Frequently Asked Questions
How does Oshede work?
Oshede.com allows members of the public to empower impoverished communities by enabling them to directly contribute towards a funding need. This means helping people living in disadvantaged parts of the world and can take the form of small one-off contributions. Members of our community are encouraged to "chip-in" towards raising money, to pay for school fees, or provide capital (for example to buy equipment for a small / micro business) for the recipient, helping support the recipient advance towards sustainability and achieving their goals. And the contribution doesn't have to be money. Even good advice towards a recipient's challenges can help transform someone's life/ business.
What percentage of the money you raise does the recipient receive?
Generally between 75% and 95%, because of exchange rates and remittance costs of money transfer companies / mobile payment technologies, and because of bank charges. Further, if a donor requests that we do a background / verification check, or when we have reason to believe that an alleged funding proposal is inaccurate or fradulent, we would incur costs to undertake the checks. This is because we use the services of partners on the ground to do our checks. They do not all work for Oshede, but run their own separate businesses, or are affiliated to public institutions or NGOs, and it is only right and proper that when we request them to volunteer for us, and undertake checks, we also pay for any reasonable expenses they incur in undertaking those checks, including the costs of transportation, accomodation (where applicable) and food. But such costs are still negligible when compared to overheads of organisations which have permanent salaried workers on the ground, offices, vehicles and utility bills to pay for every month.
If you do not make any money from the donations you receive, how do you cover your costs / overheads?
Most of our people are professionals who run their own businesses or are in full-time employment. The work they do for Oshede except for covering minor expenses is largely voluntary, and stems from the fact that they all share an appreciation of the difficulties disadvatanged peoples face. Some of our founders and volunteers have been in a situation of need in the past. Thus they believe Oshede can make a real difference in developing regions because they have first-hand accounts of the impact of such interventions in their own lives, and have seen it work in the lives of others.
As an empowerment initiative designed to use technology to assist people achieve their goals, Oshede is designed to be nimble and small. Oshede will have only a handful of part-time roles, and by design must have few overheads. Further, Corporate Partnerships are one way to plug the expenses we incur, and the time our people spend working on the initiative. Finally, an annual 3% to a maximum of 7% admin fee will be charged on the communal fund, for processing applications that are received and undertaking checks. Such deductions will also help pay towards the administration cost of web hosting, travel costs and suchlike, and generally sustainance of the initiative.
Further, since we rely on volunteers to help do research and process applications, there will be minimal costs here too including small contributions to volunteers for their time. Finally, in addition to the donations our directors make to help support Oshede, each recipient whose registered business receives a grant signs a commitment to donate between 3% and 5% of their profits into our communal fund, so that they can also assist other small businesses. In conclusion, our costs are few and spaced apart when compared to overheads of third sector organisations who have permanent salaried employees, multiple offices, vehicles, utility bills and many other expenses to pay for every month.
How can I contribute to the communal Fund?
The easiest way to contribute to our communal fund is via PayPal or bank transfer. Please visit the payments page or contact us for more details.
What measures do you have in place to combat fraudulent requests for assistance?
While it is hard to guard against fraud, there are several ways in which we fight fraud. Each prospective recipient is expected to provide proof of identification, a telephone number, an email address, 2 separate references and access to certain online profiles to verify who they are. Further we may ask for a bank account and details of present/ past employment. With this information, we have certain indicators that verify identify and online activity. In addition, each recipient is required to provide details of the funding need. So for people looking to start a business, a simple business plan is required - which is judged on its merits. As is evidence such as bank statements (where possible), and for students, contacts at the school or department in which they are enrolled, an acceptance letter, and suchlike. We check all these pieces of evidence carefully before accepting an applicant onto our platform. However before a prospective applicant is accepted, they are required to sign a contract which stipulates that if it is found that they have provided false information, or if the funds donated to them are misappropriated, they will be banned from the platform and required to pay back the money granted to them, otherwise risk prosecution. That is one way to establish a strong deterrent and ensure the platform is a pleasant and transparent place for those with genuine needs.
Why is it the case that after hundreds of billions of dollars spent in foreign aid each year, most recipient countries remain poor?
The answer to this question is complicated, but we suggest you consult multiple sources for a well-rounded answer. Firstly, some aid initiatives like those to do with vaccination and medicines have been successful. So its not all gloom and doom. However, there is also evidence that some foreign aid has been blamed on creating a dependency culture which traps recipient countries in a vicious cycle of poverty. In addition, corruption has been responsble of depriving third-world countries of the essential funds to spend on development initiatives. In some countries corruption has deprived the state coffers of as much as 30% of the country's revenue. In addition, most of the foreign aid that flows into these countries does not go directly to the people who need it, but via governments, and when you consider the inefficiencies, bureaucracy, changing priorities and corruption endemic in these countries, the efficacy of foreign aid is severely limited. Further, debt has made it impossible for some countries to move away from aid, because the bulk of the money they receive is used to pay off their huge debts. In addition, conditionalities attached to certain forms of foreign aid mean that many recipient countries are not always at liberty to choose how to spend the money they receive, even when they know exactly how to make most of the aid. So for example, it may not always possible for most poor countries to use aid money for a long-term project such as building a factory to process/ value-add goods using donated funds (while also creating employment for skilled & unskilled workers) if such funds have conditionalities attached to them.Finally, tax rules and certain corporate behaviour has weakened the income/ tax bases of many poor countries (e.g. profit shifting; illicit financial flows, and suchlike). For further information regarding this question, visit the knoweldgebase section of our website.
Can I make a confidential donation?
Yes. Please let us know if you wish that your gift remain confidential.
Are you not competing with registered charities?
No. We are not competing against registered charities. But like several other modern entities, we stand to challenge the efficacy of many of the current charitable funding models, which in many cases prioritise their own interests over the interests of the people who need help. In fact there are a few companies who are working to redefine how charitable giving and the fight against poverty is undertaken. One example is Give Directly, which is based in New York. So Oshede is just one of several who are working to sharpen this new model
What Financial Management Policy / Project Evaluation scheme do you have in place?
We take the generosity of donors very seriously. It is one reason why we exist. Thus, we have a firm of Accountants who will be responsible for preparing the company accounts once a year. We will also endeavour to instruct a firm of auditors to audit the accounts once a year. Further, we have a board of directors who will convene once a year, to critique performance, in terms of whether Oshede is meeting its goals, and using various metrics to chart a path towards improvement. In addition, and in the interest of transparency, our accounts will be publicly available, for any member of the public to freely inspect. However, Corporate partners will have access to detailed information of the company's activities.
In terms of project evaluation, we will be using well known research methods, and evaluation tools such as RIDIE from the International Initiative for Impact Evaluation (3ie) to ensure that the quality and integrity of impact is transparent and verifiable by third parties. However greater focus will be spent on assisting individuals meet their goals, and on developing sustainable models, than on measurement and reporting.
Will I get an acknowledgement or receipt for my contribution?
Anyone who donates a gift of any amount will receive a receipt from Oshede. The receipt is generated once the donation has been processed and is mailed to the donor's preferred mail address. Any duplicate receipts can be requested by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
Why don't you have a telephone number?
It all boils down to eliminating unnecessary costs & overheads. The more overheads we have, the higher the administrative burden (and the more we look like a charity). which means the more funds will end up being utilised to pay for unnecessary things, and consequently the less donations will be given out to recipients who actually need the funds a lot more than anything we can spend on. If someone needed to contact Oshede by phone, they can do so via one of our founder's company or by requesting a callback. However, on a broader point, Oshede is designed to maximise the amount of help that is directly rendered to a recipient. In order to do this most effectively, we have to be extremely nimble and cut-out everything that is not essential so as to keep costs to an absolute minimum.
How do you verify schools before paying educational grants?
We check for an enrolment or an acceptance letter, and request contact details including telephone numbers of at least 2 contacts at the school/ college/ university in question. In some cases, a meeting is necessary. Further, we only pay educational funding to the institution and not to the individual being funded. In addition, each year the student is required to provide details of attendance (which are verified) and test / exam transcripts, which we also verify. However, not all educational funding requests are eligible for grants, and in some cases we will refuse to give a grant to someone if the school / institution in which they are enrolled in, is not recognised, or does not have accreditation, else if it does not satisfy our general guidelines / definitions of what constitutes a bona fide educational institution.