BRICKS FOR THE BRIDGE
A donation of £500 could support the annual cost of our communication subscriptions, including website hosting, communication and design software and our annual Zoom subscription. Communication is crucial to what we do. It allows us to grow our relationships, support and nurture our partners and share our research with the public. In short, it is the tool that enables us to fulfil our charitable mission. These tools enable us to educate the public, remain in regular contact with our partners even in war zones, so that we can support them and champion their work, and it enables to present tangible solutions to complex issues. And the means by which we make the call to action.
A donation of £2,500 could enable us to conduct specialist research and due diligence into locally based, non-political organisations in Israel and Palestine who are providing humanitarian and psychosocial support to victims of the war. We would share our research with the public, and launch an Israel Palestine humanitarian fund, ensuring that all funds raised, are directed to the most vulnerable. We will update donors on how donations have been spent and conduct full monitoring and evaluation on all grants made.
A donation of £5,000 could enable us to provide up to nearly 150 hours of pro bono, bespoke mentoring to outstanding, charitable start-ups who are trying to learn how to register and manage a charity from scratch. Each pro-bono session is tailored to the specific needs of an organisation. Our pro bono work has included creating campaigns, drafting copy, helping organisations to register as a charity, advising on alternative company structures if a charity structure is not right for them, organising events, and training workshops (including secret Excel one-to-one sessions for a founder who was too embarrassed to profess Excel illiteracy to her team, did not have the money to pay for a course, but also could not budget for her organisation. So we helped her and prepared her organisation’s annual budget at the same time!)
Dear Friends and Supporters,
Last summer, I (Sita) took some friends to visit an old Roman bridge, some of you might know it. It is called Le Pont St Julien. It arches over the Calavon river and dates from about 3 BC. It has had over 2000 years of use, linking Italy to France and is still functional today for cyclists. It was remarkably well made and seeing it up close, I was struck by how its beauty and use have endured.
I mention bridges because it is perhaps the best metaphor for our work at Prospero. We are a bridge between problems and solutions and between charities and donors. However, we are also a charity in our own right, and your support is what enables us to give our time doing all the unsexy stuff that goes into bridge-building.
Our work is the labour it takes to identify and then hoist all those beautiful fragments together, making sure that the right details are in place to withstand unexpected traffic, erect the signposts to help people find their way to the right crossing and, most importantly, make sure the bridge stays intact, enabling the transfer of supplies, and shortening the journey for those using it, whatever their destination. This year we have supported and helped to fund work that reaches women in Afghanistan and Syria, women and children in the East of Yemen, victims of war in Ukraine, teenage girls in Rajasthan, refugees in Lebanon, Turkey, Greece, Jordan and the UK, to name but a few.
Since our inception in 2007, we have helped to direct donation of over £15 million to some of the most vulnerable across the globe. We have incubated our own programmes and helped countless startups to structure and sustain their work. We have undertaken capacity-building projects from South London to East Timor, enabling change makers in some of the world’s most challenging settings to deliver their lifesaving work.
Goals for 2024
Bridges need maintenance and fortification to carry more traffic. In the coming year, our aim is to grow our fiscal sponsorship programme, launch StartRight, our new Donor Advised Fund and grow our database of peacebuilding initiatives. Please join us in 2024, by donating a brick to help fortify and build our mission to strengthen the capacity of some of the leading changemakers in the world today.
A donation of any size, will be a gift that keeps on giving. It will help us to continue to share our charitable status and our expertise, with others and to enable projects to focus on the causes they care most about.
Meet the Brick Layers:
A Snapshot of what a typical day at Prospero World looks like.
Chief Engineer: Anna-Louisa
Guiding and training CEO’s of our partner organisations in secret accounting processes so they can better manage their organisation, before proceeding to a long call with our incredible Chair Debbie to discuss edits that are needed to a Memorandum of Understanding with a new partner charity based in the USA. Then comes the creation of a new fundraising page on our website for our most recently adopted charity, before jumping on a call to a Hollywood Agent to advise on cross-border, tax-efficient giving for an actor who is a tax resident in the UK. This is swiftly followed by a call to Triodos, our bank, to ensure they have received the due diligence information they need to make a transfer to a charity in Yemen, before joining a panel of speakers at a philanthropy event to speak about the role of civil society in conflict areas. A final call is then made to the organisers of the Venice Marathon to ensure that one of the participants in the upcoming Marathon is registered to run for us in an upcoming fundraising event in aid of our fiscally sponsored charity in India.
Internal Stress Tester and Evacuation Protocols: Elizabeth
Elizabeth travels across bridges and tunnels to Feltham for a site visit of the food bank project of School & Family Works and interviewing their star client; jumps on a Zoom call with a Donor Advised Fund grantee to preview a clip of their new film written, performed, and produced by teens in South Acton; dashes back to Central London to meet with a potential new grantee in town from Johannesburg who is transforming the South African educational system with a scalable, accessible, blending learning solution before catching up with Sita for a StartRight programme architecture meeting.
Power supplies: Agata
Agata starts her day by reviewing the donations received overnight while sipping her morning coffee. She then identifies the best fundraising platform for a new charitable project in the film industry, which urgently needs to collect funds to shoot in Sicily this February. Moving on to calling the Klitschko Foundation to discuss the current funding needs in the unstable environment in Kyiv and other regions in Ukraine. Later, she introduces four of Prospero's adopted charities to each other on a video call with a professor from the London Business School (LBS). Our adopted charities are about to participate in the Prospero x LBS collaboration with behavioural economics course students. Finally, she researches interesting leads from the philanthropy industry on LinkedIn prior to a networking event that evening.
Social construction: Lucy
Lucy starts the day by scanning the social media news feed and emails from the team to see what our Adopted Charities, Trustees and Advisory Board have been up to. Then she joins a call with the rest of the team to discuss suitable campaigns for fundraising initiatives before magicking ideas into an overall fundraising strategy for Ukrainian projects. This includes championing other Ukrainian fundraising initiatives, news and events. Later in the day, Lucy heads to a special Prospero dinner where she spends the evening filming and photographing proceedings at Ukrainian Mriya Neo bistro restaurant near Earls Court.
Normally posing on the bridge in sunglasses: Sita
As a trustee Sita is now part of a team of six trustees who together ensure that Prospero is sticking to all the charity commission directives. With three excellent lawyers on board all actions are rigorously discussed at formal trustee meetings and during extra calls when necessary. Sita is currently helping to design a mini programme for our new StarRight donor advised fund, keeps up with emails on the latest on the fiscal sponsorship nominees and joins weekly team calls to discuss the week’s work. After hours work includes rallying the troops around fundraising leads and accompaying Elizabeth on site visits or evening performances and events. Sita also stays in touch with our energetic and diverse advisory board whose creative input and ideas are invaluable.