When you compare non-profits supporting development in Africa Spirit in Action is not at the top of the list for total amount of money given. Our grants can’t match the “small grants” at some large NGOs that range from $10,000-30,000.
That said, I think we have a lot of other points going for us, and I think that these points add up to more than just the amount we give away in grants each year.
“It’s very heartening to read your very kind & touching letter,” read the very unexpected opening to an email from Utkarsh Ghate in India. I was shocked not because the words themselves were stunning but because this came in reply to my email letting them know that SIA wouldn’t be able to fund their proposal.
This exchange brings to life our competitive advantage: kindness, respect, honoring people as individuals.
At Spirit in Action, we have the time and the passion to connect with people, to write thoughtful responses to all emails, give feedback on proposals we can’t fund, to affirm their service to their community, and listen to the challenges they face.
“We appreciated and highly acknowledged the content of your letter. Thanks for your encouragement and prayers of hope sent.” Such warm greetings were expressed in a recent email from Justus Aluka at Shirly Centre in Eldoret, Kenya. Putting this gratitude into action, his community group generously sent a 2000Ksh (around $25) donation to SIA. This unsolicited involvement and “paying forward” is another expression of the ripples of SIA’s work to put spirit and love into action.
So while other organizations may give more thousands of dollars, we give thousand times more encouragement and respect, acknowledging that these individuals, like Justus and Utkarsh, are the ones doing the front line work and facing those in dire need.
And our partners reflect this encouragement back to us: “p.s.” Utkarsh wrote, “Your bottom line is very impressive, let God make it true!” I always end my emails with “Let there be peace on earth and let it begin with me” and I believe that honoring each person who reaches out to Spirit in Action is part of building that peace in the world.