In the aid sector, nongovernmental organizations are evolving. They change the way they do business to meet demands by donors to demonstrate value for money or go local.

And many of them are now looking to successful businesses for inspiration, such as the Ubuntu Education Fund, a South African nonprofit that offers HIV and educational services to more than 40,000 children, youth and adults.

“We have to evolve. … We study best business practices. We model ourselves after some of the most successful businesses out there,” Jacob Lief, founder and CEO of the Ubuntu Education Fund, told Devex on the sidelines of the 2013 Clinton Global Initiative annual gathering in New York.

Lief said part of his organization’s model is to “really professionalize everything we do,” by hiring the best people.

“We have enough computers; we have enough program supply,” he said. “We need good human beings.”

Watch the above video for more of our interview with Jacob Lief.

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About the author

  • Eliza Villarino

    Eliza Villarino currently manages one of today’s leading publications on humanitarian aid, global health and international development, the weekly GDB. At Devex, she has helped grow a global newsroom, with talented journalists from major development hubs such as Washington, D.C, London and Brussels. She regularly writes about innovations in global development.

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