Local fundraising example:
Improve the income of rural disabled

Main characteristics

Fundraising method
Online/media fundraising


Net fin result (€)


Time investment
It took the whole team comprised of staff and board members 9 weeks to fundraise Kshs 28,000

The director of DIESK proudly shows one of the beautiful bags that are made
The sewing programme attracts the attention of the media
Decent work and a decent income for disabled persons are at the heart of DIESK's programme
OrganisationDisabled Empowerment Society of Kenya-DIESK
Websitehttp://www.diesk.or.ke /
SuitabilitySlightly experienced
Funding needed forThe purchase of 15 electric sewing machines
Period of action9th March 2020 - 9th June 2020
In-kind donations raised
Types of donationsFinancial - We only focused on online fundraising due to the COVID-19 pandemic
Types of donorsMiddle class members of the community


'Imarisha Mapato ya Mlemavu Kijijini’ is a Swahili phrase that can loosely translate to 'Coming together to Improve the Livelihoods of People with Disabilities', living in the six slums within Eastlands part of Nairobi city. It is one of the programmes of DIESK, a Kenyan organisation of and for persons with disabilities. When DIESK took part in a Change the Game Academy classroom course on local fundraising, they decided to:
1. Strengthen their organisation.
2. Organise a fundraising campaign for a programme that would lead to a decent income for decent work for a number of persons with disabilities from the communities they serve.
A strong and professional board was put in place and important people were mobilised to support the fundraising activities.
The campaign never took place. COVID-19 makes public events impossible to this day.
DIESK did not despair. They started with an online campaign for phase 1 of their project and managed to raise Kshs 28.000. Not much, but people who are faced with the economic consequences of the pandemic do not have a lot to give. 
And DIESK remains hopeful that they will be able to do some proper fundraising as soon as it is possible again.

Tips and lessons learned

1. We are in times when physical meetings are limited, hence one should invest in online activities.
2. As you plan for a fundraising event, ensure that you have a second workable plan (Plan B). Dont just target the rich or wealthy in the community, the people who understand the situation at that time are the target audience/donors. We expected to raise a lot of funds from our politicians but since we know they hardly give off cameras, we postponed engaging them because they can give very litte support when engaged online. We are patient and will engage them at the right time.
3. Ensure you show your donors that you are highly accountable and can be trusted with even their one shilling, always update them and assure them that their contribution is safe, dare to ask and share your fundraising initiative with everyone you come across, you never know your breakthrough.

Review by Wilde Ganzen Foundation

This example has been sent in by a remarkable organisation: DIESK is an NGO of persons with disabilities, for persons with disabilities. They have a number of programmes, but the Livelihood Improvement programme is an important one. It helps persons with disabilities to find gainful employment, through trainings in entrepreneurship, financial literacy and life skills. DIESK also helps with internship opportunities and business start-up support. It was this programme they had in mind when making plans for their first local fundraising campaign. Then COVID-19 struck and everything had to be put on hold. DIESK did not give up, but thought about what was still possible. They came up with an innovative idea for an online fundraiser. In times of economic hardship you cannot expect great results, but they did manage to raise funds and they gained valuable experience for the future. And they did not dissolve the group of donors afterwards; very wise - if circumstances improve, it may be possible to turn them into regular supporters. Finally: note how DIESK has strengthened the organisation with the professionals they need in their work. That is an idea to copy.


Short description of the organisation the funds were raised for
Disabled Empowerment Society of Kenya (DIESK) is a Kenyan registered Disabled Persons grassroot organisation formed by and for persons with disabilities. The organisation was formed in 2012 as a Self-Help Group for disabled persons in Korogocho slum and later registered in 2015 under Society’s Act. Our work focuses mainly at the grassroot levels in Korogocho, Dandora, Kariobangi, Mathare, Baba dogo, Mukuru and Lucky Summer slums within Eastland part of Nairobi City County where it operates to reach and raise the voices of the often unheard in the community. We believe and strongly uphold the fact that disability rights are human rights, that there cannot be development in any country if persons with disabilities are still placed on the periphery of mainstream development processes.
Our vision is Society for Accessibility, Equality and Inclusivity.
Our mission is to advance and advocate for equal opportunities for persons with disabilities, through promoting proactive social participation and economic empowerment initiatives.

Short description of the project or programme the funds were raised for
The ‘Imarisha Mapato ya Mlemavu Kijijni’ is a holistic sustainable socio-economic empowerment project that aims to improve livelihoods of four hundred (400) households of persons with disabilities and care givers from Nairobi’s Eastlands. This includes those living in the streets as a result of being drug and substance addicts in the six informal settlements within Nairobi. The project aims to bring persons with disabilities and care givers together and capacity build them. They will have opportunities of being linked to employers, saving and borrowing from the DIESK table banking initiative and micro-credit institutions to start and expand their own businesses, to have decent living standards. DIESK currently has small space (a room) for this project hence we plan to buy our own space (land) and use containers to construct rooms that we will use for the project. Our fundraising initiative is still on until we achieve our goal.

Summary of fundraising action
After attending a local fundraising training supported by Kenya Community Development Foundation through Change the Game Academy, we realised our strengths and weaknesses. We first constituted a Board of Management comprised of professionals from different backgrounds. These include: an engineer, two communication specialists, two certified public accountants, a teacher, a Disc Jockey DJ, two Reverend Pastors and an overseer from KCDF local fundraising team as our fundraising coach. The board was put in place in October 2019.

In December 2019, we held our second physical board meeting and agreed to organise two major events in April and June 2020. We mobilised and wrote invitation letters to representatives of persons with disabilities in the Senate, National Assembly and County assemblies and they accepted and applauded our initiative. Come March 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic interrupted our plans and we had to postpone the fundraising events to unknown dates. We communicated back to our top leaders that we would get back to them when we were ready.

As a team of DIESK secretariat and board members, we then resorted to create an online platform on WhatsApp, each board member and the secretariat invited 20 friends. We agreed to have a good chat with our friends and relatives and we agreed to convince them to donate a minimum of Kshs 1,000. We then did a simple local fundraising trajectory that everyone would understand with ease, we named it “DIESK Local Fundraising Note” and indicated a start and end date. It explained much about the organisation, our achievements, the current programmes we run and future plans. We also attached Twitter, Facebook, website and YouTube links containing our good work.

When we rolled out our online fundraising programme, we created an M-Pesa till number where contributions were channeled to. We used to have online guests and masters of ceremony every weekend and this pushed people to contribute the little they had. The first phase of local fundraising was to buy 15 electric sewing machines. Times were tough for all, but we managed to fundraise Kshs 28,000. Contributions were made by 20 donors, 4 of them new.

This is the list of items we fundraise for;
1. 15 electric sewing machines: Kshs 22,000 x 15 machines = Kshs330,000
2. Containers to be partitioned into training rooms and offices at Kshs 220,000 + partitioning costs Kshs 30,000 = Kshs 250,000
3. Chairs for trainees: Kshs 700 x 20 chairs = Kshs 14,000
4. Cloth materials: Kshs 9000 x 10 rolls = 90,000 + sewing threads Kshs 10,000 = Kshs 100,000
5. Tapestry mats and threads for mat making at Kshs 156,000
6. Beads and plastic threads at Kshs 44,000
7. An accessible place to put the container that will be partitioned to make training rooms and offices, at Kshs 150,000.

To buy 15 electric sewing machines, after raising Kshs 22,000 x 15 machines = Kshs 330,000.

Targeted donors
Senior politicians, pastors, boda boda riders, teachers, students, shops and grocery traders, community health volunteers.


Cost/benefitNational currency (KES)Euro
Total amount raised28,000235
(-) Total amount invested8007
Net amount raised27,200228

Accounting details
Specification of costs:
1. Kshs 300 for internet subscriptions for coordinating staff for nine months. Internet bundles of Kshs 20 did cater for the one-hour activity during weekends as well.
2. Kshs 500 for coordination calls - Safaricom gives bonus calls of 60 mins when one subscribes with Kshs 20 for six hours.

Result comments
Our local donors shared our links and website to their networks and to date we receive calls either from people with disabilities who want us to support them or we receive calls from well wishers with material things to donate or some offer voluntary services at our DIESK centre.

We are also recognised by the government through the National Council for Persons with Disabilities, which made us their contact grassroot organisation in the slums. Our team lead Joseph Atela is currently one of the key stakeholders that advise the council’s leadership when it comes to disability inclusion.

Description of preparatory work
We ensured that a board comprised of professionals was put in place, board members and secretariats have smart phones, subscribed to different internet services.
We mobilised friends and relatives.
We informed our donors about our expectations and the fundraising duration.

Description of implementation
We made an M-Pesa till number where contributions/donations were channeled online.
We created a WhatsApp group specifically for the initiative.
We made a local fundraising trajectory that was easy to understand; we called it “DIESK local fundraising note”, it contained all the information that the local donors would ask for, it even had online links to confirm our previous activities.
We then organised a day every weekend to fundraise guided by an online Guest of Honour and a Master of Ceremony.
Thus we raised Kshs 28,000 in three months.

Follow up: Donor appreciation and acknowledgement
We did send to all the 20 local donors stamped letters via emails and we have not yet disbanded the group, we inform them about all activities we do.

Plans to repeat the action
Yes, we are planning a repeat. We wanted to do the physical fundraiser this April 2021 but our country is in a lockdown again our country is undergoing second lock down amid a torn economy marred by unemployment. We will plan a walk, an exhibition day and coffee and dinner fundraising events. We intend to raise Kshs 1,044,000.

Available materials
Awareness and education are also key issues for DIESK - poster used during Awareness Month 2016

Read moreBack to overview