In the midst of globally interrupted plans, Solidaridad’s team in North America pivoted to adapt with current partners and collaborate with new partners. The office reached its goal of $1.2 million in signed contracts.
In addition to nurturing existing relationships, Solidaridad sparked new 6 global corporations with general relationship building, policy advice, and partnership commitments.
With a small team and a dramatically different year for events, we boosted engagement in North America through participation and hosting of 3 panel events related to impact investment, agtech, and women in agriculture.
A deep dive
The North America team grew in 2020, dramatically expanding our capacity to fundraise and pursue opportunities to support global work. This has led to the development of new partnerships and leads, and growing visibility in the region.
Exploring new avenues
With increased team capacity, we have not only opened new doors for partner conversations, but also began exploring new pathways for impact, bringing together the expertise of the Solidaridad network with the priorities of the North American donor market.
Organization & governance
2020 marked a year of significant growth for the North America team. Two full time team members were brought on in the roles of Corporate Engagement and Communications, respectively. Additional support was brought on in the form of a part time financial controller. The growing team led to positive developments in terms of team meeting cadence, collaboration and project backstopping. Of course there were unexpected challenges with the Covid-19 pandemic, but the team came together to find solutions that supported each other to manage the new stressors while remaining engaged and productive, such as implementing virtual “coffee breaks” as a team, as well as flexibility in schedules and availability.
Through Corporate Engagement efforts, we were able to foster existing relationships and forge new relationships with a number of major players in the minerals space, including Apple, Google, Intel, Microsoft, Cisco, and Amazon, and well as corporations in other sectors such as Starbucks, McDonalds and Walmart. These have all evolved into substantial relationships with verbal commitments for funding and multiple conversations over a period of time.
Visibility is slowly increasing, despite the difficulty of Covid restrictions and modifications. We hosted a session in the SOCAP 2020 event, and were highlighted as a sponsor. Additionally, we featured on a panel for DAI and AgriLinks’ event, as well as featuring a video of our farmers from South America and Asia. Our LinkedIn presence is still small but growing, and a clearer picture has emerged for the use of our region-specific social media.
The team grew, as planned, from two to 4.5 people (and then 5.5 total in 2021). This has increased the overhead budget, but expanded capacity to fundraise and support project management.
We managed to hit our fundraising goals, however Covid-19 had an impact on our ability to raise our reach goal and build more of the visibility and relationships that we had hoped for during the year.
N.B.: These are preliminary figures. The independently audited financial statements for Solidaridad North America will be uploaded here as soon as possible.