Being open about Made With Hope…

One of Made With Hope’s first ever aims was to create an organisation where people felt like they knew where their money was going. When we first started, we struggled to understand why charities seemed so shiny and perfect. No one was talking about their mistakes or lessons learned. We knew this didn’t add up because the public were struggling to trust charities and news stories would appear about charity’s mistakes.

 
 

Being open about money…

As a small charity that has a trustworthy partnership with our Tanzanian delivery partner, we know where every penny is being spent. We regularly share the receipts from every purchase we make. Plus we publish a reader friendly report about our income and spending to be open about our finances. This is something our supporters really love about us.

 
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Being open about our costs…

As a transparent organisation we want to show you some of our most important upcoming projects and a breakdown of costs, so you know exactly where your donation will be spent. The currency in Tanzania experiences normal currency fluctuations so there can be very slight changes in costs.

 
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Rain Water Harvesting

1 x 5,000 litre rain water tank (with no guttering) costs £250.

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CHETI Primary School Classrooms

One finished classroom costs around £7,000 with 45 desks, chairs & blackboards.

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Full Time Staff Member

We have one full time Development Manager since July 2019 to dramatically scale our work & keep up with the demands for our educational programmes. She is paid by a major donor but will be paid by a portion of donations in 2020. Read more here.

 

Being open about our mistakes…

Only 1 in 2 people trust charities and we hope that by being ultra transparent with our projects, it will help to change that perception.

It’s not easy to openly admit mistakes or ways we could have done things better, but we hope that by doing so more charities will feel happy to share their challenges and learnings so we’ll all get better at what we do.

Lesson 1 - Focus

As a relatively new charity venturing into international development, our eyes were wide and we wanted to help children in every way possible. But we’re made up of a couple of volunteers with a certain amount of resources and this resulted in spreading ourselves too thinly, instead of becoming really good at just a few things. So, in 2018 we recruited Trustees with project management and strategic skills to lead a more focused and realistic strategy for our charity. This has helped us to focus on what we’re good at.

Lesson 2 - Listen & Contribute

One of our strengths is that we listen to the communities that we work with and partner with a Tanzanian NGO on the ground. Access to water was identified as a huge problem for the rural villages we work in. In early 2016 we fundraised and purchased a tractor to transport water from 10km for our schools to use. However, this wasn’t tackling the issue of high-fluoride levels in the water. So Made With Hope researched solutions for this and found other great organisations using rainwater harvesting systems to tackle both access to clean water, and getting water free from dangerous fluoride. Our successful rainwater harvesting pilot in 2018 has encouraged us to scale this project around rural communities in Arusha, Tanzania.

Lesson 3 - Fundraise wisely

Made With Hope solely did community fundraising for the first 4 years of our existence. We love to get out into the community, from working with schools, to hosting market stalls, to encouraging people to do 10km runs. We still do all of these things, but to ensure we could continue to raise income and scale our projects, we invested time into learning how to do Trusts and Foundations (grants) fundraising in 2018 which meant we could find bigger pots of money. It was important to us to diversify our income to ensure we were financially sustainable.

Lesson 4 - Pause & Reflect

By 2017, Made With Hope had many successful projects. But we realised we’d been so busy with fundraising and implementing projects, that we’d neglected our organisation’s policies, governance and didn’t have a clear strategy for the future. So we sought pro-bono support from a variety of organisations to help us recruit more Trustees, create a strategy, update our policies and generally make the charity more professional. It took time and energy away from fundraising, but we are pleased that we invested in our organisations future and now regularly review how we’re doing.

Lesson 5 - Ask for help

Our charity started by a passionate founder, who is still heavily involved today. But she is only one person, and could not carry on doing the bulk of operations herself. From 2018, we’ve invested time into recruiting more active Trustees and volunteers. We have hired our first staff member in July 2019 to help with fundraising and projects.

If you’re interested in learning more about the lessons we’ve learned so far, please don’t hesitate to contact us :)