Tuesday, December 11, 2018

The Secret of Building a Strong Alumni Network for Non-Profit Organizations.

Today I want to take a pause and reflect on how alumni networks can be a great source of knowledge transfer, fundraising, mentor-ship, volunteers, future staff, organization culture and organization's story to the levels that can promote a platform for continuous lifelong learning and mutual benefit for all, only if it’s well structured. One of the key pillars of a successful organization is in its vibrant alumni network and how they are deliberately engaged in a meaningful activity that contributes towards achieving the vision, as opposed to only attending an end of year parties and ad hoc engagements.

The Network...It begins with interest and responsibility
It continues with relationships that are worthwhile
It ends with benefit for all


Photo by Robert Anasch on Unsplash
Over the last 16 years I worked with great youth organizations in Kenya, Uganda, Zanzibar and Tanzania. One of the challenges I have identified with non-profit organizations, is having a well-structured alumni network that runs parallel in supporting the organization mission and vision. In most cases the alumni portfolio is just an activity or several activities on the yearly calendar, rather than being part of a core organization program and organogram by having a department that is fully facilitated by the necessary resources to run effectively and efficiently in data management, planning, fundraising etc.

Seven benefits of having an alumni department rather than an ad hoc system;

  1. Impact assessment through Monitoring and Evaluation: track and trace of alumni activities, timely data management and collation.
  2. Relationship building: Building professional connection with current and ex-students through effective communication and professional relationships.
  3. Research and Development: Matching current trends with what is being offered by the institution.
  4. Meaningful alumni engagement: Keeping in touch with the alumni career progress that would be beneficial to the organization, current students and alumni. 
  5. Target programming: Over the time the alumni network gets to grow and it can be overwhelming to manage everyone in the network if there are no clear systems in place. There is also a high risk of information overload on one subject at the expense of other important areas. The alumni network is a great source of future employees of the organization only if a department is established to engage, monitor and evaluate the most talented and deserving candidate rather than relying on other sources which might be vulnerable to abuse. 
  6.  Well defined leadership: Current students know who to engage (department) when they transit into the alumni and also understand their role as alumni’s.
  7. Expert Career Advise; No random calls to address the current students, a threshold and standard should be met before an alumni is engaged in subject matter. 
I strongly recommend having an alumni department managed by Alumni relations officer, Alumni liaison person, Alumni coordinator or Alumni Manager or whichever title is appropriate. In conclusion, everyone should be encouraged to give back to the organization that nurtured them to next prospects no matter how small. The organization should also create platforms for ‘open door’ policy rather than lock out systems once the students graduate.

 I love this quote by Warren Buffett. “Someone is sitting in the shade today because someone planted a tree a long time ago.” So let’s not destroy the great organizations we have fought tirelessly to build, rather let us usher in the next generation that will live the same values we aspired and contribute towards even greater strides in ever changing World either in technology, sports, community developments etc.

Wednesday, December 5, 2018

Soccer Shoe Campaign, The Next Star!

 Today I handed over 3 pair of soccer shoes to three great stars in Mathare North. I want to thank my brother Kamuzi Banda and my sisters Kate Syprine Nyarsoja, Esther Mazira, Evaline Akida and Roseline Nanah for making it possible through their contribution in kick-starting the campaign. My target is to at last reach 20 young stars by 31st Dec 2018. Now I'm left with 17 more to go...

I handed over the soccer shoes with my son Adrian. I invite you to join me in the annual soccer shoes campaign that seeks to connect young stars in Mathare slums with quality soccer shoes to avoid injuries but also to motivate them in their soccer journeys.


The campaign as so far reached more than 300 soccer stars since I started the campaign in the year 2000. This December we want to reach 20 more soccer players. Here we go. A quality second hand shoe cost approximately $18 (Kes 1,800). Get in touch with me through wilson.masaka@gmail.com on how you can make your contributions if you are around in Kenya or abroad.
















 Related link;

Testimony by JohnMark Gachucha http://wilsenx.blogspot.com/2015/03/the-reminiscence-of-football-shoes.html

Monday, December 3, 2018

Giving Back Through Soccer Shoe Campaign

Christmas is a season of giving and sharing with friends, family and with those less fortunate in the society. Each year I give back to the community by organizing / coordinating the annual Mathare North Festive Season Soccer Tournament (MNFSST) which I founded in 2012.





As things evolve at high speed one would think the quality of life would also improve at the same pace. It's unfortunate majority of young stars from humble backgrounds still play soccer barefoot on dangerous field that poses a big threat to their development.

Founding Philosophy;

"People who give don't necessarily mean they have an excess of the resource, but they are naturally born with the heart of giving and sharing." - Wilson Masaka, founder Wilson Initiative (Wi) 

I invite you to join me in the annual soccer shoes campaign that seeks to connect young stars in Mathare slums with quality soccer shoes to avoid injuries but also to motivate them in their soccer journeys. The campaign as so far reached more than 300 soccer stars since I started the campaign in the year 2000.

This December we want to reach 20 more soccer players. Here we go. A quality second hand shoe cost approximately $18 (Kes 1,800). Get in touch with me through wilson.masaka@gmail.com on how you can make your contributions if you are around in Kenya or abroad.

Other related links,