PermEzone turned to Cividesk for help with a contact management and fundraising system needed to support a pilot program. We’re testing the idea of working with permaculture training centers to train and support family farmers in less-industrialized regions of the world. Farmers will be trained in the design of sustainable food systems and in the use of mobile phone technology to share knowledge and experience. Over the course of the pilot, we will continue to develop the program based on practical experience in a variety of settings, and work with an independent team of monitors who will evaluate and document the program’s impact, and validate the concept.
Cividesk offered their help as part of their Giving Back program. This program is targeted at ‘volunteer-run non-profit organizations providing free and secular services to the underprivileged’, and provides these organizations with pro-bono services. Cividesk installed and configured a CiviCRM instance to be used by permEzone and offers continued hosting and support at no cost for PermEzone.
The proposed three-year pilot program has been established under the fiscal sponsorship of the Oakland-based non-profit Empowerment Works, and is being designed and coordinated in collaboration with the Permaculture Research Institute, Kenya. All going well, PRI-Kenya will organize at least four separate training courses in different parts of East Africa, and provide continuing support over a two-year period to the farmers in training, and to the communities with whom they will share their growing knowledge and experience.
The first test of CiviCRM is the peer-to-peer fundraising campaign to fund Phase One of the pilot, working with the Drylands Natural Resources Center in Makueni County, Kenya. CiviCRM will help us to keep our supporters informed about the progress of the pilot and the impact on the lives of these farmers and their communities, and will provide the basis for continuing fundraising for the subsequent phases of the pilot.
Hugh Kelly, Founder and Project Director, says: “I knew I wanted to work with CiviCRM based on my past experience with CRM systems, but it represented too much complexity to take it on myself in addition to all the other tasks involved in a start-up with minimal resources to draw on. It was a great relief when Cividesk offered to take care of setting up a hosted system for us under their Giving Back program, and an even greater relief when they delivered on everything they said they were going to do, and provided the training we needed to start fundraising”.