Five thousand pounds!
This is going to be a much longer post as I think the amount of money deserves some explanation.
It isn't difficult to see that life is tough for charities at the moment with spending cuts, media stories about excessive admin costs, high salaries for managers and limited financial governance in cases like Kids Company.
However, I can only speak as I find and having just joined the charity sector two months ago with BYHP I do not recognise those issues within this small charity.
As you may know, my background is in corporate procurement so obviously a key focus for me was the cost structures of the organisation, but actually looking at them they're pretty lean, very little if any money is spent "unnecessarily" and as with most organisations the vast majority of costs is on the infrastructure of the building and primarily staff salaries, those front line specialists who deliver services to young people and their families and make a life changing difference to their outcomes.
You may not be too up-to-date with how charities are funded but a common misconception is charities gain a lot of their money from the public sector, local authorities etc but in reality, increasingly it is a job of a charity to source funding, bid for money and to apply for grants and trust fund donations.
Instead, charities have a full-time role of sending out applications asking for financial support from wealthy donors, trust funds and increasingly the corporate sector.
My current approach to this is the same as very many other charities, as that is one of the reasons I have been employed by BYHP.
However, part of my vision is that we at BYHP really try to explain the value of what we do for the local community, local businesses and those local authorities who increasingly can no longer fund activities like ours due to budget cuts, in an attempt to grow the inputs from our local community in a collaborative partnership where we are all doing our bit to make Banbury a more resilient, more robust town for the future, which will be to the benefit of all of us as it will save money in the long run - and that means by helping in whatever way possible.
In this blog series I've already talked about "doing good makes you feel good" and for today's 12 days of Wishmas I want to focus on the request for supporters to donate £5000 as part of our list to Santa.
According to the BBC on 29/11, between Black Friday & Cyber Monday the UK spent £3.2 BILLION pounds.
You may have seen the Banbury Guardian article where an Oxfordshire organisation which has supported BYHP was criticising the spending on Black Friday as "appalling".
Whilst I understand the frustration in those comments my take on it was slightly different as I was talking more about how giving and helping makes a longer lasting impact than buying things.
However I agree that it was frustrating that whilst support of #GivingTuesday on Dec 1st was well up, the amounts being donated are being talked about in low single figure MILLION pounds (maybe £5m at most although I have not seen an official number).
But even if £10m was donated the figure of £3.2bn equates to £3200 million so that is far less than 1% of the money spent on "stuff".
Now just imagine what 10% of that money could do to help charities?!
Well, here is one example.
One of the services we offer at BYHP is actually something we offer to all young people not just those who are homeless, it is a service focused on "NEET"s (not in education, employment and training) who are maybe really struggling to find their way in life.
That programme is known as Unlocking Potential http://www.byhp.org.uk/unlocking-potential.html and it focuses on each individual within a small group of up to 12 young people (aged 16 to 25) to identify their individual potential, to help them deal with some of the root causes of their difficulties and to work on confidence building, employability skills and training to help these young people who have struggled to find their way in life get into work experience opportunities, training and full-time jobs.
Often this is the very first time they will ever have had interviews for jobs and hopefully gain employment, thus starting their lives as responsible young people who contribute to society both financially and physically and who no longer need as much welfare support as they have always had to rely on.
My blog here http://www.byhp.org.uk/blog/on-the-second-day-of-December explained the fantastic success rate of the programme so I will just explain that a little over £1000 pays for a full group to go through a 5 week programme except for staff costs - that is £100 per young person approximately.
£100 is not much of an investment in a young person who by a chance of birth has not had the opportunities many of us have had - and even if it were £500 per young person to include salary costs and overheads - is that not a better use of money than the latest widescreen TV?
Many Thanks & Merry Christmas.