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This weekend, I made my Tada list (to do list courtesy of 37signals.com) public to the world – I did it quietly by hiding it amongst a vast array of links on our Facebook Group, but still it was out there for at least 700 people to see.
The list was so scarily long it took two and a half hours just to go through it at last night’s regular Monday evening team meeting.
I am not trying to suggest I am busier than any other person setting up an organisation or that I want to have a “list-off” with anyone. But I do want to ensure our charity is being as operationally transparent as possible. That is one of our core promises.
Operational transparency is of course the whole idea behind Child’s i Foundation’s communication model of utilising social media – blogging, posting videos, uploading photos and tweeting etc. But all of those tools are to a certain degree moderated by our time and the amount of newsworthy content we have to report (well to be fair our tweets are sometimes closer to general enthusiasm than news:).
But by publishing our Tada lists, we hope to open out our day-to-day activities to the world. To show what it takes to get this project off the ground, to make it work and also where and when we need our supporters to step in and step up. It’s no small undertaking building and sustaining a babies’ home in Uganda – and our ambitions are huge but totally achievable with the help of others.
Everything we have done so far has been due to our supporters offering us their skills, expertise, advice and time. Last week we asked for a Graphic Designer. Step forward Georgie Hewitt, who is going to design the Undress For Uganda promotional material. In the past week we have also had over 60+ TV people offer their skills and time. Our “charity 2.0″ or “collaboration model” is starting to work.
We have deliberately not asked people for money during these early teething days (actually we can take money so if you really want to give so don’t be afraid), because we know we have to be patient. We want people to feel part of this project, ask us questions – challenge us – and get involved.
Our personal tada lists are here:
More to follow …
Today Michelle and I were signing off our fundraising strategy, but we’ve hit a huge snag. We’ve just discovered it could take up to 9 weeks to get a code from HMRC – and that means we can’t activate our Justgiving account. We didn’t want to make the website active before we had a means for our supporters to donate, particularly because we’re developing a beautiful ‘Buy A Brick’ application, which will allow everyone to buy virtual brick to help build our home.
So should we launch Child’s i Foundation to the world without an online donation mechanism?
Just as we were puzzling it out, my phone rang. It was Deborah Meaden. What followed was an amazing 20-minute conversation, which I find hard to believe actually happened. She told me she had read my proposal, and was incredibly impressed with what I had accomplished and what an impressive team I had put together. I had turned the idea I pitched to her in the lift (apparently ‘very well’) into a reality. Her only remaining question was whether anyone else was already doing this kind of thing out in Uganda, but as our priority is resettling our children into families, we have a USP.
I then took the opportunity to pick her brains over the current quandary – should we launch without the donation mechanism in place? She replied with advice she had never given before – Yes, launch. Commercially, she would never suggest us to go ahead but as our aim is to create a worldwide community of supporters, she felt we should focus on building up the community, then launch ‘Buy A Brick’ at a later stage, when we’d generated lots of support and interest.
As for her involvement in our project, she is already working with Action Against Hunger. She is a lady of her word and when she says she is going to commit to something she puts in 100%, so she can’t commit to our project as well. I really respect her and wish her lots of luck on her trip out to visit one of AAH’s projects in the New Year. She did say she is always at the end of the phone if I needed advice, which is extremely comforting to know. Thank you, Deborah. You made my week.
The USP of the Child’s I Foundation is that we are harnessing the power of the internet to connect, engage and inform supporters.
As my web skills extend to being able to check the weather and being addicted to Facebook, I urgently needed to put together a team of experts to make this happen. Step forward Kirsty Stephenson, Matthew Knight and Nick Hall at Endemol Digital. They are now our digital team, who will be using open source tools, web 2.0, image hosting, video streaming, community tools, social networking, crowdsourcing and micropatronage. And no, I don’t know what they mean, either – except that, thanks to them, you’ll all soon be able to see exactly where your donations are going and how they are saving lives.
I have a lot to learn and incredibly relieved to have such an amazing team on board.