by Tim Mansfield
Published on: May 17, 2004
Type: Opinions

Fundraising on the Internet can be a nightmare. No matter how good your cause you will find there are already many others in the line ahead of you and all with their caps in their hands and with more appealing causes to sell. This is fine and understandable and good luck to them all.

What upsets me is that the major global charity organizations (we all know who they are) are not really interested in us little guys. It seems they only take notice and donate seriously when a worthy charity project matures and gains international attention (and everyone else by then has done the hard work) and that seems to be the springboard for these donors to sit up and take notice. I ask myself could this be that the Committees of some of these renowned NGO’s and charity Foundations sometimes have other interests at heart?

Bless them anyway if they do as long as they keep donating to worthwhile projects around the world, but I propose that they should think deep and hard about the real facts involved in being benefactors of needful charities and the realities of sustainable funding. It is difficult enough trying to raise money for a small charity project (in my case an orphanage for AIDS and street kids in Zimbabwe) without then trying to scale the awesome and slippery walls of the large global charity institutions.

The little guys; the newly formed private or community non-profit organizations in countries all over the world are the very foundation of what later become major charity projects; whether the initial cause is AIDS, poverty, hunger, war or natural disasters. But the little guys are the ones who don’t have the money (hence the power) to make themselves heard and to attract the funds they need to grow.

To get a major US or other international charity organization to help a small grassroots charity is almost impossible. They will not answer you by email. You must post them an application for a Grant and this will not only take a lot of effort and give you a major headache to put together and by the time you have done it you will have missed the deadline for Grant applications and have to wait another year.

The little guys need help now. That is what the nature of being a small creature is all about.

Can’t we please have a special consideration in our case? This would be like a “Less than 10 Items” checkout in a supermarket, meaning that the little guys who haven’t been able to spend much money get a chance to get through first, but later at least become the big guys because of their own sweat and tears and the initial help of a major donor.

Now this would be something special - if a major charity organization or Foundation followed this strategy people would really believe in them and perhaps some of the bad feeling about huge charity foundations and their philanthropic motivations might be rescued.

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