Building Trust and Local Funding for Nutrition Advocacy with Emilita Monville-Oro | Ep 2

Season #1

Today's guest is Emilita Monville-Oro. Emily is the Philippines’ Country Director and Asia Director for IIRR, the International Institute of Rural Reconstruction.

Emily qualified and worked as a pediatric nurse for nearly a decade before making a shift into public health and international development without even knowing what an NGO actually was. She knew she wanted to grow her impact and address systemic issues. So moved into advocacy, which she has now been doing for 25 years now.

Emily is a natural storyteller. She loves to talk. They're her words. And she loves to sing videoke. She always wears her heart on her sleeve. Her vulnerability, kindness, closeness to the cause, her passion and deep care for her staff and community set a wonderful example that shines through in every single conversation I have ever had with her. And these are also the things that donors respond to.

Emily is a graduate of the very first cohort of our Fundraising Leadership Program. Six months into the program, she raised an unrestricted donation of $320,000 from a wealthy individual in Manila and established a brand new corporate partnership.

Today, she'll share how she went about raising this large, unrestricted donation and how funding for her core costs has enabled her team to invest in innovation.

I know our conversation is going to be helpful for any organization that is seeking development funding from international institutions, from aligning agendas with donors to the importance of visibility and positioning to receive funding. I have learned way more from Emily about leadership than she has from me about fundraising. So I've no doubt that there are going to be a lot of brilliant ideas and thoughtful, practical guidance here that you can put into action.

And make sure to listen to the end if you want to find out from Emily how to survive the relentless job that is fundraising.

In this episode we talked about:

  • the importance of trust in fundraising
  • the idea of creating a philanthropic organization that is fit to receive funding
  • how trust based leadership can build a positive organizational culture that extends out to and welcomes in donors
  • how all of the parts of your organization are critical to fundraising
  • how to find the balance between the endless and relentless job that can be fundraising
  • the stress of running a large team with targets while also maintaining the wellbeing of that team and our own spiritual, mental and physical health

Resources and links mentioned in this episode:

IIRR International Institute of Rural Reconstruction

Find Emily on LinkedIn


I hope you've enjoyed listening to this episode of the Fundraising Radicals podcast and that this conversation has challenged, informed, and maybe even inspired you and your fundraising leadership practice. 

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You can find translated shownotes & transcripts of this podcast in French and Spanish here:


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