London businessman, investor and philanthropist Saif Durbar has been giving back ever since he can remember. For Saif Durbar, philanthropy is ingrained into the fabric of business, as a method of paying forward in order to aid those less fortunate, and he is grateful for every opportunity to do so. He has even been at the head of a few philanthropic organizations of his own. Recently, Saif Durbar founded his newest philanthropic venture, Kutamani Foundation, which provides educational support and sustainable tools for education to rural areas throughout Africa. Here Saif Durbar shares some advice for those seeking to start a charity or philanthropic foundation of their own.
- Have a clear idea. This sounds intuitive, says Saif Durbar, but the fact is that many charities are vague in their purpose to do good, or not focused enough, and the result can be a well-meaning disaster that never amounts to anything for those it is supposed to be helping. Better, according to Saif Durbar, to start with a clear and focused plan for who you will be helping and how exactly you will be going about it.
- Make sure it is unique. Many charities are operating in close proximity to one another and doing nearly the same work, says Saif Durbar. This is unfortunate when there are so many areas that need to be addressed in terms of problems. Do some research and make sure there is not already an organization doing the type of work you propose to undertake, advises Saif Durbar.
- Create a business plan. Yes, your philanthropic organization needs a business plan, says Saif Durbar. If the goal of the organization is great enough, it will take a level of planning to achieve beyond that of just having the strong desire to do good. Philanthropy is hard work, says Saif Durbar, which is why not everyone does it. Writing a plan and sticking to it will help gain funding for the organization, as well as helping to keep the organization’s goals focused and tight.
- Be ready to work. Saif Durbar reiterates that running a philanthropic organization is not a figurehead position; it is a lot of hard work. Many people have noble intentions but get discouraged by the difficulty of the task. Saif Durbar encourages those who wish to succeed to be willing to deal with hardship and remain committed to the overarching goal.