Posts filed under ‘Zakat House’

2011: Have you sowed the seeds of success?

By Mohammad Shakir

Wow! We have had amazing year at Zakat House. We have been blessed to meet and work with talented and gifted individuals from impressive organisations and bit by bit we are seeing the Zakat House dream come to life.

From travelling around the UK and Europe to working with other charities to support their projects during Ramadan, Zakat House as an organisation has been immensely busy.

We have had the pleasure of speaking to students around the UK and Europe gauging their thoughts on community initiatives and social entrepreneurship – essentially spreading the word about Zakat House. Our presentations at the FOSIS and FEMYSO events created a buzz and we that will continue in 2012.

Ramadan and Eid saw us working within the community with charities and highlighting the importance of supporting projects that are based in the UK as they are as worthy of our Zakat donations as much as people in need abroad. We have to remember that wherever we look, there maybe people suffering – we may not see it on the surface, but someone suffering from mental depression, discrimination or abuse are worthy of our help as much as a person abroad.

Moving into our new premises in September was the first part of a dream realised. At time of writing we have four charities that are working in and using the facilities based at Shaftesbury Avenue. As this number grows, we will see this “hub” mature into a community which will be able to help the entire charity sector, not just small and growing charities.

It may be the case that we want to help as many people as possible, here in the UK and abroad. We must not lose sight of the fact that as human beings, regardless of race or religion, we should be ready to help our fellow man that is in need. Surely we would want to be treated the same if that was us asking for help.

December 31, 2011 at 6:15 pm Leave a comment

A warmer winter for UK Charities

By Mohammad Shakir

Anyone that followed the Chancellor’s Autumn Statement this afternoon will have noticed that he announced an exemption on paying VAT for charities which share services and resources such as staff and IT equipment.

This is a major positive step as the current economic climate has led to charities downsizing such as Association of Chief Executives of Voluntary Organisations (ACEVO) moving in with the National Council of Voluntary Organisations (NCVO) in summer next year in order to save costs.

At Zakat House, we have a growing number of small charities and organisations that share resources such as IT services and marketing and communications staff.

The exemption is mandatory and was introduced under European law in 1977, but has never been applied in the UK. This will help our partner organisations such as the Muslim Charities Forum and the Small Charities Coalition as well as charities that are based at Zakat House.

Our dream is to ensure that new and growing charities get a chance to achieve their goals through offering them affordable office space and the chance to plug their resource gaps by sharing resources with their fellow charities.

We also encourage all charities to share their experiences so that all can learn from the best practice of another.

So we welcome the Chancellor’s exemption on VAT – but we are also aware that there is so much more work to be done to ensure that the charity sector can weather this financial storm.

To find out more about what Zakat House can offer – click here.

November 29, 2011 at 4:41 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

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