The Two Most Important Factors to Building Your Charity
The aim of any charity is to provide some social good to a particular cause that you believe in. Whilst we’d like it to be the case that it’s just a matter of getting on with producing some good, in 99.9% of circumstances that’s just not the case. Charities are a two way affair. You have your receivers (those who you help) and your donators (those who make it possible for you to help) and if you want to grow your charity and help as many people as possible you’ve got to pay as much attention to your donators and what they want to see from you. The two most important things: significance and credibility.
Every time a donator has the opportunity to donate to your cause they’re going to ask “is this a cause I want to donate to?” which translates as two things: is this a cause that portrays me in a good light and is this a cause that I have an invested interest in or is this a cause that will make me feel significant.
First of all, lets ask the question why do people donate in the first place? There are a number of reasons but, as controversial as this sounds, pure altruism is probably pretty low on that list. A lot of people donate because they like that nice feeling running through their veins, that feeling of helping to change someone’s life, of being significant, a game-changer, the difference. There’s also another reason why people donate, they like the cause itself / have been exposed to the problem the cause is trying to resolve. Here’s an example. My favourite charity is Cancer Research UK. I don’t think it’s the best charity around but I donate to their cause whenever I can because cancer has directly impacted on the lives of far too many people that I love and care about, and consequently cancer has impacted on me.
Without credibility you won’t survive as a charity. Charities are embodied by reputation management. Charities grow and survive by building and maintaining partnerships. These partnerships don’t just portray how you are presented but also how those who partner with you are presented. Being credible is essential to building these partnerships. At Kits4Causes we had a clear policy. In return for the football kits provided we wanted photos, videos etc of the kits and how they are used. The reason for this was three fold. We wanted to show those who had donated where their football kits had ended up, we wanted to show those who were thinking about donating what their football kits could potentially achieve and we also wanted to create credibility to our cause. This policy was one of the main reasons why we were able to partner with so many charities and so many large organisations in a relatively short period of time.
Never get comfortable
One final point, which I feel is really important when building your charity is to never get comfortable. Feeling comfortable is most definitely the enemy. There are always more people to help and partnerships to grow and maintain. Always aim for growth no matter what, because the more you grow the more people you help.
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