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Tobotron's avatar

How do I set up a charity?

Asked by Tobotron (1313points) May 23rd, 2010

I’m wanting to set up a charity to help bring viable energy alternatives to those parts of the world without electricity, for pumping fresh water, lighting peoples houses, heating water and so on as well as providing bicycles for families that otherwise have to walk long distances or hitch rides to markets and so on. All be it on a small scale.

How can I go about setting up a charity outside my job and eventually making it a full time occupation (eg. paying myself a wage) is there EU or other bodies that offer funding and so on?

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3 Answers

lilikoi's avatar

Not sure how it works in the UK, only the US. The easiest way to find out would probably be to talk to the founders of a charity you already work with. They have gone through the process, whatever it is, and could probably provide a good starting point.

Also, I think your intentions are admirable. There are two things I think you should consider moving forward:

1) Whether or not the organization you are describing already exists (there are a number of orgs that do this type of work, at least in the US). It may be easier to work within their existing org or if you are looking for a tax shelter or your vision doesn’t quite agree than you could at least find potential partnerships. You need to have a clear mission statement regardless, and when writing for grants it will help immensely to know “your industry” and “competitors” and how you fill a niche no one else can, what makes your org unique, what the similarities and differences are.

2) The needs of the people you plan on serving are paramount. Unless you have a direct connection and relationship to a place and its people, it is really hard to know what they need and how best you can help. It would be counter productive to install a solar panel if they don’t want it or are starving (i.e. have more pressing needs), e.g. I’m sure you already knew that, but I felt I should point it out anyway.

Tobotron's avatar

@lilikoi thanks for the insight, I have first hand experience with work I’ve done in Siberia and Uganda as far as teaching and electricity supply goes with contacts in both. I didn’t think in detail before as to a partnership, perhaps an alliance with a fair-trade business would be an approach to take if this was the way forward? Great advice thankyou…

marinelife's avatar

Here is how you do it in the UK.

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