Derek Young has been a dear friend to Sarah Nininger, AIA's Executive Director, since high school. A few years ago, he reached out asking if AIA needed any help and if he could use his finance and technology skills to help us further our mission. Little did he know that we would talk him into not only overseeing all of our finances and but also into joining our Board of Directors. We are so grateful to have him on our team. Derek told us all about why he loves AIA. Read the full interview below!
How and when did you first hear about Action in Africa? Action in Africa first came on my radar in 2012 through Action in Africa's President, Sarah Nininger. We have been friends since high school and her positive, unabating advocacy for Action in Africa did not go unnoticed.
There are so many organizations doing incredible things across the globe, why do you pick Action in Africa to give to? I remember the first organization I supported years ago was Heifer International. In less than a year following my initial donation to Heifer International, I saw the dollars I donated be consumed by marketing pieces from the organization. It was disheartening to see my donation slowly transformed into thick marketing catalogs that ended up in my recycling bin. What I love about Action in Africa is their stewardship of donations. Marketing and fundraising are necessary budget-items for every non-profit, but Action in Africa is very conscientious of this spending and they use cost-effective techniques, such as digital marketing, to ensure the large-majority of each donation goes toward their programs.
What is your favorite part of Action in Africa? Of the numerous programs and services Action in Africa provides, my favorite are their educational programs. Think of the old adage: "Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day; teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime" - by providing and supporting education, Action in Africa is feeding Kampalans for a lifetime.
Would you recommend Action in Africa to potential new donors? I would absolutely recommend Action in Africa to anyone looking for a non-profit to support. When making a donation, you are faced with two questions: Is the cause I'm supporting an appropriate cause to support? Will this cause benefit from my donation? With Action in Africa, these questions receive a resounding 'yes.'
Anything else you would like to add? Just that I'm looking forward to seeing how the impact of this organization manifests down the road! I believe Action in Africa's impact affects the roots of life in Kampala and the benefits to the community are deep and lasting.
Lastly, please describe AIA in three words. Empowerment through education.
Special thanks to Derek for his unwavering commitment to Action in Africa.
This post is a part of Action in Africa's "Donor Spotlight" series which intends to educate people about our work in Uganda and invite them to join the story.
Join Derek and support our work in Uganda today!