Author Archives: Upliftment Solutions

Starting you Own Group/Venture

This space has resources often to help you create or find a venture or group. Often if you are creating one then business plays a part as you want to be able to be self-sufficient from the start or near there if you are funded.

One of the difficulties organisations have is looking at a business model to begin with. The first question being who do I sell services to if people who are in need want to use it and likley cannot afford.

This can be answered by partnering with a local organisations or services and selling your service to them.  An example would be a day centre for vulnerable adults, the adults pay through their personal budgets to attend. Or a local authority pays for each person to attend sessions at a workshop your organisation provides as it finds it cheaper to use an external source rather than an internal one.

One thing to consider would be going to tender to get these services. Its where public services set out what service they need then your service shows if it ticks all the boxes and matches what the outcome of the service will be for the end user.

Organisations can also use membership or subscription to sustain itself depending on what you do in general. Like a business a organisation to be most effective must have a unique offering and benefit to the local and wider community. They can have a less unique purpose but there will be more competition for end users and funding. It may have greater challenges.

Check out the sources on building a organisation below:

Funding and Resources

Setting Up A Business

Social Enterprises information

Social Enterprise Body

Community Interest Companies

Charitable Organisational Structure

Advertisements

Procurement

The theme this time is the three pillars of procurement, Accountability, Capability and Transparency. This is a wide ranging perspective on black based crowdfunding campaigns and promotions. In the black sphere/network there are people who will ask you to donate to there projects but there is a lack of substance.

I have yet to see a person who is well known to black people who has shown accountability, showing they will accept the plaudits of success as well as the consequences of failing to deliver. There is an example with the numerous videos out there where some people are talking heads, saying this needs doing but that needs doing, when clearly they are not looking at a way to look forward and use their energy to make things happen.

Some talk a good game, but when delivering then they can be found wanting, one way this could be started would be to create a pilot project, prototype then when it is up and running, measure the failure or success the measure how capable you may be with the real thing. This will show how capable you are to deliver the final product you would like funding for.

Committing to the development of a project, campaign or promotion is one thing, showing them value for their money is another. Many of the black talking heads are not good at giving updates, and if there are updates not giving credible ones, which are very vague. If a project is to be transparent, having access to the plans (as far as possible – if confidentiality or data protection), a clear direction of where the project is going and open access to the project. Clearly, some black projects are closed off and so it can be disappointing if you have pledged financially to the cause.

Based on what is said if all three of these conditions are like this then a project is not worth investigating on, we all make mistakes even I did (and I apologised see the blog). Think before you put time, money and effort into someone’s campaign as they might just be trying to create a wave with no foundations behind it.

A solution to a underwhelming event

Recently, I was looking forward to going to a black event but this was dispelled as soon as I had entered the event.
There are several things which I will note:
  • The reception was not courteous
  • The leaflet had random pieces of information
  • No itinerary for the days events
  • No schedule for the speakers
  • The event information was a Facebook page
  • No activities for children
  • There was no menu
This could easily have been:
  • A warm welcome
  • Simple but effective design of a leaflet/flyer
  • A itinerary of what would be happening on the day
  • A schedule of the days events
  • Having a website as a first point of contact, with a Facebook page as a signpost
  • Speakers being on time
  • Activities for children
  • Food menu as it had a cafeteria
The effect of being more organised:
  • A value for money event
  • More support in future
  • A service which is worthwhile
  • More transparent operation
  • People who are capable of delivering a great event
  • Repeat custom
The event could have been cheaper, and the atmosphere considering the topic it was focused on could have been more welcoming and interactive. It is some thing which an event organiser may think about as well as the committee of the organisation.

Freeloading

There is a lot of killer content out there, some of it is useful some does just that to your concentration. I’m more of a blog reader, though I also listen to podcasts as I work, travel to work or just out and about. One of the things which has struck me and other is how these videos make money.

Looking at the business side of these services is important if you want to understand the reason why they can keep this stream of content and information flowing. They get advertising money from adverts on their videos from the streaming channel. This is now being stopped by google for less desirable videos as there is a concern that too many truthful videos are benefiting from businesses who are purely interested in keeping you distracted with superficial and none nonsensical videos.

Most of the people who do truth seeking or providing videos could benefit from continuing to get the advertising money from these video which you watch without paying but google (in reference to YouTube has stopped this). Before my tirade ends, I have heard and seen some videos where these Video bloggers and podcasters have asked for financial support but there has been a lack of support from blacks, which is typical of my own people, we would rather pay a European for the same request and why because we do not value our own products.

There have been some instances where some people have asked for donations and the audience of the blog have told that person to get a job, or why should they pay for it. These are the kind of people that queue up for the latest gadget or item of clothing or have subscriptions to something which they rarely watch or because there friends have it, when that money could be used for something which they may have watched for years.

A way around this which I have discussed in a previous blog is the video blogger could have adverts at the start, middle and end of the videos, this way you will not be able to complain about the video blogger asking you for money and you will be able to continue to access your free information.

The other alternative to this is where a video blogger had decided to not bother create or release any content until they got a minimum number of donations or supporters on a service named patreon. If you have watched a lot of this persons content putting something towards it shows you will have a level of ownership.

Further Information:

Patreon (www.patreon.com)

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)