WHO WE ARE
Masindi Community Foundation, MCF, is a nonprofit organization whose aim is to nurture and strengthen community philanthropy so as to build social capital for promoting and facilitating asset based development as an approach that enables local citizens establish and manage sustainable social enterprises capable of improving their livelihoods and helping them achieve poverty relief.

A social enterprise is basically a self-help group of people who work together to improve their livelihoods. Members individually operate similar core businesses eg. poultry enterprise but meet regularly to share and learn from each other’s best practices, undertake collective marketing, meet regularly to save part of their earnings and receive low interest loans from the savings pool so as to invest into their businesses, venture into other micro-enterprises or meet other needs. And to benefit from diversity or to venture into other micro-enterprises like apiary, rice production, cassava production etc, members meet and learn other production skills/knowledge from members of other social enterprises eg. learning about effective maize pre and post-harvest management from members operating maize enterprise. MCF organizes such learning and sharing meetings between two different social enterprises upon requests by members.

Mission
To mobilize and endow resources for the promotion and facilitation of asset based development so as to enable local citizens establish and manage sustainable social enterprises capable of improving their livelihoods and helping them achieve poverty relief.

Objectives

  • Promote asset based development model that enables communities establish and manage sustainable social enterprises capable of improving their livelihoods and helping them achieve poverty relief.
  • Support through grantmaking initiatives of formally established community based organizations, CBOs directed towards tackling issues which negatively impact on the social enterprises.
  • Establish, promote and maintain sound community-rooted growth funds, to facilitate and promote asset based development as a model that enables communities establish and manage sustainable social enterprises capable of improving their livelihoods and helping them achieve poverty relief.
  • Facilitate establishment of savings and loan schemes for social enterprises to enable members save and access very low interest loans to invest in their enterprises and hence increase income levels. This eliminates borrowing from banks and micro-finance institutions which milk the poor people making them even more poorer by charging high interest rates on loans.
  • Facilitate linkages between social enterprises and prospective markets like agricultural companies, schools and other agencies.
  • Provide appropriate continuous extension and business development services to strengthen social enterprises.
  • Engage other development actors like the government to create favorable environment for social enterprises.

MCF's Business Model
MCF employs an asset based community driven development approach that helps community groups develop sustainable social enterprises by taking advantage of the local resources that already exist in their communities i.e. natural and physical assets like land, buildings; human assets i.e. skills/talents/knowledge and social assets i.e. community groups working for one another; cultural assets i.e. crafts making skills; institutional assets i.e. governmental departments and local government agencies and financial assets i.e. money, through applying four(4) innovative tools i.e. Community Asset Mapping and Development for Sustainable Development, CAMDSD workshops, Financial management and business skills training, Establishing group/social enterprise savings schemes and finally regular Participatory Monitoring and Evaluation, PME workshops. CAMDSD workshop helps the rural poor in a given community form themselves into suitable social enterprise groups by grouping themselves according to similar skills and capacities eg. craftsmanship skills, carpentry skills etc. Beneficiaries then generate ideas/projects /enterprises in line with their skills and capacities, assets in the community and the available opportunities which they are able to exploit to improve their livelihoods eg. individuals in a village with skills in maize production coming together to form a maize enterprise to take advantage of a maize mill (physical asset) to produce and supply flour to a nearby school (opportunity). Financial management and business skills trainings for social enterprises/groups lead to higher income/returns for social enterprises. Establishing groups/social enterprise saving schemes is important in sustaining the social enterprises for increased income levels and hence effective poverty relief and finally regular PME workshop helps to continuously develop skills of the beneficiaries in operating, improving and strengthening their social enterprises so as to increase income levels. Regular PME workshop also aids in identifying issues which negatively impact on the social enterprises of the groups; enabling MCF solely or through development partners to take appropriate actions.

Where We Work
MCF serves Masindi, Kiryandongo and Buliisa districts in Mid-Western Uganda.

MCF's Measure of Impact
MCF's measure of impact is the total monthly income obtained by the community members. Currently over 3,000 people earn monthly income of atleast $100,000 from MCF's interventions; of which atleast 1,000 are female beneficiaries.