An Interview With Ken Mallette, Director of Oxfam America's Annual Fund
The 1980s marked the start of campaigns designed to educate the U.S. Congress and the American people about such issues as the Khmer Rouge and “empowering” approaches to relief and development. This trend led to a stronger advocacy focus at Oxfam America, where staff members took on such issues as debt relief and fair trade. An office was opened in Washington, D.C., in 1994, and the organization now invests in a popular campaigning infrastructure.
In 2000, Oxfam America celebrated its 30th anniversary. While the organization today is a very different place — one that has grown and changed to address both the times and the changing needs of developing countries — several things have remained steadfast: the commitment to addressing issues of injustice and poverty, and the set of core values that has informed its work through three decades of staff and board members.
FundRaising Success spoke with Oxfam America Director of Annual Fund Ken Mallette about the organization’s work and fundraising philosophy.
FundRaising Success: How do you fund your mission?
Ken Mallette: Oxfam America solicits donations from individuals, foundations and corporations to fund its work to create lasting solutions to poverty, hunger and social injustice.
FS: What are the biggest challenges your organization faces as far as fundraising is concerned? How do you overcome them?
KM: Certainly the economic crisis in the U.S. has posed challenges to our fundraising. However, we have seen that our donor base has remained very loyal. We have made some adjustments to account for this, and to date, we are in line with our projections.
Oxfam has staff and programs all over the world. By providing donors with up-to-date information on what is happening on the ground, we are able to create long-lasting relationships with donors who become very loyal to Oxfam.