In 2007, Shirley was working at the London Borough of Barking and Dagenham Faith Forum, a reputable community organization in the UK. At Barking and Dagenham Faith Forum, she witnessed first-hand how easily non-profit organizations received support from the central government and local authorities for impactful community-based projects. Against this background, she realized how non-profit organizations in Ghana could also maximize their impact if there was carefully curated support for community development organizations. She was inspired and quickly came to spend a year in Ghana; meeting leaders of Non-governmental organizations she could reach out to gain insights. These series of meetings exposed her to the big gap: philanthropy and all forms of voluntary organizations were largely unstructured and informal, making access to sustainable funding a major challenge, especially for youth and women-led organizations.
''Every day, I see a number of young chaps starting interesting organizations but struggling to survive. For many, they close the organizations in debt and soiled reputations that hurt them for the rest of their lives. I have seen young people killing themselves because of such incidents. At the macro level, these are not just individuals or organizations being lost but great potentials that could have built Africa we have all been desiring over the years'' - Shirley Abedi-Boafo
In 2014, She partially moved to Ghana with a stronger will to build a formidable non-profit sector that represents the aspiration of the very weak and vulnerable in society in light of all the manifold challenges ranging from broad-based policy and legal frameworks to inadequate professional knowledge on the side of founders.
The National Consortium for Voluntary Organisations (NCVO) GHANA was officially born with a singular intent to be an umbrella organization for NGOs in Ghana. For the past years, NCVO GHANA worked with over 50 non-profit organizations and embarked on numerous events including virtual training to support capacity-building efforts. Along the journey, NCVO GHANA learned that funding from the founder, given as donations to NGOs, was not effective because it was not sustainable.
The true aww moment happened during the Covid-era when a friend of Shirley approached her with a venture capital conversation. She found it very interesting not because of its profitability potential but the mechanisms VC firms adopt.
They adhere to thorough scouting and due diligence processes to finally find a founder they can mentor and guide to scale in a win-win situation.
As a strong believer in the non-profit sector, she decided to pivot NCVO Ghana into a venture capital-like firm but for non-profits with a strong mission to train, mentor and fund only daring non-profit Organizations solving Africa’s biggest problems, starting from Ghana.
To connect not-for-profit organizations to knowledge, resources, opportunities and network.
To build the most trusted hub for social innovation and learning.
HEARTFELT PHILANTHROPY NETWORK
We work with our international partner Heartfelt Philanthropy Network (UK) to connect philanthropists to non-profit organisations in Ghana.
SUPPORT FOR THE FAMILY FOUNDATION
Support For The Family Foundation aims to support charities in the diaspora who works in West Africa.