Small is Beautiful - forgotten 95%


#1

Coming from a tech background, I’ve witnessed first-hand how the proliferation of new technologies has drastically altered all elements of our lives – this certainly extends to the third sector. For charities and donors alike, there’s never been such a wealth of opportunities for telling new audiences about good and worthy causes through online platforms, social media networks, and mobile technology.

When spreading the word about charitable causes, I’ve always been particularly passionate about drawing attention to news stories of people doing great work at grassroots level in the community. With 15 years’ hands-on experience in various grassroots charities, I’m acutely aware of the impact small charities have made in the communities they serve. Moreover, the superb work done by individuals or small organisations is often pound-for-pound more effective than some of the bigger charities, which naturally have larger overheads and are less efficient.

There are countless examples of small charities making an impact that goes well beyond what one may think is possible for an organisation their size. Fredericks Foundation is one such case – this charity has given severely disadvantaged people an opportunity to go into self-employment by giving them microloans and mentors to get them back on their feet. Seeing these people having a second chance to build their self-esteem, become self-sufficient, and ultimately contribute to society again is truly remarkable. The charity transforms people who would once rely on the nation’s support structures to into independent and successful professionals.

In a similar light, I was proud to help a very good friend of mine’s father as he led a project by the Diocese of Salisbury Education Committee to build the first-ever secondary school in Juba, South Sudan. This school was created in 2010 for orphaned children, giving them access to British education; today it’s a thriving and successful independent school with around 1,000 students – evenly split between males and females – and a pass rate of 80%. I became part of the project when the site of the school was nothing more than a dust bowl, but some very committed people with a clear vision and a lot of hard work have made something incredibly special.

The third and final example I’d like to share is that of a charity close to my heritage. Waterharvest, is a small charity based in the UK, providing water harvesting and sanitation to the remote, rural communities of Rajasthan. The work done by this small charity has taken 1.5 million people out of poverty, at an average cost of £1.85 per person. I seldom see large charities able to make such an impact at such a cost-effective rate. Again a small but dedicated community of trustees, volunteers and committed long-term donors has made this possible.

From my time working with fantastic organisations such as three I have named here, I know all too well that financial inclusion and access to transparent finance at the lowest possible cost is a critical challenge for small charities and not-for-profit communities. That’s why, in 2014 when I discovered social donations platform Givey, I decided to invest.

With a mission ‘to make giving a small part of everyday life’, Givey is a solution that is totally transparent – it is open to all donors and charities about how it makes it money. Embracing advances in mobile and social technology, Givey has created a suite of social sharing tools for the donors to effortlessly promote the causes they care about. What’s more, 100% of all the donations made via Givey’s platform goes directly to the charity, meaning that small charities benefit from every penny of someone’s valuable donation.

Having seen the amazing work they do, I am determined to continue helping small organisations, whether that is charities, not for profits or volunteer organisations. To enable these groups to make a difference we need to create innovative technology, financing models, mentorship/volunteer structures and access to resources. Providing these things will make small charities even more effective while also enabling them to keep true to their causes without losing their “personal touch” in favour of a more corporate approach.

If you want to help or participate in this mission then, by all means, get in touch; tell me what you would like to do to make a difference and why and we will help in whatever way we can to make a better world.