Partnerships Are The Key To Our Success
December 16, 2023
Picture of Bill Taylor

Recently I’ve stopped using a few sensitive words when I talk about our work. Which ones? I’ll get to that in just a moment. What I really want to talk about first is partnership.
Partnership. That’s the critically important feature of how we work with NGOs in Cambodia and Thailand.

Why do I emphasize partnership? For a very practical reason.

Here’s why:
Our mission is to Eliminate Poverty. We do this by providing for the education and wellbeing of marginalized girls and women. Education will trump poverty time after time.

However, the obvious reality is . . . we cannot personally educate one single girl. Not even one. That gives rise to the obvious question of: How have we been so successful for so many years? The answer: Our stunning success comes from solid partnerships. To put it in the most straightforward terms:

Our NGO partners help us achieve our mission

Simple as that.

So naturally, we nurture these partnerships. How? We get to know these people. We get to know them really well. We trust these people. And, we help them improve their operations and become more sustainable. We bring some money, and we provide professional training and coaching to help them continuously progress towards sustainability.

They, in turn, know the local cultures and the target populations they serve. They understand the formal and informal power structures at play. They know how to work in partnership (there’s that word again) in their communities to get the actual work done out in the field.

There you have it. True partnership at work.

Power balance. That’s a critically important facet of a healthy partnership. Way too many funders (foundations, governments, and even individuals) use their money to wield great power over the NGOs for which they provide funding. They want strong control over how “their” money is spent.
We don’t do that.
We think that is terribly misguided thinking.

So, here’s what all this boils down to. We bring some resources to these NGOs they don’t have. They provide some resources we don’t have. Only working together – in trusted partnership – does the real work get done.
Absolutely equal partnership.
That’s the key to our success.

Our loyal donors have played a starring role in those wonderful partnerships. Perhaps you would like to join them and enable us to continue with the 40 successful NGO partnerships in Cambodia and Thailand we currently nurture – everyone of which works diligently to accomplish our mission – Eliminating Poverty.

Getting back to those words I no longer use. Here’s a few of them: “funder” . . . “supporter” . . . “generous” . . . “decision maker” . . . and anything else that might upset that ever so important power balance when working with NGOs – a balance that comes only from transparency and a working relationship grounded in true partnership.

I’ll be heading back to Cambodia and Thailand early next month. Your donation would be warmly welcomed and enable us to continue — and even expand — the work we’ve been doing for over 18 years now.
Just click Here to join the team and make a real difference in the lives of marginalized people.
All they really need is a bit of a boost from those of us who are blessed with the ability to help them.

One last note. Our foundation has earned the Candid/Guidestar Platinum Seal of Transparency for the past five years.
We are also proud to say that 100% of every donation goes directly to our
NGO partners serving those people most in need.

With warm wishes
for a wonderful holiday season

Bill Taylor's signature

At the SE Asia Foundation we do not simply “help” people
We Help People Help Themselves
That is our focus
That is our commitment
That is where our actions show up

Please help us keep doing that with a tax-deductible donation.
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