Starting a charity is a noble thing to do. However, is it the right thing for you? Below are a few things to consider when deciding whether or not to start a charity.
What will your cause be?
A charity needs to have a dedicated cause. This needs to be something that you are truly passionate about. Many people set up charities after facing disaster or injustice themselves. A personal cause like this could be more likely to keep you motivated when running your charity.
Is there already an organisation out there for my cause?
With over 160,000 charities already registered within England and Wales, you may find that there’s already an organisation out there dedicated to your chosen cause. Rather than going through the effort of setting up your own charity, it might make more sense to get involved with this other charity. By doing your research beforehand, you can find out exactly what charities are already out there and whether they are a better option.
Do you know how to set up a charity?
There are several legally mandatory steps that you will need to take when setting up a charity in order for it to be classed an official charity. You can check out some of the steps to starting a charity here.
Other steps may be involved if you plan to set up a limited company and collect profits alongside your charity.
How will you raise funds for your charity?
Only by raising funds will you be able to help your cause. There are so many ways to raise funds for charity. These include:
- Setting up a website and social media pages that people can voluntarily donate to
- Hosting crowdfunding events (e.g. bake sales, concerts)
- Encouraging donors to pay monthly contributions with membership schemes
- Partnering up with businesses who can donate regular proceeds
- Creating a charity product for donors to buy
- Collecting change in a donation box or bucket
- Requesting donations directly via adverts, emails and letters
Much like running a business, it’s important to develop a strategy for fundraising – even the biggest charities cannot get by simply by relying on donors coming to them. It could be worth working with financial advisors who may be able to help you increase the funds you raise. Marketing companies may also be able to help you promote your charity so that you increase donors.
Are you able to dedicate enough time to your charity?
Running a charity could take up a lot of your time. On top of organising and running fundraising activities, you’ll need to keep records of accounts. You should consider whether you have enough free time to dedicate to all of this.
It’s possible that you may be able to encourage other people to volunteer their time to help with your cause. Building a team of loyal volunteers isn’t always easy, but could be necessary for relieving some of the burden as well as helping you to organise bigger fundraising projects.