Andrew Rolfe’s Pivotal Role in Ubuntu Education Fund

The goal of every non profit is to make each dollar count as if it were their last. Non profits like the Ubuntu Educational Fund know that each donation is to be cherished. However, when donations come in tightly regulated from benefactors more interested in creating a name for themselves — problems can arise. The Ubuntu Education Fund was established in order to give money back to the Eastern Cape province in South Africa and more specifically the vulnerable children of Port Elizabeth. The fund was established by CEO Jacob Lief and over the past few years it has undergone some pretty serious evolutionary changes.


Jacob Lief, as part of his job as the head of the non profit, speaks at various forums around the world. Lief recently spoke at the World Economic Forum where he got a chance to really look inward and analyze how his fund was doing. Lief came to a stunning conclusion: “The money was flowing in but we weren’t changing people’s lives.” Lief realized how restricted donations were slowly curbing his effort to make a difference in Port Elizabeth. Tightly regulated donations may mean well but they ultimately end up creating more problems than solutions. The time to change things was now.


So Jacob Lief went before the board and approached Andrew Rolfe and the rest of the members. His goal was simple: to come up with a way to increase the efficiency of their donations while making it easier to get that money where it was most needed. Andrew Rolfe and Jacob Lief would eventually agree on a tactic and it would be called the Ubuntu Model. The Ubuntu Model was a simple resolution that ended up being a complete game changer for the Ubuntu Education Fund. The Ubuntu Model, as Lief states, goes like this: “We now go for high net-worth individuals or family foundations who understand that highly restricted funding isn’t worth our time.”


With this new pivot on fundraising we have seen the Ubuntu Fund become better than ever. More money is getting to important places and the children of Port Elizabeth are better off than ever before.