Org of the Month is an opportunity to highlight some of the amazing things that organizations like yours are doing globally (I want to sign-up).
Social & Economic Development Association (SEDA)
What is your non-profit about? And what areas do you serve?SEDA-Laos is working to bring social and economic development to the people of rural Laos. We are a non-profit, non-government, Laos-based organization, dedicated to providing a long-term and sustainable solution to poverty in Laos.Based in the capital city of Vientiane but serving outlying rural communities, SEDA is currently operating several projects aimed at upgrading schools and medical training facilities, increasing HIV/AIDS education and prevention outreach, developing eco-friendly agriculture and plantation skills, as well as an understanding of sustainable business so the people of Laos can earn a stable income for their families.What major fundraising programs do you have?SEDA is still small, so at this stage we have no major fundraising programs. We have recently started collaborating with Global Giving and intend to expand our online fundraising presence. We are currently looking for support and partnership from any organizations, individuals or companies who would be interested in helping SEDA.What sector do you raise money for and how is that different from raising money in another sector?SEDA is raising money for agriculture development, health (HIV/AIDS) and education in Laos PDR. However, in these sectors there is lot of competition for available funds which means never ending grant applications and fund sourcing. Also, SEDA has to look all over the world for funding, rather than just in its own community.What geographic area does your charity serve and where is it located?Over the next seven years, SEDA will focus on remote rural communities in Vientiane Province and southern Laos. For phase two, the projects will extend to central and northern Laos. For those who don’t know, Laos is a small South-East Asian country nestled between Vietnam, Cambodia, Thailand, Burma and China.
Any tips on how to approach donors in your area?In Laos, finding local donors has been the single biggest obstacle for SEDA. Local businesses do not understand how they can really help, or why, and INGOs operating in Laos have their own projects and are not willing to donate to small local projects. Met with this kind of response, the director of SEDA recently spent eight months in America raising awareness about the organization. For many of those months, it was difficult to get the word out and be recognized. But over time, people began to recognize SEDA as an organization. It took a lot of contacts, networking and persistence, but now the profile of SEDA has been raised considerably and the future looks brighter.Any pointers on organizations in your area that help non-profit professionals?Get in touch with big international bodies that can help in a professional manner, such as sectors of the UN, ASEAN and others, and stay in touch with them through updates about your charity or NGO. These organizations often provide conferences, training workshops and impart valuable knowledge that you can pass onto your team.For more information about SEDA, please visit our website: http://seda-laos.org