Category Archives: Community Activity

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.

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Crowd – Gifting

There has been much emphasis on crowdfunding though there should be a view point towards people crowd gifting. I will explain further, suppose people were to donate items to persons who are seeking funds to raise for a venture.

This would occur by providing them with items which you do not want and listing through Ebay or a second hand selling site, you would then be able to take the proceeds from the sale after the item has been sold.

This would mean you could donate to a campaign if you did not have the funds by selling an item and pledging the proceeds to the campaign.

My viewpoint came from my experiences of giving to charities in the UK, where I often donate books and DVD etc to charity shops as I just cannot be bothered to sell them online and besides some of the smaller charities do some good work and I am very supportive of local charities who do good community work, I also buy many books and redonate them once I have finished.

There are online services online which can allow you to donate items and they will take the proceeds and pass them on to the charity/thrift organisation you would want the items to go to.

As stated above there are other ways in which you can ensure your funds go to another party, this could be through arranging with the individual or group recieving the funds that you will pledge the value of the item if it is sold.

There are things which can be looked at to see how and if it can work, at least it is something to think about.

Considerations:

  • Whether or not an agreement can be made to accept donations in this manner.
  • The items donated for sale may not sell.
  • To get the funds will require much effort as going to a charity/thrift shop as you will need to post and package the item to the sellar.
  • Unknown value of the item until sold.
  • Difficult to get a standard price of all items as most venutres will be for business, rather than charitable.

The Benefit:

  • More donations as many people will have items to sell.
  • Very Accessible to those with little funds but many items
  • Pledges do not have to be made until the item is sold and the value from that item gained.
  • More access to others who might have a passing interest rather than a full interest.
  • Takes dedication and interest in the campaign and the projects of the person/group asking for the donation.
  • This could be a way of asking businesses and organisations if they have any old stock which they can donate to sell for the cause/project you have.

Further information:

Selling for Charity (Ebay)

Local Community Sponsorship and Business Growth

Recently, I have been working with a black local community organisation and they are sponsored by a black themed business which is not owned by black people.

Initially I thought this was a bad idea but it made me realise that there are very few businesses in the UK, which have established themselves to a point where they can provide a great amount of funding to such a prevalent cause which affects black people in the UK.

It is a case of black people in the UK looking at themselves especially those who have run or are running businesses. I myself will look to be accountable to this also. If we build a business we should be able to generate income over a number of years to be able to expand into a chain which this business is and make it applicable to different audiences.

Even in the case of black companies making a great amount, very few will likely put their tax breaks or donate some finances to causes such as this one as they are worried of being too black or too affiliated with a cause that affects their own people. Some black businesses may not be interested in funding a community cause unless it is a international or universal cause.

In the UK black people have been here anything between 70 and 40 years and we should be looking at having chains of shops and services, rather than having small businesses which cannot support community needs.

If we are to develop stronger businesses amongst our smaller communities in the UK, we can look at different creating networks of businesses and liaise with community groups and organisations on how they can work together in a partnership where both parties get something out of the agreement.

This will mean organisations like the one I am currently working with will be self-sufficient and will be able to remain exclusively black rather than relying totally on public funding and can do what they set out to do with businesses having a similar ideology supporting and providing resources to make this happen.

Black People and Sports

For years there has been much discussion about black people and playing sports. This has been something I am interested in, as a kid I wished I could go to university to play sport, then do a profession at the same time.

This was in line with playing football (soccer), but I went to university in the UK (twice – Undergraduate and postgraduate). Now I would not encourage black young people to go to university unless they were going to become a lawyer or a medical professional.

Recently the person who protested was brave and honourable but as many have said if it wasn’t for the football players getting involved then he probably would have been left to starve or given up as there would have been little support.

This demonstrates there is much economic weight behind the people who fund sports in the west. Black people are exploited in going to play college sport and academy sport in the UK. The question I have is whether or not they are encouraged to look at alternative careers.

I remember as a young man always thinking if I became a sports person I would get some education as I heard too many stories of people knowing only sports and when they were dropped out of the sport they went into drugs and crime.

The way I see it is people should look at playing sports like Tennis or Cricket where they can get a qualification and they have to work during the off season if they are not the best to keep an income coming on, it keeps you honest. For men you can pick up a trade – Electrician, plumber or carpentry, even set up your own business. For women it could be health and well being or just setting up a business which allows you flexibility between playing your sport.

Many of times I see sports trying to take you away from real life when you play for them yet when they have finished with you they will drop you like a hot coal.

These sports people in america (and the west) should be looking towards setting examples like with the hunger strike but setting up or working with black support groups who can provide counselling and advise in relation to what alternative/back up careers you can look at if things do not work out.

Much of the time the institutions are only interested in what you can give them at that time and any external ideas or approaches are seen as a threat to them, rather than thinking only 1 in a 100 will make it through so lets prepare them for life after this sport. We must do it ourselves with organisation, planning and preparation.