A great birthday gift and Annual Report Philanthropy Connections 2013

Dear friends,

Warm greetings from a warm Chiang Mai.

Our annual report 2013 is ready. Thanks to the work of our great volunteers it turned out to be an attractive and entirely readable piece of writing:

Annual Report Philanthropy Connections - 2013

It's been three months since you received our last newsletter. Despite of having a small team we again achieved a great deal, in many different areas. All the work that we do is custom tailored to real needs. The solutions are never standard, because the problems never are.

Given the size of our organisation, what we do is quite unique. We listen carefully to what the requests are and then get down to work, always in collaboration with the people in the field. We advise, seek viable solutions, link parties who can complement and help each other and we regularly look for sponsors to fund the projects.

Because we work with the poorest of the poor and money is not always part of the solution, we cannot charge for many of these services we provide. The money just isn't there and that is exactly the problem. Yet these are the people that most need assistance.

For example:
  • KAKO, an organisation in Cambodia working on improving the chances of the disadvantaged, has almost no money itself. We advise them on the collaboration with an organisation that may offer them more financial security. We had already brought them in contact with the University of St. Gallen, a valuable contact.
  • We connected the Warm Heart Foundation, who supports poor mountain villages in Northern Thailand, with the RICD Wheelchair Project. This resulted in a weekly distribution of free wheelchairs to people from these communities who do not have the money to buy one.
  • We bring local organisations and sponsors together so that donations do not pass through us, but go directly to the projects: A donation of € 5.000 from the Bazar International de Luxembourg went directly to the Wheelchair Project for much needed instruments and tools. Another contact of ours, the chairperson of the Dutch "Flying Nuns” Foundation (De Vliegende Nonnen) brought more than € 3.000 to Siem Reap and with that donation toilets and wells are built and school supplies, library books, and water filters were purchased.

For projects that are financed through us, we ask a 5% administration fee to cover our costs. Usually it does not, but we do not want to charge more; the projects themselves already have their own overhead costs and we are wary of adding to that.

Recently we again achieved some great results. Thanks to Helfen ohne Grenzen – Schweiz, children from the boarding house in the refugee camp of Koung Jor are assured of our support for the next two years. Three preschools in Cambodia can operate for another year thanks to a generous gift from a Dutch foundation. For the 40 children in Bahn Ruam Jai, who, in their family situation were exposed to drug -related problems and/or sexual abuse in their village community, we have been able to secure already two thirds of the costs for their care for a year. 

Thanks to a private sponsor from Switzerland, we could make donations to a medical fund for Burmese children and to a home for 60 orphans and destitute children from ethnic minorities in Thailand.

All this is good news, but to effectively respond on a daily basis to all requests for help and to find the required support, which is there in principle, we need four permanent staff (including myself).

Therefore, this time, a personal request!

Today, April 8, it is my birthday. As many of you know, I never celebrate this. But this time I want to, and it is even worse. I have a birthday wish.

Our newsletter is sent to over 1.700 addresses. For four salaries (including mine) and all our overhead costs we need € 3.000 per month. At the moment we receive a bit under € 500 in regular monthly donations. So we are € 2.500 short. My birthday wish: if all of you would donate € 1,50/USD 2 per month (€ 18/USD 24 annually), then we’re good. Not everyone will join, so all other amounts are very welcome as well of course. If this succeeds, then we can use all one-time donations for our projects.

The only 'downside' is that I now know for sure that the next newsletter will be much longer because of all our new projects! But that is a ‘luxury problem’.

Will you help to make my birthday this year and in the coming years into a wonderful day?

These are our bank details (donations are tax deductible in six European countries):

Branch: Leidseplein 29, Amsterdam, the Netherlands
Account holder: Stichting Philanthropy Connections 
Bank account number: 51 76 43 723 
IBAN: NL73ABNA0517643723 
And through this link you can also donate online.

Thank you very much!


PS The birthday cake is ready for you in Chiang Mai!