In these volatile times every year seems to be a challenge. Last year as a result of the war between Russia and Ukraine we saw a significant increase in prices of groceries, gasoline, and energy. We have all experienced the financial impact, and that is no different for the farming families we work with. They have been confronted with a steep increase in the cost of buying seeds, fertilizer, and other agricultural materials. Also, transporting the harvest to the cooperative or market has become an expensive affair.
To cope with unforeseen costs or a reduction in income, we support these smallholder farmers to reach a sustainable living income. Such an income would allow them to put a healthy meal on the table for the whole family every day, to have good shelter, to send their children to school, to cover for health care expenses, and pay for clothing. And even more: that they can create a financial buffer for unexpected events, such as a failed harvest or a funeral.
Our core activity is to position and market Heifer in Europe and to raise funds for Heifer International’s projects. Where fundraising from individual supporters – despite the implementation of new lead-generating campaigns – fell somewhat short of our prior expectations, we saw an increase of funding from corporates and foundations last year. Institutional fundraising was challenging but we did find a number of opportunities to work on as they aligned well with our field of work.
We have also worked hard on developing a new strategic plan for the next three years. The plan has ambitious fundraising goals to support the work Heifer is doing, which is very important as we see that hunger and poverty are increasing worldwide.