Discovering organizations that are truly committed to creating positive change can be challenging in today's world.
For the Future, a non-government profit organization run by a team of young Filipinos, has a simple goal: to create a better tomorrow for the Philippines by conserving nature, empowering communities, and promoting self-sustainability.
“We wanted to make people who wanted to help know how they could help. To solve one thing, you have to look at a lot of different factors. Not just the symptoms of the problems but also the root cause. So while we’re addressing the symptoms, we're also trying to go deeper into what actually causes malnutrition, or the dangerous threats towards our environmental defenders. And how do we as young people help change the narrative? That’s what For the Future is actually all about: imagining this better world for everyone and trying to somehow make it real,” says Issa Barte, Co-founder of For the Future.
For The Future has mastered the art of storytelling, connecting communities, and initiating direct action. The organization’s projects are all geared toward their common goal as they bring people and organizations together to help those who need it most. From livelihood programs to reforestation, climate education, and typhoon relief, the organization tackles various issues with a holistic approach.
“We work with emotions, we work with things that make people react a certain way, but it’s also just uncomfortable enough that it makes you want to do a little action whether it’s donating, whether it’s attending an event or joining competitions or just learning we’re part of the problem,” says Paolo Palanca, Project Lead at For the Future.
The very first community For the Future partnered with were the Aetas of the Yangil Tribe in Zambales. The community was among the hardest hit during the 1991 eruption of Mt. Pinatubo and the lahars that followed. For the Future, together with organizations like MAD Travel and Bioten, worked to help the indigenous Yangil Tribe restore their livelihood and ancestral domain starting with reforestation programs.
“I get the same feeling every time I visit Yangil who was our partner community from when we first started For the Future and it’s the sense of empowerment. The first time we went to Yangil there was so much to be done to help lift them up and amplify their voice. But now, going back to this community, they have nurtured their own ideas on how to help themselves, their own initiatives on how they want to move forward as a community. That’s so beautiful and telling of the kind of impact we’re trying to create through For The Future,” Issa recalls.
For The Future believes that every contribution matters, no matter how big or small. All donations add to their resources and provide them with flexibility to carry out various projects. As the organization grew rapidly since its inception in 2019, the need for a payment provider to handle finances became crucial. Thanks to PayMongo, the team can now automate their accounts and have more time to be on the ground and work with communities.
“I feel like it just made life so much easier, honestly. I didn’t really see the relationship between tech and conservation until I saw that digital media as a great avenue to share these stories–and after our two-year stress on spreadsheets which has been made so much easier by automating all those accounts. We now somehow have more time to actually just be on the ground, be with communities through PayMongo,” Issa said.
For the Future Project Lead Roque Banzon recalled the early days when the organization was doing a lot of donation drives for typhoon relief. Since they were using their personal bank accounts then, tracking all the donations coming in became a tedious and time-consuming task for them.
“It became just so much easier to streamline it through PayMongo, and not only that, we can also track all the donations. Back when we were doing typhoon relief it was like “oh you can donate through GCash, you can donate through BPI and BDO.” It’s impossible to track all of that,” Roque said.
More importantly, For The Future's transparency to donors has improved drastically since they began using PayMongo. The payment gateway helps them allocate funds per project, keep track of how much they have, and quickly revive projects with the awareness of the money coming in.
[My favorite part about PayMongo] is how it helps us out a lot with transparency to all of our donors. Even if you’re trying to be as transparent as you can, there’s still going to be human error. Just having all the donations automated makes it a lot easier to tell everyone “this is exactly where your money’s going,” said For the Future Director Raphael Galvez.
With PayMongo taking care of the financial backend, For The Future can focus on nurturing their culture of growth and expanding their reach. The organization’s relationship with technology has helped them further their cause and provide transparency and efficiency to all of their donors.
Visit https://www.forthefuture.org.ph/ to learn more about their projects.