Startup Year Snapshot 2020 ANNUAL REPORT
1 Photo (left): Barefoot Law Photo (right): Shule Direct
2020 by the Numbers $2.7M
raised towards $10M by 2023
80+ applications for co-CEO position
referrals for our first selection process
30 18 African social hours spent innovators interviewed on how the philanthropic process can be improved
Last April, a dedicated group of like-minded philanthropists, foundations, and African social innovators, dissatisfied with existing inequities and power imbalances in philanthropy, came together with a common goal to shake up the status quo. The goal was to drive unrestricted funding to African visionaries and accelerate their potential for transformational impact across the continent. The events of 2020 heightened the urgency for the need to reimagine philanthropy and center it around those closest to the pulse of communities. The resilience and innovation displayed by African visionaries in response to the pandemic underscored the need to disrupt traditional philanthropic systems that disproportionately deny African founders equal access to resources needed for growth. Conversations quickly transitioned to action, marking the genesis of what is today the African Visionary Fund. Against the backdrop of the myriad of challenges that the pandemic presented, we made major strides forward thanks to our network of trusted partners across Africa, the generosity and flexibility of our funding partners, and our founding team’s willingness to adopt unconventional approaches in light of lockdown restrictions around the globe. We invite you to join us on a journey of inquiry about how we can work together to create a philanthropic field that is more collaborative and just. Read on to learn about the steps we took in our initial year to build a more just organization from the ground up. We are ever so grateful for your unwavering support and generosity that makes everything we do possible. Together, we are well on our way towards breaking barriers with African visionaries!
With gratitude from the Advisory Board,
on Zoom with our Founding Working Group
Amy M. Brakeman
AFRICA PORTFOLIO MANAGER PARTNERS FOR EQUITY
COUNTRY REPRESENTATIVE, IREX
Thank You to our Founding Working Group In 2020, we asked for a six-month commitment from a group of African visionaries and philanthropic leaders to be our Founding Working Group and the magic that ensued was nothing short of transformative. We spent over 18 hours on Zoom from May to November with a group of passionate, visionary, and dedicated individuals - all with the common goal of creating a fund that drives more funding and shifts power to African visioaries. This majority African, majority doer group was absolutely foundational to the design of our model, organization, and leadership. We could not be more grateful for their commitment, insights, and contributions.
FOUNDER & EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR
AFRICA PORTFOLIO MANAGER PARTNERS FOR EQUITY BRISBANE, AUSTRALIA
FUNDI BOTS KAMPALA, UGANDA
WAVE LAGOS, NIGERIA
Amy M. Brakeman
CO-FOUNDER & MANAGING DIRECTOR AKIRACHIX
DIRECTOR OF PARTNERSHIPS
NEW YORK, UNITED STATES
CO-CEO LWALA COMMUNITY ALLIANCE NAIROBI, KENYA
SEGAL FAMILY FOUNDATION
UMSIZI FUND MASSACHUSETTS, UNITED STATES
2020 at a Glance APRIL - MAY
MAY - NOVEMBER
The Founding Working Group held meetings focused on organizational design, strategic planning and the refinement of our theory of change. Our Founding Working Group played the critical role of developing our core values, grantmaking criteria, impact measurement framework, our co-leadership model and much more!
Inspired by our values of equity, trust and shared leadership, the AVFund team interviewed 30+ African social innovators to inform our strategy.
Our anchor partners came together to launch the African Visionary Fund as an independent entity with the goal of driving more funding to African visionaries.
APRIL Photo: SaCoDé
Skoll Foundation joined as an anchor partner.
Welcomed Evelyn Omala, Misan Rewane, and Amy Brakeman to the Fund’s Advisory Board.
Launch of our explainer video & website. The Fund goes live!
Thankyou joined the AVFund funder community, bringing total funds raised for African visionaries to over $2M.
SEPTEMBER Photo: Rays of Hope
Launched recruitment process for co-CEO in partnership with edge performance.
The selection process for our first round of grant commitments began. We received 70+ referrals, shortlisted 10 organizations and invited 6 finalists to participate on virtual site visits ahead of the January 2021 grant decision by our Advisory Board.
Welcomed Melizsa Mugyenyi to our Advisory Board.
Committing $2.5 million in unrestricted, multi-year funding to 15 African visionaries towards our $10 million by 2023 goal.
Our Model We believe that proximity matters. Local founders are better positioned to drive transformational change because they are more connected to their communities and understand their needs firsthand. This is why we remain steadfast in our commitment to provide a holistic grantmaking approach that features multi-year, unrestricted funding alongside capacity support programs co-designed with our visionaries.
Collaborating with funders and social innovators to build an ecosystem that supports African visionaries to thrive.
Broadening our network and the networks of our funders to reach more African visionaries.
ON-THE-GROUND SUPPORT Co-designed and tailored support to our partners from our team on the continent. Photo: SaCoDé
Financial Outlook F U N D
Given 2020 was our start-up year, we invested in building the foundation of funding and operations for the African Visionary Fund to be positioned for growth. We were able to get off the ground with minimal start-up costs due to the virtual nature of 2020 and our keen focus on raising funds to drive directly to African visionaries. Thanks to our funding partners, we are on track towards our goal to raise $10 million by 2023. Looking ahead, the AVFund plans to commit $2.5 million in multiyear, unrestricted funding to 15 African visionaries by the end of 2021.
Upending traditional funding models and tackling inequities within global philanthropy requires purposeful partnerships. We are deeply grateful to our funding partners for believing in our mission and for their continued support in unlocking and channelling resources to African visionaries.
of funding raised is multiyear
Thank You to our Funding Partners
in start-up costs
Photo: Rays of Hope
Looking Ahead to 2021 Innovative, tenacious, and optimistic African leaders are meeting the hopes and aspirations of their communities every day. We are excited to meet that with the recognition and investment that they deserve. In 2021, we will commit $2.5 million in unrestricted, multiyear grants to 15 African visionaries, grow our team on the continent including onboarding our African co-CEO, and engage in philanthropic thought leadership to challenge the status quo and support funders to shift funding flows to African visionaries.
$7M FUNDS TO RAISE
FUNDRAISING & DEVELOPMENT
$10M BUDGET ALLOCATION
$10M FUNDRAISING GOAL
GENERAL & ADMINISTRATIVE
$1.9M COMMITTED BY FYE 2020
$815K RECEIVED BY FYE 2020
Visit our website to learn more about how you too can be part of this bold mission to unleash breakthrough impact across the continent by accelerating the impact of African visionaries!
DONATE TO THE FUND