Local fundraising example:
Construction of a community primary school

Main characteristics

Fundraising method
Community contribution, Major donor fundraising, Volunteer contribution


Net fin result (€)


Time investment
180 days staff, 90 board, 38 volunteers

The new school building
Children in one of the new classrooms
Porridge time is bonding time .....
OrganisationGlobal Refugee Initiatives (GRI)
SuitabilitySlightly experienced
Funding needed forThe construction of a community primary school
Period of action2022-2023
In-kind donations raisedYes
Types of donationsLand, labour during construction, water, food, money, technical support
Types of donorsOPM (Office of the Prime Minister), Kiryadongo District, refugees, host community members, Foundation to Build, Feed the Hungry East Africa.


"GRI welcomes all learners to Ubuntu Model Primary School. After nearly a year of construction, we are happy to announce that the Ubuntu Model Primary School has opened its doors to learners beginning of February 2023. The school, located within Kiryandongo Refugee Settlement, currently welcomes a total of 180 children from the refugee as well as host community."
This happy message on the website of Global Refugee Initiatives concluded a successful fundraising campaign, during which GRI managed to raise contributions in cash, in-kind and in time for the construction of the first classroom block of a community primary school.

Tips and lessons learned

1. Introducing the idea to the board for acceptance is not easy since they sometimes fear risks.
2. Profiling and reaching out to the right donor is not a walk-over. It takes research and patience to get feedback from them.
3. Promotions for fundraising need resilience and using a lot of social media, livestreaming, sometimes giving out pledges, connecting with your friends.

Review by Wilde Ganzen Foundation

This is an excellent example of how careful donor profiling helps you to choose and approach the right potential donors. Just like so many other Change the Game Academy students, GRI discovered that asking for money is not the only road that leads to Rome, but that in-kind donations and volunteering (in time donations) are just as important. In this case, the Office of the Prime Minister and the community volunteers were absolutely essential in achieving the final goal.


Short description of the organisation the funds were raised for
Global Refugee Initiatives (GRI) is registered with the National Bureau for Non-Governmental Organizations of Uganda since February 2019. In May 2019, GRI signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Office of the Prime Minister (OPM), through the Directorate of Refugees, to implement its programmes within the refugee settlements as a partner of the Government of Uganda through OPM. Furthermore, GRI signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Kiryandongo District.
GRI is an independent humanitarian Non-Governmental Organisation with an office in Kampala and an office in Bweyale, Kiryandongo. GRI operates to support refugees, Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) and host communities and in all its operations adheres to International Legal Instruments, the 1995 Constitution of Uganda, the Refugee Act 2006, the Refugee and Host Population Empowerment Strategic Framework – Uganda (ReHoPE Strategy) 2017, the Uganda Settlement Transformation Agenda, the Comprehensive Refugee Response Framework (CRRF) and the Humanitarian Charter and Minimum Standards in Humanitarian Response (The Sphere Handbook, Fourth Edition, 2018).
Through its education programme, GRI aims to overcome obstacles in education and to ensure refugees, Internally Displaced People and host community children access to inclusive quality education, within a protective and enabling environment.

Short description of the project or programme the funds were raised for
Global Refugee Initiatives (GRI), together with local refugee and host communities, developed a programme to construct a community primary school and to provide amongst others quality education, good nutrition, and psychosocial support when needed for children from refugee, Internally Displaced People and host communities. Ubuntu Model Primary School was to be located in Kiryadongo Refugee Settlement in cluster C and give access to education for South Sudanese, Sudanese and Congolese refugees and children from the host community of Bweyale Town Council. 
In addition, the school requried more toilets to serve the sanitary needs of pupils.
Finally, parents could not afford meals for the children and the school had no budget for meals. 
The fundraising campaign concentrated on all these needs.

Summary of fundraising action
1. We developed a concept note for a primary school in Kiryadongo.
2. The concept note was presented to the board members of GRI.
3. Board members approved to kick off fundraising and they shared the concept with their friends.
4. Funds were collected in cash, in-kind and through volunteering.
5. Construction of the first block begun in June 2022.
6. Teachers were recruited in December 2022.
7. The school opened in February 2023.

The fundraising highlights:
Through profiling, GRI reached out to Foundation to Build (FTB) to provide financial and technical support for the construction of one permanent building (3 classrooms: P1 + P2 + P3), and toilets.
The remaining project funds were raised through in-kind. Office of the Prime Minister (OPM) provided GRI with 15 acres of land for “Right to Use” through an MOU. The community provided volunteer services during construction of the school and day-to-day running of the school.
We reached out to UNHCR and did an elevator pitch for the head of UNHCR head office in Kiryadongo. They connected us to Feed the Hungry. We contacted the programmes coordinator for Feed the Hungry East Africa and asked him to support with school meals; he agreed. We were able to secure meals for the whole term.

1. To provide quality education to 150 children
2. To construct a primary school

Targeted donors
1. Local community
2. Stakeholders in Ugandan education context, especially refugees
3. International donors


Cost/benefitNational currency (UGX)Euro
Total amount raised960,000,000239,786
(-) Total amount invested28,000,0006,994
Net amount raised932,000,000232,792

Result comments
Land to a value of approximately 45,000,000 UGX
A permanent building with classrooms and toilets, kitchen and an askari's house, worth approximately 345,000,000 UGX
Teaching staff and non-teaching staff
Food for meals

Description of preparatory work
We developed the concept note and:

  • shared it with colleagues at work;
  • shared it with board members for approval;
  • started fundraising initiative with potential donors.

Description of implementation
We sent the concept notes to different donors via email.
We advertised the cause on the organisation website and social media.
We toured the local community to make them aware of the need for a primary school in their area.

Follow up: Donor appreciation and acknowledgement
It is always important to report and account to the donor to show how the funds were spent. Sending a thank you note or email is also important.

Plans to repeat the action
Yes! We urgently need a second block for Primary 4 - 7. We are in the middle of profiling potential donors.

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