NGOs I can approach for sponsorship, regarding my solar project?

As I mentioned in the post for the Sunflower, I'm going to b spending the next year or two traveling around teaching people and communities how to generate and integrate solar energy into their local needs, pretty much for free. I've got a bit of money saved to pay for this if necessary, but was ideally hoping to get some kind of grant or sponsorship just to cover my cost of living, which would probabaly come to about £5000 / US$8000 over two years. I have a very low cost of living. Does anyone know of any NGOs / charities / etc I could approach for this? I'm not really needing or offering anything other than the cash to cover my expenses. I can name drop and put a logo on my website and all that, they wouldn't need to really do much of anything other than sling me the cash, safe in the knowledge that they were instrumental in bringing free solar energy to anyone who wants it. Cheers, Daniel.

PKM7 years ago
From what I've heard (from cynics), NGOs have the same short term visible performance targets as any business. They are responsible to stakeholders, so will probably have reservations about giving out money to someone pushing an unproven design (and I mean Proven, as in "stood the test" not just proof-of-concept proven). Involving NGOs might stifle your progress by wrapping the project up in red tape. As it's such an individual thing (just you and your machines, rather than some massive infrastructure-building initiative) why not see if you can finance it yourself? This is the age of democratic media, I've seen plenty of crazier schemes for charity revolving around blogs. The typical MO seems to be set up a blog, drum up some interest in it, get donations to fund your outing or do something closer to home for a little capital, then all you have to do is keep the blog updated with what you are doing while you are out to keep donations coming in- if the readers feel they get to be a part of the whole enterprise (like "sponsoring a child"- you get to see where your money is going and how it is helping people) they have a greater emotional investment in the project which might lead to a greater financial one :) And if you are of a mind, you can always write a book about your travels to fund the next journey. Alternatively, I have a friend who works for an NGO distributing food aid in Africa, I could ask him how he got involved with them and where to look if you do want to go the NGO route. A third option- if there is the promise of advertising in it, could you get a regular business to sponsor you? £5000 is an ask for a cash-strapped charity but it's peanuts to a company that could, for instance, supply you with materials. If your website read "sugarandfat's Sunflower, bearings courtesy of NiftyRollerCo" they get green brownie points and you get your sponsor. Just throwing some ideas out (because no-one else seems to want to)- let me know if any of these are helpful.
SolarFlower_org (author)  PKM7 years ago
mm, I tend to agree. As it stands there will be a website with a blog and the opportunity for people to make donations, but I'd probably not want to rely on it. Business sponsorship is I guess an option, but it seems a bit off, somehow. I'll stay open to the possibility. And NGOs will almost certainly be a fair load of hassle. Maybe I'll just plow on on my own for the time being and see what happens.