Frequently asked questions

Why Malawi?

In many sub-Saharan countries, especially in rural areas, poverty and inequality are astonishingly high and absolutely incomparable to the western context. To take Malawi as an example: over 50% of the population lives below the poverty line (income lower than $1.90 per day). Many people lack essential facilities like access to electricity, which in many western countries can be taken for granted. In rural areas of Malawi only 4% of the population has access to the electricity grid, which is often quite unreliable.
Our aim is to implement many more solar power systems in countries other than Malawi as well.

Who can support?

Every person with a bank or Paypal account can be part of enabling our projects through a donation. Should you come across any issues while making a donation, please contact us.

As a company you can make a one-time donation or become a partner of sopowerful foundation. Get in touch with us to explore options.

How are donations used?

Donations are exclusively used for what is communicated on the project pages. In other words: 100% of donations is used for the projects. Running costs of the foundation, traveling costs, accommodation costs, etc. are covered by ourselves.

Are there tax benefits I can make use of when donating to sopowerful?

sopowerful foundation has been granted the status of Public Benefit Organization (Dutch acronym: ‘ANBI’) by the Dutch Tax Administration. The Dutch abbreviation stands for ‘Algemeen Nut Beogende Instellingen’. Because sopowerful is awarded as ANBI, donations to sopowerful may be partially or fully deducted from taxable income (individuals) or taxable profit (companies).

Find our ANBI details here, read more about the ANBI designation  here or  contact us in case of any questions.

What happens if a project target amount is not reached?

If the target amount for a project is not reached within the deadline communicated on the project page, we will first extend the deadline of the crowdfunding campaign. In the unlikely scenario that we would not be able to proceed with the project, donations would automatically be refunded to each individual donor.

What happens in case a crowdfunding target amount is exceeded?

If the target amount for a specific project is exceeded, we consider to use a maximum of 10% on top of the original goal for features that increase the added value to the project (e.g. additional lighting). In that case these additional features will be accounted for and communicated to the donors.

Anything beyond these 10% will be transferred to a similar project and function as ‘kick off amount’ which will bring crowdfunding of this next project up to speed faster.

How do you ensure and control progress and the right use of funds?

We engage on a personal level with the organizations we support, as well as the solar contractor we partner with. During the installation process we are on-site and ensure first hand that everything is procured and carried out as contracted. After completion of the project we monitor performance and keep track of operations, including the compliance with maintenance agreements.

Is sopowerful a registered entity?

Since December 2019, sopowerful is a foundation registered under Dutch law, with Chamber of Commerce number 76714411, RSIN 8607.69.483.

Is sopowerful part of/depending on any other organization?

sopowerful is an independent foundation in its own right and does not depend on any other entity or organization. 

We are of course open to collaborate with relevant local and international partners. Please contact us if you are interested in exploring a collaboration.

What about the ownership of the solar power systems?

Upon completion of the installation and taking care of the relevant contractual agreements, ownership of the system will be transferred to the local project owner. A maintenance contract will be in place, basic training is provided, warranty documentation is transferred and the local organization becomes fully responsible for the installation.

How do you ensure the solar power systems (and other components) will function properly over their lifetime?

We put particular focus on contracting the solar contractor for the necessary maintenance interventions and potential repairs. Besides this, people involved in the project on a daily basis will receive basic training and instruction on how to deal with simple operational issues that can occur. In some of the systems we implement remote monitoring, which allows daily insights in performance. This also enables to detect potential issues with the system as early as possible.

How do you select the projects you take up?

Essential factors on which we judge the fit of a local project and the organization behind it are:

  • Presence of local team and responsibility
  • Sustainable approach with continuity and long term vision

Urgency and relevance of electrification.

Read more about our approach here.

How do you involve the local communities?

We interact and get to know the local community during our ‘research phase’, in which we determine the needs of and solution for a local project. We put effort in communicating the importance and benefits of the solar installations to the communities, as well as transferring a sense of ‘ownership’, which plays an important role in the avoidance of theft and vandalism.

When possible, we organize an education session for villagers in which the functioning of the solar system, as well as solar energy in general, are taught in the local language.

Your question has not been answered yet? Please contact us by email (, or through the below link.