Posts tagged ‘Social’

The Power of Social Media for Fundraising

This is a guest post from Alison Richmond at Alison has worked in the fundraising industry for several years and enjoys discovering new fundraising ideas for charity.

Our modern world is plagued with unthinkable facts that we see and hear of those living in extreme poverty.  The unintelligible statistics of 800 million people who don’t have access to safe drinking water, 3 billion people who live on less than $2.50 per day and 22,000 children who breathe their last breath daily, as a direct result of poverty.  Something I discovered only recently numbs the mind; there are 100 million more people on Facebook today than there are getting clean water.

The power of social media today is an unrivalled tool for charities to reach the masses.  If every registered user on Facebook were to give £1 to charity, uncountable lives would be spared.  98% of charities maintain a presence in social media and some incredible feats have been achieved utilising that power.

‘Child’s i Foundation’ is a charity which focuses on helping abandoned children, those orphaned or neglected.  25% of their donations come from their online sources and a recent campaign saw them raise £10,000 in 48 hours to save the life of four-week old Joey, left alone in a taxi park.  Joey needed a life-saving operation to strengthen his heart and ‘Child’s i’ took to the internet to find the funds.  After 250 donations and 38 hours (10 hours faster than they had allotted) the £10,000 target had been smashed and Joey’s life was saved, allowing him to swiftly recover and achieve adoption in just six weeks.

Child’s i used a ‘Just Giving’ webpage, an institution often used by fundraisers to find sponsors for their sporting events.  Just Giving optimises the government’s tax relief Gift Aid and for every £10 donated, the charities receive £11.74.  Just Giving has become synonymous with online fundraising and giving.  The Royal Hospital for Neuro-disability also launched a cost-free video campaign and hit their target in less than 24 hours without the use of a budget, donor website or film crew.

The beautiful thing about charities optimising social media is the aspect of sharing the load.  Commercial companies won’t promote each other in the interest of protecting their brand but the inherent nature of charities allows them to endorse other organisations striving to achieve the same effect.  Water Aid’s Twitter page periodically links out to other charities such as EndWaterPoverty, Third Sector and even individual philanthropists.

But the activities don’t stop at the big hitters like Facebook and Twitter.  Many charities maintain online blogs, within which they publish regular updates on the result of their charity work.  By allowing the end users to see positive results of their altruism, they keep their givers engaged and promote further donations.  Those who have yet to donate can also see directly what they could be achieving.  The innovation extends to websites offering PPC (Pay Per Click) models which afford the charity a donation based on the cost-free activity of an online user.

In essence, social media provides a previously missing middle platform between charities and donors.  In the past, the satisfaction one could glean from philanthropy would come from within or from the thanks of a telephone operator.  It hadn’t yet been possible to document the direct actions of fundraising and get that information to the masses in a simple and efficient way.  By following your chosen charity through social media; you can experience the effect of your actions, increase the power of your benefaction and network all of your contacts into the fight against poverty too.

September 25, 2012 at 9:18 am 1 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

I am new to this, can you help me?

By Mohamed Mohamed

When a new Muslim sister comes to Islam, we as Muslim all rejoice and so do the angel and animals on earth and the sky. The person is about to undergo so many changes from waking up in the middle of the night, eats, their social settings also; everything about their way of life is about to change.

The beauty of Islam is that Allah does not expect you to go through radical changes and nor does the society if you’ve just turned to the rightly guided religion. No one denies you will face challenges and issues in all aspects but Allah has commanded Muslims to help those who are in need, and to make the transition as smooth as possible

Four years ago, I came across 2 twins who had just recently embraced Islam. I realised that their cousin was married to one of my uncles. At first, the communication between us was lacking as there was nothing in common with us, but as I went abroad to do my studies that I kept in close contact with both of them. I spoke to them about all matters of life and why they chose to embrace Islam, what has Islam given to them. They lived in Ipswich which I spent a month doing my medical attachment at the local hospital.

On Saturdays they attended Islamic classes for new Muslims. I was surprised at how well a positive message was emphasised during the class, which was made coherent and easy to understand. The number of convert Muslims that lived in that area was pretty impressive for a small city – Islam really is a growing religion.

I usually have a few questions when a new Muslim comes to Islam. How will they cope? What is their impression of Islam? What support do they get from the Muslim community? Are their family angry and have they abandoned them?

When one of the companions of the Prophet Muhammad SAW was tortured and beaten because he refused to take any other deity of worship other than Allah, upon his release the people around him gave him so much support and love. When someone says I want to talk to you, they have chosen you specifically because they think that you might be able to help them maybe they want your support and help because you’re a good listen. So are we doing enough to helping the new Muslims?

Can you help a revert Muslim sister? Donate to Solace via Zakat House today.

August 22, 2011 at 1:40 pm 2 comments

Doesn’t exist? Yeah right

By Mohamed Mohamed

Domestic violence exists in all quarters of our society. This is not to say domestic violence is a Muslim problem. In England domestic violence takes place every 2 minutes. Unfortunately men are also victims, the majority are women. To those of us who know Islam and the Quran, violence against women is against the teachings of Islam that we look at those who use our religion against us as misguided, misinformed or malicious.

Many sisters who come together and talk about their problems they are facing, often find they are not able to articulate themselves properly because the person listening doesn’t have enough experience to offer legal or emotional guidance or she is too shy to talk about it because she hasn’t built enough bridge of trust to talk about such personal issues.

Under no circumstances is violence against women encouraged or allowed in Islam. The holy Qur’an contains tens of verses extolling good treatment of women. The verse couldn’t be clearer that the relationship between men and women is to be one of kindness, mutual respect, and caring. Added to these verses is the inescapable fact that the Prophet vehemently disapproved of men hitting their wives, and that he never in his entire life hit any woman or child.

In his last sermon, Prophet Muhammad told us “O people, to be kind to women as you have rights over your wives, and they have rights over you.” He also said, “Treat your women well, and be kind to them, for they are your partners and committed helpers“. In a saying of the Prophet, he said, “The strong man is not the one who can use the force of physical strength, but the one who controls his anger” (Bukhari).

When I read stories in the newspapers about women being subject of domestic violence that even leads to them being mentally affected and scarred for life needing psychiatric help, it leaves a sour taste in the mouth and makes me think what the motive was? Was it greed, was it for power, was it pressure, and was it misunderstanding? Or could it be the fact that men feel a sense of insecurity and want to feel powerful so they subject women to mental and physical abuse. Or could it simply be he had a disagreement with his wife?

In any case we should have a zero tolerance approach against domestic violence whether it is against men, women or children.

All families should maintain open lines of communication between all of their members; by having regular family meetings where everyone is allowed to talk and convey themselves without any recriminations.

Marriage must be seen as a partnership, and marriage contracts should identify a vow to an abuse free and violence-free family. Extended families must bring to an end covering up mistreatment, abuse and violence in the name of “preserving the family honour”. Beyond all, the family, like the individual must keep Allah as its focal point.

This Ramadan, Zakat House is helping Nour DV fund-raise to raise awareness and stop domestic violence. You can donate to their project here.

August 16, 2011 at 2:11 pm 3 comments

This Ramadan, at Zakat House, Zakat begins at home

By Mohammad Shakir

We have seen the plight of millions in East Africa affected by drought and famine. We remember that last Ramadan, Pakistan was besieged by floods leaving millions homeless.

Yes, international disasters are important and we should work hard to help them. But we can’t forget the many number of charities that are working on our doorstep here in the UK.

This Ramadan, Zakat House has selected five projects from five charities which work within England and Wales, within local communities helping people living here in the UK.

The five projects are:

Project 1 – Outside Line from Muslim Youth Helpline

Muslim Youth Helpline is working to reach out to 5,000 prisoners through Eid gifts containing support, information and advice (50% of the Muslim prison population)

They also want to raise awareness of their confidential helpline which prisoners can now call for free, enabling them to access practical and emotional support through a combination of listening and signposting.

Project 2 – Domestic violence support from Nour DV

Nour DV was launched in 2010 to help women that are affected by domestic violence. We will be raising funds to create a helpline for victims to gain guidance where they can receive emotional support.

Project 3 – School counsellor at Al–Noor Primary School

Al-Noor Primary School is a Muslim primary school based in east London. They are raising funds for a dedicated school counsellor that will help children with mental health difficulties.

Project 4 – Time to understand from the National Association of Muslim Police

We are working with the National Association of Muslim Police, who represents 2,000 members who work in police services around the UK to help increase understanding of Islam amongst different police services around the UK.

Project 5 – Coffee mornings for Muslim Revert Women – Solace

Solace is a support service for women who have reverted to Islam. We are fundraising to help them hold their coffee mornings where women can find support and a listening ear from volunteers.

These five projects help people within different communities around the UK. These causes are as important as those which are affecting people that are living abroad and must not be forgotten.

We will be focusing on them over the next few week and telling you all how they help communities in the UK.

Abu Hurayrah (radhiallahu anhu) narrated that the Messenger of Allah (PBUH) said: “Whoever believes in Allah and the Last Day, let him say what is righteous or keep silent. Whoever believes in Allah and the Last Day, let him be kind to his neighbour. And whoever believes in Allah and the Last Day, let him be generous to his guest.”

Related by Muslim

August 9, 2011 at 10:03 am Leave a comment

Social Business Day

By Mohammad Shakir

Today, 28th June 2011 marks the second Social Business Day. Created by Muhammad Yunus and his organsiation, The Yunus Centre, it is a day where the world can come together and learn about the latest innovations about social business and celebrate what has already taken place in the field.

The theme for this year is “Achieving the Millennium Development Goals through Social Business” The Millennium Development Goals are as follows:

Goal 1: Eradicate extreme poverty and hunger

Goal 2: Achieve universal primary education

Goal 3: Promote gender equality and empower women

Goal 4: Reduce child mortality rates

Goal 5: Improve maternal health

Goal 6: Combat HIV/AIDS, malaria, and other diseases

Goal 7: Ensure environmental sustainability

Goal 8: Develop a global partnership for development

Now  I get the feeling that you are wondering, how can a social business achieve those even one of the above goals? Here is an example:

The Iko Toilets in Kenya are changing communities in Nairobi by offering something more than just a simple public toilet. The toilets are offering jobs for cleaners, a confectionery store and a shoe shine spot where people can get their shoes polished. It is the type of social business that can most definitely work to achieve Goal 1 by creating jobs through which people can feed themselves and Goal 7  because there would be a safe place for people to use the bathroom with a proper sewage system ensuring that the local environment is used for crops rather than waste. Discussions to expand the IKO network to neighbouring villages and cities thus achieving Goal 8. You see where we are coming from?

Social businesses have the potential to make a positive impact on a persons’ life. No matter how small or big it can create change that will last.

The questions is respected reader are you a spectator or part of the solution towards the goal, if you have  an interesting idea that will help someones life. Let us know on

June 28, 2011 at 2:29 pm Leave a comment

The Social Apprentice: Home or Abroad?

Time to seize the moment and make that difference

By Abubaker Adam and Mohammad Shakir

For those of you who saw The Apprentice on Wednesday evening , you would have seen Lord Sugar send his business hopefuls across the Channel to test their business acumen, and negations and guile on foreign soil. The task is – to sell British made products to the French market.

Let us give you a parallel: a social entrepreneur can create a successful concept that is applicable amongst communities in the UK, after making a profound impact on the community, they will then export it abroad to impact and improve communities all around the world. Lord Sugar, eat your heart out!

Let’s give you an example. London Street Food Bank gets its supply of food from daily outlets which are unsold. It then distributes it at different distribution points around London to the homeless and hungry. It gets food from restaurants and receives donations from other companies that supply food and drink. This type of enterprise could be exported to any other city or town within the UK or around the world to help the hungry and homeless that are everywhere. Any ideas anyone?

Imagine if your Zakat donations went towards helping a social enterprise that will make an impact on local communities in the UK. Sometimes we forget that there are people on our doorstep that require our help and donations. Zakat, Sadqaah, small giving, are all important reminder of how lucky we are. After all this is our role as Muslims – help those in need across humanity.

Let us give you another example. You may be able to make you Zakat go further by supporting a social enterprise that is helping the poor in the UK as they will have the foundations to replicate this  model abroad in the developing world.

You donation will pay for skills and experience that these social enterprises can replicate the world over and take their idea, pound for pound further and wider.

Whatever you give, no matter how small, can start a revolution. Give us your comments below. You never know you could be starting a revolution right here, right now!

*As a side note, in the true spirit of collaboration Abubaker and I decided to write this blog together over Google Docs. Believe me, it is an experience I have never gone through before!

June 24, 2011 at 2:34 pm Leave a comment

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