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SUSTAINABILITY WITH IMPACT: THE CASE OF FM4 PASO LIBRE

We accompanied the exploration of an innovative value proposition with the goal of diversifying and developing alternative income sources outside the organization's traditional strategy, with a focus on developing links to large donors.

CONTEXTO:


FM4 Paso Libre (Dignidad y Justicia en el camino A.C.) is a Mexican non profit organization dedicated to the defense and advocation of human rights for immigrants and refugees. It accomplishes this through comprehensive humanitarian assistance, policy advocation, and research conducted in Western Mexico. Every month they help approximately 1000 people affected by forced displacement.


In 2020, with help from Tinker Foundation, we launched an open call for applications to support a Latin American social organization in its development of alternative sources of income, completely free of charge. Out of the more than 80 organizations that applied, FM4 Paso Libre was the organization chosen for this process.



UNDERTAKING THE CHALLENGE:


FM4 Paso Libre came to us with a clear challenge: they needed to strengthen their models of financial sustainability by generating alternative sources of income, and the strategies they had in mind centered on the development of products aligned with their mission.


Although the organization had previous experience exploring alternative sources of income, they had difficulties with sustaining these models over an extended period of time. FM4 Paso Libre hoped that the accompaniment process with Kubadili would improve their ability to sustain their alternative income strategies over a long period and minimize their dependence on international cooperation funds in the future.



METHODOLOGICAL DESIGN:


Once the challenge was defined, the teams from FM4 Paso Libre and Kubadili - which on this occasion consisted of Claudia Pappaletera, Hernán Dos Santos y María Camila Chacón - began the long but important process of developing financial sustainability. For three months, both teams employed various dynamics and agile tools to generate conversations and strategic actions that would contribute to the creation of new sustainable income sources that would impact their work in both the short and long term.


Initially both teams began planning in an adaptive manner; identifying their strategic objectives and financial goals through planning with OKRs. This type of planification allowed them to think about how to measure their results in a way that reflected the proposed objectives. Later, they developed a value proposal through planification tools like Mural, which allowed them to identify products and services that fit the stated proposal.


Finally, both teams entered the most interesting and challenging stage of the process: carrying out practices of experimenting as a manner through which products and services could be tested.At this point, Mural also proved to be a valuable tool for displaying in a graphic format all of the ideas and experiments, and organizing them in a strategic manner according to the necessities of the organization and the FM4 Paso Libre team.


Visualization of the prioritization of ideas done by the FM4 Paso Libre team during the experimentation stage of the accompaniment. Credirt: Kubadili/FM4 Paso Libre


ACTIONS AND RESULTS:

The process of accompaniment with FM4 Paso Libre resulted in two concrete results. The first is that the organization created a Funds Procurement team in order to continue experimenting and applying what they had learned over a longer period of time.


Hernán Dos Santos, facilitador of Kubadili, together with the FM4 Paso Libre team. Credit: Hernán Dos Santos


And the second concrete result is that the organization successfully turned many of the ideas born from the experiments into reality: between 2020 and 2021, FM4 Paso Libre launched a line of t-shirts, a photo contest whose winners were included in a calendar made and distributed by FM4 Paso Libre, and they partnered with local businesses so that a portion of their sales goes to the organization, among many other ideas.


Promotional image of the shirts created and distributed by the FM4 Paso Libre team. Credit: FM4 Paso Libre


TESTIMONIAL RESULTS:

We’d like to share the testimony of Gauri Porras and Gabriel Covarrubias Agredano, members of the Procurement and Communication teams respectively. They shared their personal experiences and thoughts on working with the team from Kubadili and the impact it had on FM4 Paso Libre.



NUMERICAL RESULTS:

  • The accompaniment lasted 3 months, with 3 hour weekly work sessions.

  • 10 people participated in the process, with distinct backgrounds from various distinct teams in the organization

  • 3 specialists in financial sustainability from Kubadili participated

  • Throughout the accompaniment, FM4 Paso Libre developed and employed 6 different activities to generate alternative sources of income.


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