People to People International (PTPI) Europe like many other successful non-profits, has to continually evaluate all roadblocks non-profits face when looking to increase the number of successful projects that we deliver. During a meeting with the Hartsook Foundation, we were given a book by Bob Hartsook entitled – Nobody Wants to Give Money Away!
A key point of the book is to remind non-profits that whilst people will always guard their money, they are happy to invest in making positive changes in the lives of others.
So although many non-profits feel doomed to live hand-to-mouth, we do have to learn that to become a thriving entity means analyzing the issues we encounter, when trying to get that important yes from individual donors, companies, or foundations.
One question PTPI is often asked is; does your organization do good, important, vital work? We have evidence that what we deliver is indeed important to the many people and communities that we support, that we make an important contribution to their lives and their community, and that in the long-term economic development was supported. And yet, unlike a for-profit business, we cannot provide our investors with a financial return on their investment.
What type of projects do we spend our money on?
At PTPI, we are very aware that we must be accountable for how donations and funding is spent. We make every effort at limiting administration costs and balance the need to attract the right staff and volunteers, examine the materials we purchase against the level of expected impact at community level, and our need to look for new funding following our successes. Below, we provide a summary of a few projects that have been completed in the past 12 to 18 months.
• European conference: each year we bring together members of our European and International network. This four-day annual event, provides the chance to learn about local initiatives from our 65 chapters, is an opportunity to provide new skills training, host our awards ceremony, look forward to the year ahead and complete all legal and democratic procedures according to our Bylaws.
• Youth Program (YP): this takes the form of either a regional week long training project, focused on a subject that is significant to Europe, such as citizenship or innovation, and is often a subject requested and part funded by the EU. YP projects can also be developed and run in another region, such as the Americas. This provides a platform for European PTPI youth to collaborate and learn from other youth from other cultures. Or, we run YP projects with a local chapter, for example in Albania. This allows our central team to support a local chapter and other chapters near by, with a specific learning problem or leadership development need. Scholarships are offered to many young people that participate in our YP projects and activities.
• Humanitarian initiatives: Almost every country in the PTPI global network supports a range of charitable projects. These can relate to cleaning up the local environment, caring for the homeless or elderly, sponsoring promising young people in an orphanage to further their education through to college and university, improving working facilities for small charities and local NGO’s and hosting debating groups to give remote communities an opportunity to understand democracy and how to participate and benefit from it.
• Program and office administration: Without meticulous planning, monitoring, training, and coordination with other PTPI regions, and our head office in the US, the PTPI machine would be inefficient and waste resource. Equally, we have to meet required legal reporting needs at a regional and local level, and provide reports and information into the global monitoring, communications and reporting structure.
PTPI Europe does deliver services and support that go a long way to making positive changes in the lives of others. We understand that people do not want to give money away and we trust that given our track record over the past 50 years, we have proven our commitment to the people and communities of which we are an integral part.
Through PTPI, individuals around the globe are coming together to break down barriers and celebrate diversity. As a global network of individuals pursuing knowledge and understanding of other cultures, we cultivate connections that make an impact on local and international levels.
Your generosity touches all areas of our programming, and your gift to PTPI sets the foundation for a peaceful future.