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On Wednesday 16th June we became Project Possible (formerly known as ROPE).
A new name is not the only change we have introduced. There are now inspiring new initiatives with our partners called Spark projects aimed at building lasting impact. We have also introduced a new sustainable approach to funding our work.
As we enter this new chapter we understand that you may have questions. We hope that the questions and answers below help to answer any queries about the changes we have introduced but if you would like more clarity on anything or your question isn’t listed below please do contact us on [email protected] or 01494 433170.
The decision to rename Rope reflects the big changes we have made in our international development work. We no longer provide short term relief, (apart from responding to disasters where we have someone locally based and equipped to help), having chosen to move away from activities that can create dependency, and we accept it is simply not possible to be “everywhere”. The new name, Project Possible, is an expression of what we believe to be at the core of what we do: helping small, disadvantaged communities across the world to make their aspirations a reality. Releasing possibilities for people to find their way out of poverty, whilst serving a God who “makes all things possible”. We are focused on seeing lasting impact with the communities and people we come alongside, through feasible projects, not large-scale programmes.
There will be no change to the model of working with local, Christian visionaries as our Mission statement makes clear – “We partner with Christian communities around the world to open up opportunities where doors have been closed due to social disadvantage.”
Some may be individuals, others may be churches or other non-government organisations, but all share Project Possible’s vision to see lives lived in fullness and hope with lasting transformation in their communities.
We are excited to be working with all of our current partners and are developing new projects aimed at investing further in their communities so more people can become even more independent.
We are also working with our partners themselves and encouraging them to think how they could become more sustainable and have set funds aside from our reserves to provide further investment to explore options. Ultimately their and our hope is that they are fully independent of our support.
We are keen to find new partners and communities to invest in, but 30 years’ experience tells us that growing effective partnerships is a long-term commitment. We will always be looking to add new partnerships, working initially with them on pilot projects to see if such a long-term relationship can be developed.
“Relief aid”, also called “humanitarian aid,” focuses on short term immediate assistance in the wake of a crisis. Project Possible will always respond to a crisis if we have partners on the ground who are able to put together a response, e.g. the Nepal Earthquake appeal.
But the main aim of our work today is to achieve lasting impact through sustainable initiatives (development aid).
This is about strategic assistance intended to make long-term improvements to a community or to a family’s overall standard of living and quality of life. Think of it as “helping people help themselves.” This is not done “for” people but “with” people, empowering them to help themselves and see change in their family and community.
Yes, absolutely! We will still be so grateful to all of our supporters who choose to run local or personal events in order to raise funds for our work. Such events in the past have included running and sporting challenges, craft fairs, concerts and simply asking for donations to our charity in lieu of gifts for a significant birthday or anniversary.
We will still welcome highly any such endeavours and will look to support you as far as we can with the provision of promotional materials and sponsorship/giving mechanisms.
If you choose to give a gift, or give regularly, to a specific project, then we will ensure that your wishes are met. If you look into our charity accounts you will see that each project has a restricted fund, which enables us to keep track of all donations and balance them with grants paid out.
The 100% promise have been valued by our supporters for many years. However, the reality is that the funds to cover our UK running costs were essentially undergirded by generous legacies from faithful supporters.
Over the years we have been developing a unique approach to partnering. By developing close working relationships with local people on the ground and working with them to create and implement bite-size and time-bound projects we are now delivering lasting impact for the communities we are working with. Our UK Project team are integral to our international operation and so as we move into being Project Possible we will be including their costs when we ask for donations to support our project work.
For the foreseeable future, all fundraising and admin costs will continue to be met from other income sources, including legacy and investment income, which still constitutes a great “offer” to our supporters. In short, all donations will support just our project work, which includes the grants sent overseas and our UK Project team operation.
Our desire as Project Possible is to have a professional and well-run charity, exercising good stewardship for all the funds that we are entrusted with, whilst maintaining our operational costs at an acceptable level. This means meeting the increased legal and financial requirements placed on charities, using secure and professionally managed IT systems, employing qualified staff and paying them appropriately to retain their skills. The existing financial model had become a big distraction and we have taken the opportunity Project Possible has provided to refocus on the quality and impact of our project work and subsequently the delivery of excellent quality feedback which honours our generous and valued supporters.
We can assure you that this will not impact the level of financial support which our partners are receiving. Our founder Michael Wood’s approach to directly supporting local trustworthy people has not changed, nor will it change. In fact, we are seeking to invest more in our partnerships and work with them more deeply to achieve lasting transformation for the marginalised and disadvantaged communities we work with. We are excited to see our work is going from strength to strength.
We will be ensuring that all children currently in any of our Brighter Future Homes will continue to receive funding to see them through to Further Education as a minimum. This means that you will be able to continue to support the children you are currently supporting. However, these Brighter Future home projects will eventually be phased out in favour of us directing our efforts to projects for which we have the expertise and resources required to provide effective support. The global situation concerning the operation of children’s homes has seen fundamental change over the last decade, recognising the value of children receiving the support and care of closer family placement rather than being “placed” in homes. Huge advancements in the areas of safeguarding and understanding of child development now demand focused, experienced and specialist input when it comes to the operation of children’s homes and the care of children in the community. We consider that this is best undertaken by government backed initiatives or large organisations. If you are giving regularly to a specific programme which is coming to an end, we will of course contact you directly to share this with you and to offer an alternative project where your giving can be re-directed.
Please be assured that we remain extremely grateful for your regular gift, and we do not wish to inconvenience you in any way. We are therefore working with our bank to minimise any action required from you, with the aim that the bank will transfer your existing regular gift to our new account name. However, should we require you to do anything we will of course be in touch.
If you are giving regularly to a specific programme which is coming to an end, we will of course contact you directly to share this with you and to offer an alternative project where your giving can be directed. This change will not require a change in your standing order or direct debit.
We are extremely grateful to all of our supporters who have taken the amazing step of naming us in their Will. Generous legacies left to us make an incredible difference to our work, so thank you for doing this.
You should not need to change the name of the charity in your Will, as long as it mentions our registered Charity Commission number, 1069608.
We would like to reassure our donors that the funds for this project have not been taken from donations received from our supporters, either to Rope or Friends of Rope, but rather, have come from the legacies left to us by Acorn Foundation and by Michael and Jacqueline Wood. We are confident that Michael would not have shied away from investing what was necessary in order to ensure the long-term continuation of the charity’s work.
All of your designated donation will go towards the project you have chosen, with at least 80% as a grant, with the remainder used for the professional support provided by the UK projects team. There are no deductions for fundraising or UK administrative costs.
We are very excited to be launching spark projects as we become Project Possible. We believe that these bite-sized, time-bound projects offer a genuine opportunity for people to find their own way out of poverty. We are hopeful that people in the UK will be excited by these spark projects and want to support them. However, there is an element of risk as there is with every type of new venture. All the participants involved in each spark project understand that they might not happen if we don’t get enough financial support. They understand the risk but are willing to take the chance. If we find that a spark project has not reached its fundraising target, we will work with the participants to develop a different venture and we will contact everyone who has made a commitment and offer them an alternative spark project to support.
We will be closely monitoring all donations being made to a spark project. We will ensure the amount raised so far for each spark project is clearly shown on our website so people know how close we are to our target. If we receive a donation for a spark project which is fully funded we will contact the supporter and offer them an alternative spark project to support.
We are not able to provide supporters with contact details of those involved in our spark projects. However, once the spark project is fully funded and ready to go ahead, we will create a page on our website which will provide you with a place to write messages of support and encouragement. This will also be the place that we will share updates directly from our spark projects. We will inform you about updates through emails, so if you want to get timely updates on your chosen project, you will need to give us permission to contact you via email.
We choose deliberately not to have staff based in the countries where our projects take place, believing it to be much more cost effective to work with skilled local Christian partners. Our projects are small, we know the individuals involved and we can ensure lasting impact through good communications, support and project evaluation by our UK projects team.