Jugaad Leadership Program

The Jugaad Leadership Program works with participants to assume ownership of critical issues in their communities. Leaders gain access to knowledge, skills, and resources to make a difference in Central Minnesota, where the organization is located. It is a unique program that brings people who are otherwise underrepresented together to create connections and gain social capital.

Jugaad was established in 2015 by Eunice Adjei. Since it’s inception it has worked with almost 80 leaders of color; alumni of the program hold positions on various community boards and a few also act as advisors to the organization itself. In 2021, Jugaad’s grant writer applied for and received a capacity building grant through Propel’s Nonprofit infrastructure Grant Program Initiative (NIGP) to build out the organization’s fundraising program.

“NIGP allowed us to hire a fundraising consultant for the first time,” Adjei said. As the only staff member at the time (the organization recently welcomed a VISTA), she needed the support, and wanted her board to also be involved.

“Our consultant is located in the area and understands the fundraising landscape here,” Adjei said. He also helped the organization’s leaders see that events might not be the best option for them to raise money, something they previously thought. Instead, they focused on individual giving and grants.

“It was huge to be able to hire a consultant, bring in past participants of the program to take the workshop, and learn the skills of fundraising together,” Adjei said.

Through NIGP Adjei and the board also learned more about applying for and receiving government funding – a goal of the program. She said they learned about the reimbursement process and feel more prepared to apply for a government grant.

“We are ready to grow and know that we must do it sustainably. Hiring a fundraising staff will be key for the organization so we can serve more leaders and create a larger network in the community,” Adjei said.