So You Want To Start a Charity? – Intros

So you want to start a charity?! Congratulations. I cannot even begin to describe how rewarding it is knowing you’re helping to make someone’s life better. This article is just the start of a number of articles on all the insider hints and tips from my time starting a charity from scratch to developing it into a successful organisation helping people the world over. It’s an eye-opening journey which won’t always be as pleasant as you’d like but absolutely worth it.

A bit about me and the charity

What makes me qualified to tell you about charities? Well I am the co-founder of the Kits4Causes charity and spent 3 years building that from just an idea to what is now a successful organisation. And there’s loads of things that I wish I’d learnt sooner rather than later. Here’s my story:

Back in 2009 myself and a few friends decided to start a project which was initially known as Afrikit. The idea was simple. We wanted to collect 2010 football kits and distribute them to impoverished communities in Africa to commemorate the 2010 Football World Cup being hosted in South Africa. The motive really was to bring some happiness to children and adults from a region which is obsessed with football, yet doesn’t have the equipment to play properly. The more people we talked to about the idea the more who wanted to get involved and support us. Donations came in thick and fast and charities started to ask whether they could send the kits to those that they worked with. The feedback was amazing. The people that these charities worked with loved the football kits. They could finally add to the escapism of being one of their footballing heroes and became a prized asset. The charities then started using them as a part of their social development projects – get tested for HIV/AIDs and get a free football shirt for example. From there the concept of Afrikit was truly born.

We continued to grow at a substantial rate, 900% year on year increases in football kit donations. We were noticed by some major organisations within football like UEFA (who even did an internal kit amnesty for us) and was featured on Sky Sports News amongst other media outlets. The reality was, we were just students, but we had a genuine desire to help.

Afrikit was later renamed Kits4Causes, which is the name that the charity operates under today. After 3 years of me being part of Kits4Causes it had grown from a crazy idea born in our university library to something that had helped over 15,000 people in 4 continents around the world with a total spend of less than £3000. Kits4Causes was able to help charities reach more people and break deeply ingrained social stigmas purely through the love of sport. We were able to help bring warring Muslim and Christian communities together in Nigeria, help HIV/AIDs testing in Lesotho, bring some happiness to orphaned children in Ghana, help homeless projects in the UK, tackle gun and drug crime in Kenya and help substantially increase school attendance for both boys and girls in Sierra Leone.

And we were just students at the time. Imagine what you could do, whose life could be directly effected by you and your actions. There’s nothing more rewarding.

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