Knock-knock knocking on donors’ doors

IMG_1059Donors. For me, the word evokes a feeling of walking around in your city and all of a sudden you step into this huge, cavernous building. Well at least before  the Agropolis Foundation that was the image I had in mind.

It was only when I was appointed to join the Foundation that I saw the human face of it. I saw that internal reflections about how to better serve the scientific community “we are working for” (those are my boss’ words) were continuously ongoing.

I think we are not a typical donor – we fund research but we are also concern about our own funding. In addition, we aspire to empower our community by trying to be catalyzers of new relations among the research units of our network. We also work to enhance our community’s visibility at the international level.

Over the coming years we will be redefining our own strategy to get ready for the different scenarios that the future may bring.

When we began thinking about the future, spontaneously we thought about young researchers. This was also because we had realized that we have a specific funding category for “Small Initiatives” that is mainly tackled by young researchers.

We assumed that that was part of a specific strategy to build up their professional progression. We said ok, young researchers are key for the future, but do they need any kind of specific support from our side? But before undertaking any specific action, we decided to give them a slot of time during our “Science days” and see where the discussions that would take place after this session will lead us to.

When I saw this step forward I thought that we could look into other ways to engage young researchers. While Agropolis Foundation has already contributed to the previous GCARDs, I thought that the YAP project was a call for sponsorship we couldn’t miss. So I pitched it to my boss.

He saw the potential of undertaking such an action: international visibility of our network, engaged image with the future of agriculture, and added value of the research for  entrepreneurship.

And here we are. The Agropolis Foundation is now supporting two YAP proposals from Kenya and Philippines led by two women. They will both be receiving input by research of their countries and we are very excited to work with and support them.

Donors have evolved so if you have a good idea, don’t be afraid to “knock-knock-knock on their door”.

Blogpost by Myriam Perez, #GCARD3 Social Reporter – myriam_pd[at]hotmail.com

This post is part of the live coverage during the #GCARD3 Global Conference in Johannesburg, South Africa, 5-8 April 2016. This post is written by one of our social reporters, and represents the author’s views only.


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