Monthly Archives: January 2017

Charitable Workings

For the last couple of years, whilst, working in retail and getting a business or two off the ground. I have been using professional skills I have gained through digital inclusion and project management, I have been doing some work with a charity attempting to make it more efficient.

Much of the work I am doing has been creating a channel strategy, a bit like a social media strategy but looking at how you can provide services and information to service users using digital devices and/or the internet. I have also been developing the website, and looking at how the organisation can work more efficiently.

Something which strikes to mind for black charities, is efficiency and resources. Having volunteered at a few organisations, efficiency seems to be one of the things which is a lower priority as digitising some services or even making some tasks less time consuming can be a challenge.

For example, if you want volunteers, using sites like do it.org is a great place to start as you can get volunteers for many tasks who will work a couple of hours a week to lighten the burden in the organisation.

Having updated content on the website is also important, this can be cost efficient (not cheap but not expensive neither) using providers such as WordPress with templates etc.

The channel strategy, is used to look at how your organisations uses, email, text, social media and how it can deliver some services digitally can save time, if you have service users you can look at how many have a mobile phone number or email (ask for permission to send emails, mainly monthly updates) and send reminders via text. This can look at cutting out paper usage.

Funding is another, charity running is much like a business (its always been but with more access to funding in the past) now instead of looking at how to save money you also need to look at making money as less funding is available and if you are getting funding, sustaining that with looking at why you want the funding, and what difference you can make. Sponsorship is a start if you can build networks and relationships with local and regional (and sometimes national) businesses.

There are many different ways in which you can as a organisation run efficiently, whether it be person to person, or via a digital device its just important you are up to date with modern technology otherwise you may lose out on service users or funding.

International Development

As a guy who was interested in international development, volunteered in a developing country and worked a admin job at a international development department in the government at one time and wanted to study international development but found it an expensive process just to volunteer with a Non governmental organisation. 

I remember being interested in working for some of the charities (known as third sector organisations), but I did no get into these organisations as I was black and working class, without a masters degree. I learned that international development can only be undertaken by those who are from the place or diasporas around the world through remittance and knowledge of social, political and economic development.

The different international development charities are sending aid to countries as a form of diplomacy to lay the ground work for private and external government agencies to come and take minerals. Most of the mainstream charities are on the surface not truthful, with where the money goes. Much of the money you donate can be spent on administration and consultants.

Charity directors, consultants and office staff get paid a lot and so only a fraction of the money you donate to a charity gets to go to people on the ground. If you want to donate to a organisation look for a group from the country who is working on the ground, buying supplies or actually building things.

This is not to say charities do not do nothing its just they are not the most efficient at using donations or funding and so you will find your funding someones “bus-mans holiday”.

Further Information (External sources)

Charity Jobs (CharityJob.co.uk)

Practical Action (practicalaction.org)

Projects Abroad (www.projects-abroad.co.uk)

Volunteering in international Development (theGuardian.com – UK article)

Bond (www.bond.org.uk)

A Pilot Campaign

Blacks who are creating projects should be looking at business and project management models, since they need to create something effective, efficient and sustainable to the lives of black people

I learned from as long time ago that a pilot project should be created before you get investment. Many businesses start of small and grow or show they have a following before they ask for investment or funding. This demonstrates to the investors that your idea is viable and it is what the people want. Its and example that action is more clearer than words. Some ideas are still funded or investment is provided if the initial venture has failed but the difference it can make with the right funding is great.

Some black people who crowdfund, have a service or product already which should be the point. Others want to start from zero. The crowdfunding campaigns, which are starting a project from zero will have a higher chance of not materialising, if no work has not started before the funding campaign started. There should be more clear plans and direction of the project at least and the market should be tested, not just through research but a prototype or as said above a small scale version of the project.

The main project/business can then be created, through having a business case which in summary shows:

  • The benefits 
  • The negative impact
  • The difference it will make

The most important aspect of the persons ideals should be the difference they can make as this can determine whether it will work. If you have no project already then its not likely you can see a practical benefit (no matter how small), rather than a theoretical one.

I follow this most of the time, but like anyone else if someone has a way with psychology and I believe I have done the checks to the best of my ability then I put my hands up, but I use it as a learning experience, just like you would.

Further Information

Indiegogo Guide to Crowdfunding

Shopify Guide to Crowdfunding

Inc.com guide to crowdfunding

Pilot Project Guide

An Apologetic African

If you had read a blog which I had written in 2015, July you would have known that I would have eulogised Dr Umar Johnson to some degree, thankfully my blogs on people dont get read but I am learning since the UK left the European Union how well supported black people are in the UK. 

The piece had as follows:

“So I discuss Dr Umar Johnson, he for me is a genius, maverick and leader, a leader in my opinion and reading is the following:

Honesty

reliability

Communication

Confidence

Commitment

Positivitiy

Intuition

Ability to inspire”

The person in question has some of the qualities of a leader but is not a leader rather a good orator. Lets start with the qualities he doesn’t have, which I have realised over the last year or so. Reliability, honesty, commitment and positivity, starting with reliability, it has been 2/3 years since the crowdfunding campaign started and as yet he hasn’t provided plans or updates, which is well documented. Commitment, this was deemed null and void in his claims to be a pan African after the Brexit vote since he like other black Americans did not care for black people in the UK, just a one way relationship – taking. The other is positivity, which broke the camels back (with me) since he responded to silly argument, which wasn’t that bad and exposed his bad personality.

He has communication as a great orator, ability to inspire as he can motivate or at least energise people with his speeches and is over confident – I.e conceited. I would say that he will build a school but it wont be on the grand scale and questions should be asked as to why he has asked for more money. I have some private thoughts on what might be happening with the money but I will comment further on this at a later point.

The intuition part i suppose is not valid after revisiting this aspect 18 months later Though since brexit I have decided that most Black Americans over 75 have no advice or information for black people around the world and its a lost cause so I’ll look toward Africa and other place where blacks live. He is a genius alright the scam artist type, maverick in regards to his talking rubbish and leader of people who he wins over with his Leo (but no substance) charm.

But being a Capriquarious (Capricorn leaning Aquarious) I apologise for the blog I wrote and will update further on this matter, for those interested.

Further Information

Leadership Qualities Blog