Núria Gràcia: "The Third Sector still has many prejudices to change its finance model"

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  • The mission of AD is to help drive forward non-profit projects.
    The mission of AD is to help drive forward non-profit projects.

Founder of JAD, an organization that supports youth, teenagers and women development by creating real opportunities and facilities for their economic and personal independence.

Helping Finance Service's mission is to help drive forward non-profit projects. What does that mean exactly?

We can not afford losing more organizations that do so well but can’t go on due to a lack of resources to sustain themselves. We have created this service because we want that all people who wish to start a project, already is working on one or have ideas to build a better world, can be given the opportunity to do so. It is necessary for each one of us to contribute with our knowledge, take our place and thrive all together.

Could we say that you propose a professional 'coaching' adjusted to the Third Sector?

Yes. Even though I would say that it goes far beyond that. 'Coaching' is just a tool in the whole gear, a complete set of tools are needed in order to materialize an idea or a project.

Give me an example of a real or hypothetical case of how you work.

I was in Peru in a foster home and also visited other organizations, who manage schools for teens, spread across the Peruvian territory, from the high Andino to the jungle. One of the difficulties we had to face were all the heights we had to climb from the most remote corner of the jungle to the capital. Many communication and transport problems arose because of it.

And what happened?

This foster home works through donations but despite that, they struggled raising money and finding regular income. After a very exhaustive market research I came to a solution: produce jams. Jams are a non perishable product, so it solves the transport issue and the long transit times to cross the jungle. It is also an easy produce, that is, you basically need a pot, fire and fruits.

You got the idea of making jams ... Is it all solved?

The idea did not end up by making only jams, of course. It involved having to train people, create production cells and build a commercial platform. The aim was to achieve a high quality production and selling jams with the philosophy of their own added quality value. Therefore, these jams were not sold to regular markets. Instead, we addressed to unique chefs. It’s easy making jams but most important is to know whom and where to sell them. you have to do a good marketplace in order to reach your goal. The idea thus, is to acknowledge the need and to support and follow through the project til the end.

How did it come? the idea of the HFS service to JAD

After observing and listening the concerns and problems of many small and medium sized organizations, have to face. Observing how some of them, have prejudices against everything that is understood as business system. That is, beliefs in disagreement or opposed of what is supposed to be a social project and what a business project should be. The idea also came, observing the need in the Third Sector to create a new finance model, a new concept, a new way to work. There are still many prejudices.

Do you think that many social projects end up not seeing the light?

Yes, precisely because of these beliefs, their lack of regular funding and the fact that goals are poorly targeted.

What are the reasons?

Due to several things. For example, organizations go through tough time finding "how we can move on", especially when it’s not their own specialty. Misconceptions and beliefs exist about money and how to get it. That is to say, due to the preconceived idea that the fact of obtaining money is in contradiction with the action of helping. And also, because of the idea that organizations may only depend on donations.

What else doesn’t works?

"How we will keep on" is not taken into account either. We are not really aware of what takes to carry out a such kind of projects because there is a lot of confusion. I not only see it in the Third Sector but also in the entrepreneurial field. It's amazing how the speech is misrepresented, the waste of money and the wrong given guidelines!

Try to convince me why I should "hire" your services to carry out a social project ...

I wouldn’t try to convince you. I’ll say, If you're struggling for money, we'll help you get it. Our service consists in creating a regular income in a simple and clear way. We want you to be independent so you can do what you want, what moves you. Only if you need it and fits right for you, we would love to talk and see if we can work together. It is a new way of doing things with a broader vision and this involves being part of a new model, a new way of doing things. It’s about making it suitable for you, in harmony with you. nothing that you couldn’t do or would be outside of you.

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