Last month the board of directors got together and reviewed 2013 goals, operations, and financial policies. Our monthly recurring contributions have remained quite consistent and continue to be several hundred dollars per month below our actual operating costs. However, our overall base of support has grown as people share the Ameena Project story and so our cash reserves continued to creep up over the course of the year. At the end of 2013 we are no longer worried about our ability to continue operations in Kiang’ombe and look forward to implementing new and expanded initiatives in 2014.
Since the beginning, Ameena Project has maintained a primary goal of 100% financial efficiency, meaning, we want every single penny donors contribute to be used meeting the needs of the children we serve. This is a core principle of our work and we hope to be able to continue meeting this goal long term – to us it just makes sense. In a world where helping seems to have become it’s own industry , we hope to stand out as one place where people know for sure that their money makes a difference where it matters … all of it. Being 100% volunteer run and doing everything possible to minimize domestic expenses has helped us achieve this goal but there are still costs to doing business. There are bank fees, PayPal fees, international transfer fees, costs associated with web hosting, fundraising, business software, etc… To date, all of these costs have been covered privately by the board to ensure that all donor contributions are put to work in Kiang’ombe. Another large expense has been travel which has all been paid for personally by Ian and Anne May and volunteers traveling with them. We’ve been asked several times why we do this and the answer is simple … because we can. Now this doesn’t mean it is not a hardship, it costs a lot to travel and work in Kenya, but up until this point it has just been the right approach for us. There’s a great saying (not sure who said it), “A principle isn’t a principle until it costs you money” – this really resonates with us.
Looking ahead, in 2014 we are on solid ground for ongoing operations in Kiang’ombe and have decided to make some minor changes in our financial policies to help make our domestic operations more sustainable long term. Up to this point we have not solicited or allowed private or corporate donations to cover anything but Kiang’ombe program operations. In 2014 we will begin to allow donors the ability to designate contributions to cover domestic operations and /or travel for those interested in supporting our work in that way. ALL regular contributions will continue to be used 100% for program operation in Kiang’ombe enriching the lives of some of the most vulnerable children in Kenya.