New year, New Beginning and New challenges

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By: Martha Fikre Adenew, Young Champion of Maternal Health

This blog post was contributed by Martha Fikre Adenew, one of the fifteen Young Champions of Maternal Health chosen by Ashoka and the Maternal Health Task Force at EngenderHealth. She will be blogging about her experience every month, and you can learn more about her, the other Young Champions, and the program here.

It is almost two months since we started the New Year and for me it is like celebrating two New Years. I celebrated the first one in September in Ethiopia. Since we have a different calendar, our New Year is celebrated in a different month.

January has a special event in the national Birthing Project USA. It is a coast-to-coast baby shower. This baby shower is different from the other Birthing Project baby showers; because it is organized in different Birthing Projects nationally on the same day (January 15).

So after getting back from holiday we were engaged in organizing this event. The objective of having this event in a special way is to recognize the projects and build more partnerships with different organizations. This coast-to-coast baby shower is one of the many special events in Birthing Project. What I have learned from this is by dedicating one from a month, we can use it to sensitize the community about our work. Even sometimes we can use the event for fundraising activities.

While dealing with other projects, we have been discussing with our mentor a fund development plan. Financial sustainability is one of the challenging and frustrating issues in non-profit organizations. We always need to think critically and plan for sustainability starting from the base. Experiencing financial changes in the placement organization, it gave me a chance to start thinking about financial sustainability for my own project idea. What are the ways that enable non-profit organizations not being totally dependent on donors and other fundings? This is one of the questions that should be answered before putting a project in to ground. While thinking through the issue I saw a blog on Ashoka’s Changemakers Facebook page that talked about making non-profits profitable. I like the idea because the profits/revenue from the organization is utilized to bring about more social change and help to sustain the organization itself. This can be one of many ways.