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Dear Friend of GO,
During the last 7 years you helped Groundwork Opportunities raise nearly $5 million from over 7,500 donors in support of innumerable leaders and organizational partners. From our humble beginnings in support of Peter Luswata's sustainable farm in Uganda and Eric Annan's school in Ghana, to our more recent partnership with KGSA and support of Clearwater, we have been inspired by the selfless dedication of our staff, volunteers, supporters, partners and leaders that have driven sustainable development and progress in their communities.
GO started by focusing on raising grants of $10,000 or less on behalf of leaders in communities where we had a personal connection. It was a simple idea; to empower leaders to create sustainable change within their communities and to allow the local leaders to decide how best to make an impact. GO hoped to avoid the costly administration and infrastructure that plagued many larger organizations by focusing on small scale grants with the goal of providing 100% of funds raised to cause.
As GO grew over the years we departed from our original operating model and our partnerships became more complex, while the size and scope of our grants expanded considerably. While failures were expected as part of the process and considered a valuable part of learning as we selected new leaders, our expanding size required more due diligence. Earlier this year, GO's leadership evaluated the organization in the context of these changes and determined that to effectively manage our programs there was a need for significant investment in field presence, leader selection processes, more rigorous monitoring and evaluation, and impact reporting--all of which would require time, resources and capital to do well. Additionally, when GO began inspiring Champions to provide seed capital and visibility for local leaders in 2009, the field of crowd funding was new, and with your help, we were pioneering a movement that today has become a conventional method of raising funds for good causes. As such, our ability to continually inspire GO Champions requires an ever-increasing amount of investment to be fruitful.
While GO could try to raise funds to make these needed investments, we feel that there are existing organizations with this infrastructure in place and that your money--the public's money--would be better used in support of these organizations rather than in building out duplicate infrastructure. As a result, after much consideration, we have made the very difficult decision of dissolving GO and continuing the mission by sharing our remaining assets and encouraging our community to support the Foundation for Sustainable Development, a sister organization with strong core competencies and inspiring leadership. As you may know, FSD's Executive Director is Lisa Kuhn, who also serves on GO's Board of Directors, so we know that our collective mission will be in good hands.
We have a great deal of respect, admiration and appreciation for the people that have dedicated time, energy and financial resources to support leaders around the world, and in doing so we believe that you became leaders and champions within our community here at home. GO grants were funded by people from all walks of life who dedicated their talent and creativity to support our partners' projects. Our bold 100% promise empowered hundreds of Champions to help local leaders launch many projects that continue today; schools that educate thousands of children, farms that create jobs and provide clean water to so many individuals. Additionally, many of our GO Champions transformed into engaged philanthropists, active mentors of tomorrow's social entrepreneurs, and even launched their own organizations providing hope for a better and more just world.
GO has accomplished great things over the last 7 years, but has evolved to face many of the same challenges that we originally set out to avoid. The lessons learned are plenty, and we will be publicly sharing those for the non-profit world and greater community to benefit from.
The contributions of so many people made Groundwork Opportunities possible, including our staff that has worked tirelessly over the years and continues to do so now through this process. GO will distribute all funds collected for cause to the leaders that were intended to be supported, and we will do everything we can to provide a smooth transition for any leaders with whom we currently partner. We can't thank you enough for being a part of this family and seeking to do good in the world. We believe deeply in the need for people like yourselves to stay active in that pursuit and hope you will continue GO's mission by supporting FSD. You can learn more by clicking below to learn more about FSD.
Yours in Progress,