does not have to be on a grand scale. People often say that the sky is the limit; their wrong: There Is No Limit!"