Going big, with purpose

I’ve gone from a tiny organisation – my last employer had just one part-time staff member – to a huge one: the British Council is the UK’s largest charity, works in over 100 countries, and employs some 7000 people. Another change: my stint at British Council is part of a one-year programme, run by On Purpose, that aims to ‘develop leaders’ in the social enterprise sector.

(What’s a social enterprise? Good question. Simplest of the dozens of hazy definitions: a business for social purpose – think the Big Issue magazine.)

The idea behind On Purpose is that there are loads of start-ups with noble intentions, and plenty of funding and schemes to support the entrepreneurs behind them, but a weak spot still in terms of the managers and professionals needed to keep those new businesses going. And, of course, to make those initiatives broader and better, since scaling up the successful models is one of the big challenges right now. Continue reading “Going big, with purpose”

Your daily dollar

Google’s One Today app launched earlier this year. It seems simple: it showcases a different non-profit every day, and if you like what you see, you can donate $1 – no more.

It’s still pretty new – and available in the US only, with no word yet of plans to expand. It’s not the first microdonation app. But it is, to my knowledge, the first one with a massive brand behind it, not to mention a ready community of nonprofits eager to be promoted and an existing money transfer service.

So, will this change how we give to charity? Will instant yes-or-no and commitment-free mark the demise of direct mail and clipboard-wielding chuggers?

Probably not. Microdonations, as Cause4Opinion point out, have been around forever, in the form of dropping your loose change into a tin for the local football club or a new church roof. This is what the likes of Google’s new venture – the digital equivalent of the tin on the shop counter – replaces; charities will still need your long term commitment as well.  Continue reading “Your daily dollar”