Category Archives: Educating Children in South Africa
Andrew Rolfe and the Revolutionary Ubuntu Model

It shouldn’t take a genius to realize that running a non-profit can be a rewarding and equally difficult experience. Non-profits run the same gamut of problems that conventional companies encounter but they are more beholden to layers upon layers of red tape. So why do people like Andrew Rolfe and Jacob Lief run a company like the Ubuntu Education Fund? The answer is simple: they are changing lives and they are doing it in a way that nobody else is attempting.


Andrew Rolfe is a chair member on the board for the Ubuntu Education fund and his work, alongside Jacob Lief, has been fundamentally changing how the non-profit world approaches their fundraising endeavors. As you know, non-profits are completely beholden to the generosity of their donors. Despite this generosity there can still be issues with donors and donations. Jacob Lief came upon this issue while attending the World Economic Forum’s gathering back in Davos. Lief realized that despite all of the money pouring in, most of it wasn’t getting to where it could actually make a difference. This led Andrew Rolfe and Jacob Lief to brainstorm a solution. They came up with the Ubuntu Model.


What the Ubuntu Model is, to put it simply, includes focusing on high end donors and established family foundations. Lief came to the realization, and sold that realization to Andrew Rolfe and the rest of the board, that numerous donations weren’t exactly the best way to go about fund raising for the non-profit. The problem with these lower tier donations is that they come with red tape and strings attached by the donor. Obviously the donor wants to make sure that their money is being spent wisely but these strings can greatly restrict the movement of a non-profit.


There are various demands that donors can make when they give money. They can request to be added to the board or they can require personal involvement in how the money gets spent. With the Ubuntu Model these choices go back directly to the foundation, allowing the group to make the proper choices with as few cooks in the kitchen as possible.