Interview of Gaëlle Mogli, ConnectAID's Founder
«ConnectAID is a reflection of my commitment to the humanitarian world»
After completing my studies in the United States, I worked as a journalist in Latin America. Through my research and work on the rights of Indigenous people, I was introduced to sustainable development. I have decided to dedicate my career to the humanitarian sector ever since.
I started working for UNICEF in 2004, carrying out for many years various field missions across all continents (for example in Nepal, Malawi, Vanuatu, Kazakhastan, Tajikistan, Romania and many more countries). I then worked for about 4 years as a Spokesperson for several United Nations agencies in Geneva. And then I founded ConnectAID – a project which is in line with my commitment to the humanitarian world.
ConnectAID is a social impact network that aims to assist grassroots organizations in their actions around the world. We bring their carefully vetted high-impact yet underfunded projects to light and we raise together funds from those who want to contribute to sustainable development and become actors change. (For more information: www.connectaid.com)
«Members can choose the projects that suit them most and nonprofits have access to the tools they need to communicate and finance their actions»
With the COVID-19 crisis, funding for charities has in turn become increasingly scarce. There are millions of Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) in the world today. Many nonprofits often face enormous competition and great skepticism from donors who are not sure where to donate, where their money goes or whether humanitarian actions are as effective as promised. To ensure their efficiency during and after the coronavirus crisis, nonprofits must simultaneously be experts in communication and fundraising. These skillsets require a great deal of time and money, and ultimately reduce the availability of funds which are necessary to support their on-going projects in the field.
Understanding these complexities, we decided to create a network of international solidarity which allows individuals, associations, NGOs and corporates to become agents of change. Members who join the platform will find a catalogue of sustainable on-going projects, while nonprofits gain access to the tools they need to successfully communicate and finance their actions, saving them both time and money.
«The 17 SDGs are at the heart of ConnectAID»
The on-going projects on our platform were chosen because they reflect the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) set by the international community to end poverty, support environmental protection efforts and establish a global partnership for sustainable development by 2030, amongst others. These goals are used by all UN organizations and NGOs around the world, and form the foundation of the work we do at ConnectAID.
The sustainable development projects on our platform cover many objectives, such as fighting poverty, supporting education, and providing health care during and after the pandemic. Our platform is the embodiment of the 17th SDG, which aims to establish a global partnership for development by encouraging solidarity between organizations, but also between individuals and the private sector. Through ConnectAID, members can select projects according to the countries and SDGs which are closest to their hearts, ensuring their donations and values are aligned.
«ConnectAID is a viral platform establishing long-term relationships between donors and nonprofits»
ConnectAID is a pioneer humanitarian social network offering direct fundraising opportunities for nonprofits who in turn showcase their impact on the ground. Most other platforms currently on the market use an ‘all-or-nothing’ approach; where project holders set a fundraising objective, which if not reached, results in them not collecting any of fund at all. ConnectAID does not use this system. Our approach is to establish long-term relationships between Members and nonprofits. Through our system, donations go directly to our nonprofit partners. And we try to encourage monthly donations to ensure the support of humanitarian projects in the long-term.
Through ConnectAID, our members have access to project information directly from NGOs, allowing them to witness the real impact of their generosity. Moreover, all donations go to the nonprofits, directly. On our platform, solidarity is not measured solely in the form of donations, but also through the involvement of donors and the sharing of information on a social network both viral and transparent.
«Our goal is to support NGOs so they can mitigate the impact of humanitarian emergencies like COVID-19, achieve the Sustainable Development Goals and devote more time and attention to their projects in the field»
ConnectAID offers donors a selection of humanitarian projects, all of which are carefully selected for their sustainability and strong impact in the field. At the moment, we are giving top priority to nonprofits mitigating the impact of the coronavirus crisis and its devastating consequences on the poorest communities. The platform is now in its test phase and we already have several partners including International Social Service (ISS) and FXB international, but also Meaningful business, la Cité de solidarité internationale and others.
Our nonprofits partner are not in competition with one another on our platform. On the contrary, we understand that donors are versatile and do not donate to one single organization. We therefore offer donors the possibility to choose on-going projects which correspond with their values and priorities. And transparency is at the heart of all project selection and donation processes, with no commission taken on any donation.
We also offer a range of communication services for nonprofits at affordable costs. The aim is to provide NGOs with specialized support so they can focus more on their work in the field. In addition, we have started to organize an Ambassador Program and tailored ‘Solidarity Trips’ which will allow donors to eventually travel to project sites. And therefore establish an even stronger relationship between donors, beneficiaries and nonprofits on the ground.