Cecile Mengue knows what it feels like to thirst for clean water and struggle to get it. Growing up in Cameroon, accessing clean drinking water was always an issue. After moving to the U.S. at 13 years old, all of her problems with accessing clean water went away. She had forgotten her about her struggles in Cameroon until she went back to visit as an adult. This visit prompted her to do something about it. After working as a Marketing & Public Relations Analyst for the African Chamber of Commerce and being exposed to various opportunities in Africa, Cecile realized there was ample opportunity in her home country of Cameroon and Sub-Saharan Africa to improve access to clean drinking water. This is how Go Blue for Clean Water was born.
Go Blue for Clean Water is Taking a Unique Approach to Gaining Support for Their Cause
Cecile is stepping away from the traditional non-profit business model of simply asking for donations for a cause. Instead, she connects with businesses in the U.S. that have corporate responsibility programs. She encourages them to partner with Go Blue for Clean Water to promote her “clean drinking water” cause. This enables them to get more exposure and improve their public profile as a “responsible business.” It also enables her to raise funding to provide access to clean drinking water to communities in Cameroon and Sub-Saharan Africa. This strategy is called Cause Marketing and works well to promote businesses in a positive light while enabling them to give back to a good cause. It’s a win-win for the non-profit organization and the business that lends their brand to fund-raise for the cause.
The Challenge of Building a Successful Non-Profit Business
Cecile says that the biggest challenge in building a non-profit is creating programs (and promoting a cause) that people are interested in. She says you have to do more than tell a good story. You have to offer a program that people will support. Additionally, you have to run a non-profit just like a for-profit business. Creating and implementing a strategic business model is going to be the key to your success.
Get up to $50,000 in Microloans or Grants
Get up to $250,000 in Business Credit Lines
Cecile’s Advice for Aspiring Non-Profit Entrepreneurs
Cecile suggests conducting extensive research to determine whether your program (or cause) is something that people are interested in supporting. Building a non-profit is about more than passion, it’s also about creating a viable program. A viable program is one that will get the support it needs to be effective in making a change. She also suggests writing a business plan, creating a marketing plan and launching a website. She says that having an online platform is the top way to accept donations for your cause and using online tools is important for success. To learn more about Go Blue for Clean Water, you can connect with Cecile Mengue on LinkedIn and Facebook.
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