Posts filed under ‘Office Space’

Sibling Rivalry

Sibling Rivalry

By Mohammad Shakir

Let me give you an analogy: you have a younger sibling. They are leaning to walk and talk, play and read – but they are quite there yet as they are continually learning. As an older sibling you are there supporting and helping them along to learn tho

se life skills that you as an older child or adult take for granted.

Now, let’s apply this to the charity sector. Over 5,600 charities registered with the Charity Commission during 2011-2012. These new charities or “new siblings” are often founded by people who have great ideas, vision and drive; but lack the experience and knowledge it takes to run charity transparently, accountably and successfully.

If we look at the goals and missions of charities in general, you will find words such as improve, promote, alleviate and help – all words which connote building something positive. Much like our siblings, we would want to support these “newborn” charities achieve the best that they can through offering advice, sharing our own experiences and wisdom. The support we give may even be more physical in nature such as attending their conferences or supporting them in meetings much like you may attend a siblings’ football match or graduation.

There is a place for experienced organisations to help those that are smaller and don’t have the knowledge or expertise to lay solid foundations and not make mistakes on the way.

There is always time for sibling rivalry when you grow up!

January 15, 2013 at 4:12 pm Leave a comment

Bringing charities in from the cold

By Mohammad Shakir

As the winter months set in and the rain and snow get ready to besiege the United Kingdom once more, we will be looking to wrap up warm, keep a hot drink with us and take that extra blanket out of storage to ensure we aren’t caught in the bitter cold.

Let’s use this scenario with charities; especially new and growing charities. Let’s say you have just received your registration from the Charity Commission – what do you do next?

Well regardless of your aims and objectives, there are certain things you will need such as a place to meet with partners and colleagues or a place where you can use an office or desk on an ad hoc basis. A place that is flexible and easy to get to. A place where everyone knows your name… (OK, that last one is not necessary, but it wouldn’t be a bad thing).

The concept of Zakat House is to support these charities by offering services that cater to their size and needs. In reality – does a charity which has one person coordinating its work really need anything more than one desk with phone and internet connection?

We have to encourage these new charities to work transparently and diligently to make sure that the money and aid that is donated to them reaches the beneficiaries for which it was raised.

Charities don’t work for profit or loss – they work to achieve something that is greater morally, spiritually and with a greater humanitarian and community spirit.

Come and join the Zakat House family.

November 15, 2011 at 3:34 pm Leave a comment

Security in my humanitarian space

The Humanitarian Space - Would you like to join?

By Dr. Hany El Banna

Security means safety, stability, sustainability and productivity. While my humanitarian space means my rights, dignity, privacy and ability to develop my country.

But why are we talking about my humanitarian space? Because it is a basic human right for each and every one of us. This is my main philosophy. This is the main philosophy behind the creation of Zakat House. Financial security for small and start up charities that want to carry out humanitarian works – a home for them in the heart of London’s West End.

We did not only want an empty space for these organisations – a desk, computer or individual- but we wanted to give them an interactive humanitarian space and experience, to bridge the gap between them and other start up organisations and allow the cross fertilisation of thoughts, dreams, visions and the dynamic cohesive productivity towards common solutions.

Early this week, I saw the beginning of the fruits of this interactive, humanitarian, connective space. Abdurahman, the MCF coordinator asked me to draw a three year strategy for their organisation. I thought that this was not my job. This is either the job of a highly paid consultant costing up to £500 a day, or it is his job – because I believe that strategic thinking is not something you can only you can learn at Harvard, Oxford or Cambridge, but something that has been intrinsically embedded inside every creation including birds, fish and reptiles.

Instead of talking to Abdurahman individually we called Fatima from the International HIV Fund, Abubaker from Zakat House and Rahma from the Somali Relief and Development Forum. We all sat together around one table to discuss how they can think strategically and effectively about their goals and objectives.

Once they started their own discussion, I pulled out and I watched from behind the glass door, and felt the heat of the motivated discussion amongst them. I smelled the scent of the beautiful fragrance of the flying, argumentative humanitarian thoughts between the four organisations.

Then I saw, the bonding result of the intellectual cross fertilisation process amongst them. After two sessions each lasting 90 minutes, they managed to structure the process of strategic thinking, which was more valuable than a consultant’s colourful presentation or handout. The outcome of this interactive bonding, productive humanitarian space was:

  1. Building confidence in the hearts of the coordinators.
  2. Enabling them to think loudly and collectively for a common goal
  3. To create the teamwork not amongst members of the same organisation but amongst DIFFERENT organisations.
  4. To incite their common vision, common objectives and leadership quality.
  5. To save time that was going to be utilised by a consultant.
  6. To save the £500-£1000 that a consultant could be charging us.
  7. To cement the infrastructure of the social fabric of society empire multi storey building.

While having my lunch with another organisation in the kitchen, Fatima from IHIVF, came to make her presentation to reflect the recipe of our new cuisine which has been cooked elegantly in the Anglo, Pakistani, Indo-African kitchen of our organisations. Please come and have a bite! I can tell you it tastes mmmmmm……

October 28, 2011 at 9:34 am Leave a comment

What’s in an office?

By Mohammad Shakir

An office can be anywhere; a dedicated room at home, a large building with a lobby and nice sofas, or a simple converted house. An office, much like most things in life, is what you make of it.

Zakat House offers a variety of services for small and growing charities and social businesses, such as a support unit which offers guidance, advice and resources in fundraising, governance, marketing and communications through its Charity Support Unit.

It is all well and good to have those services, but you all organisations need somewhere to work, an office space which is affordable and solely for charities and social businesses.

Between May 2010 and May 2011, 8,000 charities closed down and were removed from the Charity Commission’s register. It is clear that the charity sector is need of support. Affordable office space combined shared resources such as the support unit can be vital to the helping those smaller and newer charities a foot up in staying open and achieving their charitable objectives.

Zakat House is excited to announce that they will be offering affordable office space from their new premises near Tottenham Court Road. The building, will offer affordable office solutions, conference and meeting rooms all with excellent transport links to major London train stations and airports. This charity hub in London can help the charity sector weather the current tough economic climate.

P.S Here are some images of the new building!


September 6, 2011 at 9:58 am Leave a comment

Zakat House services in 2011

Supporting Charities


If you’re based in the UK, and would like to get involved with Zakat House do get in touch. The following will outline what we plan to deliver in 2011.

Serviced offices

Zakat House will help and support small charities by offering affordable serviced offices in central London that provide lease flexibility in a cosmopolitan location. We will bring together a network of innovative small charities in the UK under one roof, creating our “Charity Hub” where they can all share experiences and resources to raise their standards in efficiency and professionalism, while helping them attain their goals.

Charity Resource Support Unit

Our aims and objective of the charity resource support units is to provide:

Essential …Effective… Consistent…Support

The benefit of this service is capacity building, operational effectiveness and ensuring the cross fertilisation of the absolute best practices are implemented within Zakat House and the charities based here.

The resource support unit will be situated within the same building and readily available between office hours to complement a charity’s day to day work.

Services the unit will offer include:

• Strategic planning – including organisational audits and preparation of business plans

• Policy creation- helping small charities introduce systems and procedures that will enable them to deliver effective services

• Legal – providing access to advice and guidance on a range of issues relating to finance, governance, and public relation

• Human Resources – including training, coaching, and mentoring of staff and volunteers

• Marketing – including web design and publications and fundraising strategies for small charities.

• Operational – Offering legislative and practical advice on all internal structure health and safety issues, application of charity commission practices and policies, and ensure accountability, transparency, and continuity

• Fundraising – including funding applications, advocacy and sourcing potential funding and assisting with the application process

Community Network Hub (CNH)

Our aim is for the Community Network Hub is to facilitate a healthy environment for debates and discussions based on the themes of:

Dialogue…sharing… trust …action

Zakat House will create a community platform where organisations and individuals can create new links, strengthen existing ones and collaborate on projects. The hub will exist to bring local charities businesses, organisations and individuals together encouraging them to engage in dialogue, leading to a promotion of social, economic and environmental changes.

We will dedicate meeting rooms and auditoriums for activities to take place, subsidised service fees will be applicable for charities and members of the public to use the facilities.

If you want more information click on the contact us button above.

January 7, 2011 at 3:00 pm 1 comment

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