not for profits
The struggle to establish Black Cultural Archives took over three decades. The NMAAHC in the United States has been 100 years in the making; however the feat has left me with an indelible mark of what is possible for Black-led organisations here; but there are some major lessons to learn to make our own mark...
I'm not for a moment saying we shouldn't think and plan and act at our absolute best. But there is little point in our existence unless we can achieve change for people we are here for. The biggest risk of all is failing the people who need us. Let's urge charities on, let's give them the room to breathe, and our support to take courage.
"I used to work for the Cats Protection League," said Mark Salway, leaning back in his chair with a smile. "The fundraising team ran a big campaign to raise money for a cat called Scrunchy, which did well. But, I pointed out to them, that this 'restricted funding' could only be used for a cat called Scrunchy, or we'd be breaking the law!
One of the most common questions that charitable organisations are asking future employees at interview is "what do you think are the biggest challenges facing the sector at the moment?". Yes, there are the answers that everyone gives, such as "we're just coming out of a recession. There is no money", but I like to think out of the box. Here are the answers I like to give.
Young people are the future of this country, and they are the future leaders of the third sector. Surely the quicker we can encourage and mentor them, the better?
Last year when the Manchester dog's home went up in flames I was watching the television and my first thought was how proud I felt that the UK was such a generous nation of animal lovers. However this was swiftly followed by my second, which was, how can we possibly justify raising of £2million for animals when there are children like my eight-year-old son, Harrison, dying every day from fatal illnesses. Harrison has Duchenne, a disease that means he probably won't live to see his 20th birthday. In 2011 I founded Harrison's Fund to raise money to fund research to develop a cure.
I've worked in animal rescue for seven years, after my previous life in the commercial world, and I often say 'I should write a book about this'. Because you look back on some days and say 'Did that really happen?'
When it comes to my great passion, dementia, the UK's major charities - Alzheimer's Society, Alzheimer's Research UK and Dementia UK - are all becoming household names. Interestingly though, when my story of my dad's life with dementia was unknown, it was a charity hardly anyone in the dementia world talks about who showed most interest in me.
I've worked in charities of differing sizes and different incomes. I haven't, hand on heart, seen much in the way of waste. So why do we give charities such a hard time for spending money on 'administration'? It's worth looking at what administration actually is.