Webinar: Innovative Financing Strategies for Legal Empowerment Organizations

Legal empowerment organizations across the world need reliable sources of funding to sustain their important work. In this webinar, you will learn about social enterprise models for legal empowerment organizations. You will gain strategies to begin prototyping and testing new potential sources of earned income for your own work. For guidance and inspiration, you will hear from organizations that recently participated in the +Acumen Legal Empowerment Innovative Financing Accelerator sponsored by the Open Society Justice Initiative (OSJI). You can access the recording of the event at the link below:


@AniketHD CEO and Co-Founder of Haqdarshak and Acumen Fellow, India. Haqdarshak is a social enterprise that uses technology to bridge the gap between citizens, the government and private welfare schemes. Haqdarshak is present in 10 states and has reached more than 100,000 citizens as of July 2018. It generates income via transaction fees.

@vesnashapkoski Legal Education and Transparency (LET) Station, Macedonia. LET STATION is an organization that works to improve the economic and personal well-being of people from marginalized communities, especially those who are long-term unemployed and live in social risk. Vesna completed the Acumen accelerator on Innovative Financing for Legal Empowerment. To support LET STATION, Vesna is developing a social enterprise that offers low-cost cleaning and repair services to help owners of residential apartments and business facilities with maintenance while providing employment opportunities to those in need.

@Grace Founder, Masenze Strategic Advisors, South Africa. Masenze Strategic Advisors’ mission is to increase access to fair and just outcomes through education and awareness. They are working to create a chat platform to remove legalese,literacy and language barriers and in turn, increase accessibility, practicality and affordability of legal services. Grace completed the Acumen accelerator on Innovative Financing for Legal Empowerment. She is developing an earned income stream from fees for legal services in the form of micro-payments paid by SMS credits.

Additional Resources

Introductory Reading

Case Studies

Free Follow-On Resources:


This is really interesting topic and is timely, appropriate and relevant to grassroot rights defenders.

On our part, we self generate funding for works through organizing paid for training workshops for corporate organizations. At the training, we quickly introduce our social responsibility to them and after the training follow up for partnership with them. We encourage them to support and pass through us in doing their corporate social responsibilities.

In another way, we call and ask our able supporters to give us business patronage so we can do it and generate income for sustainability of our work. Some of our rich supporters gives us their properties to manage as agents, some give us printing contracts, while some give us their website designs etc. All is to support us survive since it was/is difficult to most well to do Nigerians to support social causes with financials or money/physical funds.

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Thank you very much for the information, unfortunately I am at work then. Is there a chance to get a recording from the event? Thanks.

Hello everybody. Thank you all for your interest to participate and follow the webinar. Looking forward to share some experiences and lessons learned and discuss any questions you might have. Let’s create some innovative financing strategies together!


Hello Vesna, I am very interested to see how the lawyers in Macedonia are working about promoting the principles of social justice. I worked as a lawyer and a notary in Bulgaria for 20 years and the problems with the corruption there are tremendous. Here, in Canada, I see that the problems are different in the field of the affordability. Unfortunately, I am at work during the webinar but would like to watch a recording if it is possible. Thank you very much for your time.


Hi Alexandar! All network webinars are recorded and the link posted to the webinar topic In the forum as soon as it is available. So keep an eye on this topic!

Tomorrow’s webinar is much anticipated! I will be present myself and look forward to a rewarding, informative event.

We received the following by email - thanks for the encouragement!

Dear friends,

Greetings from Livingstone.

Thank you very much to include us in this venture of teaching learning or better to sharing.

I am excited to learn more.

Looking forward to listen to different sharing of experiences and participate in dialogues.

Dear Amy and your panelists, your webinar was highly informative with a wealth of crucial gems. How likely are we to have full written transcript of the entire discussion of your very knowledgeable panelists ? Appreciated

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Hello everyone! Thanks for an amazing webinar presentation yesterday. Thanks so much to everyone who attended, and pole sana (apologies) to those who were unable to make it due to internet issues or scheduling coflicts. I know it’s not always easy to make it to our webinars for everyone because the world is big and there are many time zones to cross!

@MohammedAman thank you for organizing. Thank you so much @AniketHD @vesnashapkoski and @Grace for serving as panelists. It was interesting to get to know you and your organizations, and to learn about your experiments to explore new and innovative ways to earn income to support your valuable work.

I have updated the first post in this topic to include the link to the recording for this webinar. In the coming week or so we will update with more written notes and resources after consulting with the presenters.

Presenters and network members with a strong shared interest in this topic will be monitoring this topic, so feel free to introduce yourself and your organization here, and tell us about your experience if you have tried to explore earned income, and feel free to ask questions.

@Alawy @joeansu @TweetingSheikh

Hi Tobias,

It really was amazing I had fun and I’m looking forward to more. I need your help though, I am struggling to find the platform for comments and engagements, please send me a link.

Warm regards


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Hi Grace! You can find this topic on the forum at the link below. When you come, you may need to log in which you can do by selecting the LOG IN button in the top right corner. From there you can log in with a password, or if you don’t remember your password you can always select Email me a login link.

Hi everyone,

Sadly I could not make up with the webinar. My name is Dennis Ekwere, founder and focal person of "Children and Young People Living for Peace, Nigeria (CYPLP). We are self generative and for over 8 years having been generating funding through earned-service income to do our social work at grassroots in Nigeria.

We actually operate with a subsidiary call Kode Advertising Enterprise, which generate money solely and deploy it through CYPLP back to society. Through Kode Advertising, organize tailored or customized trainings to corporate organizations/companies, carry out consultancy services, write and sell ebooks online, design websites for clients, serve as estate agents for our big time supporters, create blogs for advertising revenue, crowdfunding etc.

Recently we are moving into small scale production of liquid detergents, repackaging etc. That’s how we survived without any grant for the eight years since we started.

Here are links to what we do and operate as social enterprise.

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Wow! Thank you, Dennis, for sharing your experience. This is super interesting. I really like your model and am glad it seems to be working for you and your organization.

I wonder how you will react to the webinar recording when you watch it, in which the panelists describe prototyping and testing of new approaches.

Are there any business ideas that you attempted that did not work out? How long did it take you to decide to let go of an idea and stop putting effort into it, and what factors led to the decision?

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When we started, we applied for grants as - Not for profit organization on foriegn aid to no avail of funding. We lost our office and staffs but were still running actively for a year. So I went to drawing board and began to use SWOT analysis and got the solution. Firstly, I told myself I have to reinvent the wheel. The SWOT analysis showed me my strength which is in strong power and passion to get results. I look at my skills and upgraded them to stand the test of time.

I realised that I need to work more with volunteers instead of paid staffs to cut cost and the volunteers were selected based on their skill sets and they must be engaged meaningfully financially in any enterprise. I also realized that there’s untapped and virgin opportunities to generating funds locally. But that will need frontal approach creatively.

Where we found our weaknesses we avoid it but tensioned on our strength. Then opportunities opens and we learn to manage all our threat to sustainability by creating multiple streams of incomes.

Somehow, I am available at any moment to share my model to help others climb the ladder at ease. Our believe system is anchored on raising local fundings to solving local problems in Nigeria and Africa. It’s just mindset.

Thank you Tobias, it’s so nice to have access to people who understand the struggles and challenges of this access to justice space.

Have a great day



Hi Alexandar. Thank you very much for your interest. I hope that you had the chance to review the recording of the webinar. The issue we talked about is more focused on what the CSO’s can do to provide an earned income stream for themselves, having in mind at the same time promotion of social justice and legal empowerment of the communities. The situation in Macedonia is not very different than Bulgaria I’m afraid, but that’s just a reason more for us to keep on the same track. I would love to continue discussing this issues with you and share some more experiences from the region.


Received by email from @Korogocho_Centre:

The cost of justice is getting more expensive especially in the slums where a lot of human rights take place and most of the affected groups expect to get services on pro banal while it becomes had if the centers has no financial stability ,the centers must now stand on their own.

It’s great to hear from Korogocho Centre and to see you add your voice to this discussion. I have strong memories of visiting you in 2016 as part of the @exchange_2016tanzania learning exchange.

What innovative financing strategies have you tried or are you considering for Korogocho Centre?

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Thanks for sharing. Great topic