A Conversation for The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy Foundation
KB Started conversation May 11, 2012
An exciting development indeed!
One thought, though: When you say
"In particular, we hope to work with small charities where a relatively modest amount of money will make a significant difference ", I'm not sure this would be the most efficient way.
Due to economies of scale, it's often the case that larger charities provide "more bang for your buck": the amount of money spent on running costs and administration can afford to be much smaller as a proportion of funds raised overall.
Something to think about - you want to do as much good as possible with the money you raise, after all!
Sol Posted May 19, 2012
Sol Posted May 29, 2012
OK, so I thought I'd expand a bit more on the point you raised, KB, about bigger charities vs smaller charities. Here's our thinking at the moment:
Our most experienced Trustee (charitywise) is quite clear that
a) we only have low thousands to donate at the moment anyway
b) we get a bigger impact donating to charity in say Afghanistan where 1k gives a years worth of books and teaching materials than to a huge charity where 1K barely registers and we can build a real story for why the HHGG Foundation on those kinds of things.That last may sound cynical, but as a charity starting out, we need that sort of exposure so as to grow bigger in order to do more good.
Essentially we want to work with the h2g2 community to identify those smaller charities which the big Foundations etc would find it hard to work with.
KB Posted May 29, 2012
1k barely registers to larger charities? I don't think that's really what you meant - it's incorrect.
It sounds a little bit like re-inventing the wheel when you talk about "as a small charity starting off". There are people who have been doing this (providing books, teaching girls in Afghanistan, promoting literacy) for decades, and they have the mechanisms in place to make sure it gets there.
Sol Posted May 29, 2012
Regarding the 'people have been doing this for decades' point - yes! We agree! That is, essentially why we would prefer to support them with donations rather than try to mirror what they are doing.
I wonder if, perhaps, we are talking at cross purposes about what constitutes biggness and smallness charitywise? When I think 'big charity' I think the household names like UNICEF and so on. Now UNICEF would undoubtedly like 1K of donations and it would undoubtedly help somewhere, but would it really be as appreciated _by the charity_ as 1K will to a smaller one?
Plus I think we would prefer to focus on the organisations which do specialise in the areas which fall under our remit - most of the big charities, the household names do not. I'm sure, because why would we, that we haven't ruled out making contributions to campaigns they might run which fall within our remit, but UNICEF at the moment seem to be pushing soccer aid, for example, which doesn't. If as a small literacy (in the broadest sense) focused charity, just starting out, we want to make it clear what we are about, would it be helpful _in the long run_ to donate to a charity which, while it may do worthy literacy work, doesn't have that as it's main focus or even as it's current focus?
Actually, as far as I can see most of the more exclusively focused literacy charities do not in my eyes qualify as 'big' in the sense that I haven't heard of them. And most of them have quite a narrow focus - much narrower than our remit. Now that's probably because they are operational charities, and it makes sense not to try to do everything. But we can do everything by supporting a number of different projects.
Although that said, we have chosen basic literacy as our initial focus because, well, again, too much diversity of donations would dilute the good.
Am I making sense now? I mean, one of the things that struck me in discussion with people who run smaller charities/ organisations/ projects that seek funding is that they find it difficult to compete for grants with the bigger outfits, who can afford to employ specialist grant-writers. That's the kind of organisations we are trying to reach, and why it would be useful to have such people recommended to us by the community.
Anyway, I do hope it is just a confusion of terms here and you don't disapprove completely.
Sol Posted May 30, 2012
Oh hey, though, I don;t want to steamroller any concerns you have with a weight if explanations, although I hope I have erred on the side of explaining rather than trying to convince there. I'm quite happy to represent any issues people have to the Board of Trustees.
It seems to me that there's always a dilemma with donating to charity - too many good causes not enough time/ money/ energy. And there's always arguments for and against which ones to pick. Eventually you just have to choose, or you would end up not donating at all.
Key: Complain about this post