Historically, fundraisers in Nepal have been starved for knowledge. And for support. And fellowship. They struggled in a vacuum to raise money to support organisations to tackle myriad social ills and make life better for their fellow Nepalese.

Thanks to his experiences with IFC and IFC Asia over a couple of years, Rewati Dhakal was inspired and empowered to change that. And in the process, he helped changed the face of fundraising and philanthropy in his country.

Rewati is the embodiment of everything we hope to accomplish when the team at The Resource Alliance is planning IFC. He took the proverbial ball and ran with it.

His journey from struggling fundraiser to inspired changemaker began at IFC 2014, where he first came to understand the kind of personal power that people have to create change, in themselves and in the world.

“Attending the IFC in 2014 was the first time I realised there are many things to be done,” Rewati says. “It was like going to fundraising mecca. I was new to fundraising and wanted to be part of the community. Being at the IFC made me realise the gaps I had in my knowledge.”

From there, Rewati’s thirst for knowledge grew and he attended IFC 2015, as well as IFC Asia 2017 and 2018.

Empowered by what he learned – and by the number of fundraisers from his region who he met at the IFC conferences – Rewati did something extraordinary: He started his own conference. One hundred and twenty people showed up for the inaugural Philanthropy Beyond Fundraising conference in 2019 – the very first conference for fundraisers and in Nepal. They spent their time together sharing stories, challenges, solutions and, for the first time, enjoying the uplifting company of people just like themselves – dedicated agents of change determined to make a difference.

“Before this, there were no motivations for fundraisers in Nepal,” Rewati explains. “It was not even recognised as a career.”

Rewati’s efforts helped to grow fundraising in Nepal into a cohesive, sustainable system and boost the culture of giving not only for individual fundraisers and for individual organisations, but for the country, as well.

Thanks to his knowledge and connections, Rewati was invited to be part of the fundraising team at the Kathmandu Institute of Health, where he is one of the leading members of a major campaign to support the hospital’s $80 million project where $40 million is required to build a first phase children’s hospital and another $40 million for satellite hospitals in six other provinces. Currently there is only one government-sponsored hospital to serve the country’s 12 million children. 

Rewati continues to use the inspiration he got from his IFC experiences – as well as the concrete learnings he brought home and the deep well of connections he made – to make a difference. His long-term goals are to continue to support fundraising and fundraisers and philanthropists in Nepal.

“I want to empower the younger generations of fundraisers to support more impactful and ethical fundraising,” Rewati says. “And to run another conference. My goal in 2021 is to reach 300 people, particularly from Nepal and other Asian countries.”

Every year, the global fundraising community comes together for four days of rich and innovation-led learning, sharing, and cocreating at the International Fundraising Congress (IFC), which is delivered on-site in the Netherlands as well as online.