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What Makes A Successful Charity?

There are many moving parts that contribute to building a successful charity. Unlike a for-profit venture, the amount you can spend on growing a charity and its people is limited. This can make it harder, but by no means impossible, to start a successful charity.

Here are a few of the essential steps that any charity will need to take to be successful.

Clear Focus
It may go without saying, but any charity needs a clear and relatable focus to their endeavours. The most successful charities around have a clear goal. For instance, Shelter UK aims to eradicate homelessness and inadequate housing in the UK. Marie Curie’s goal is to provide dignified end of life care to all. While there are many other elements that go into these charities, they have a clear focus and end goal.

Having a clear goal for a charity allows prospective donors to envision the world that the charity hopes to create. A world without homelessness is a hopeful and touching prospect and will inspire donors to dig deep and help them in their mission.

A Unique Donation Experience
Donors are the most important part of any charity. They are how charities become successful, raise money and gain recognition. Successful charities know that donors are more than the financial backing they can provide – they are a crucial part of the fabric of the charity.

Having a unique and memorable experience with a charity can help to ensure that donors remain engaged with them. Some tactics used by successful charities include emails and a fundraising donor letter to keep donors informed of where their donations are being used and how the charity is benefiting.

Other charities host regular events to keep donors updated on the work of the charity. You can go launch fundraising for an orphanage and have a wall of engraved bricks with the sponsor’s name in each. All these can go a long way to show donors that a charity sees them as much more than a cash injection and truly values their participation in the charity.

Diverse Funding
While donations at an individual level are essential to charities, another hallmark of a successful charity is to have diverse funding sources. As with for-profit organisations, it is a considerable risk to have 100% of cash income from one source. Many successful charities rely on other methods of funding, such as governmental grants, crowdfunding, and corporate sponsorship.

A charity cannot operate without a reliable source of income, and as any organisation will know, having too many eggs in one basket is a risky move.

Expert Leaders

Finding the right leader is crucial to ensure the success of any venture. In the case of charities, it is even more essential to find an experienced and knowledgeable leader. With charities unable to command as large a range of salaries as for-profit organisations, having the best leadership can help to ensure that a charity attracts talent from the top down.

Tej Kohli is an excellent example of an excellent charity leader. As head of the Tej Kohli Cornea Institute, his business acumen and innovation have enabled his charity to become hugely successful. This has, in turn, allow his charity endeavours more leeway to hire the best talent at all levels of the enterprise.

Digital Strategy And Social Media Engagement

Any organisation in 2021 needs a strong social media and digital strategy. The digital age has given us the ability to reach new audiences and tap into new fundraising opportunities.

Social media is an excellent way for charities to engage with donors and raise awareness of their causes. From fundraising to spreading the word, social media is a powerful tool for any charity. Many of the most successful charities have a number of uses for social media in the pipeline at any given time.

Good quality content is an excellent way for any charity to educate potential donors and volunteers on the benefits that their charity can provide.


One of the critical elements of a successful charity is having the trust of the general public. Charities often need to be seen as above reproach in their practices, far more so than organisations in the for-profit sector.

There has been much talk in recent years about where donation money goes within an organisation. Transparency is one of the hallmarks of a successful charity. Having a clear and concise way of showing where their money is going can do wonders to improve trust among potential donors. A great example of this is the British Heart Foundation’s where your money goes page. This shows in clear and understandable terms what percentage of each pound donated goes to the main objective of the charity.

Any charity needs to have a firm handle on its finances to be above reproach. A strong and reliable financial team can be invaluable in ensuring a charity’s success. Sound financial practices will not only make a charity financially stable but will also help to promote trust in them.

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