April 12, 2011 at 3:58 pm 1 comment


By Usman Mir

The United Nations, Unites States of America, European Union and United Kingdom – a common theme between these nations and supra-national organisations has been crucial to their past or present successes. Unity. It seems as though Western countries took heed of one of the key messages of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH), and it has been to their benefit. This concept of unity is not only required at national levels, but must be practiced at a grassroots level. It is only through unity amongst people, communities, organisations and countries that not only survival can be ensured, but prosperity can flourish.

The issue of ‘survival’ has become somewhat acute for charities, especially smaller charities, in light of the economic downturn. Whilst the government have tried to ease the pain by revamping gift aid and introducing policies to encourage giving, the fact remains the UK donation pot has shrunk. Households are being hit, companies are feeling the squeeze and local councils are tightening their belts. And with the budget recently announced the worst, one would suspect, is yet to be faced.

What then is the solution? Charities will no doubt need to really stretch the value of each pound they get – but surely that can only go so far? It is time for charities, both Muslim and non-Muslim to begin to consider what this idea of ‘unity’ can offer. Rest assured there is no suggestion of an all-encompassing merger of charities into some conglomerate – actually far from it. It is a given that charities need their individuality. Rather the circumstances of today require charities to look inward, reflect upon what they are doing; how they are doing it and how collaborating with other charities could offset the financial squeeze caused by the economic downturn. It is a time for introspection into the inner workings of charities to establish positive, tangible and most crucially cost efficient processes through which charities may not only survive, but prosper.

History tells when groups of people have been faced with the same problem, more often than not; the solution has been found when they have come together. This a call to reason and reflection – and most of all what’s there to lose by trying it out? Furthermore keep it simple as there is no need to be creative too quickly – maybe see whether sharing the procurement of IT hardware or office supplies yields some cost gains by making a bulk order and go from there.

Entry filed under: Big Society, Charities, Ethical Business, Funding, Islam and Zakat, Our Community, Philanthropy, Unity. Tags: , , , , , .

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