This case provides an overview of various types of decisions a nonprofit organization has to make regarding fundraising. Helpers Inc. is a UK based nonprofit organization working to rehabilitate displaced people of Pakistani origin who live in Bangladesh. The case involves two scenarios. The first scenario relates to recent interest in Helpers Inc. from a group of students studying fundraising at a US based school. The students wish to volunteer in Bangladesh – to help with projects on the ground. This phenomenon is known as voluntourism. Although there is capacity within Helpers Inc. to accommodate volunteers, the Helpers Inc. Chief Executive believes that the organization is in greater need of more funds, rather than additional volunteers. The second scenario is related to the first and involves funding for language and culture-education from a potential donor. Given that many refugee-receiving countries do not permit refugees to learn the local language, this aspect of the case offers a realistic perspective of what occurs in these contexts versus what is ideally envisaged by policymakers and nonprofit organizations.
This case examines the tension between volunteering time and making cash donations to support a non-governmental organization, dealing with the identity of recipients of aid, and also in stressing the importance of learning an adopted language. Overall, the case offers students help in understanding and analyzing the complex dynamics that occur in a crisis situation that has decades of history behind it.