Charity has to change. Not so much in the work that is done by charitable organisations – although some are more effective than others. It needs to change in the way that it funds itself and the way that it interacts with potential donors.

I have met many charities, mostly smaller ones, that carry out incredibly effective work in their local communities, bettering the lives of disadvantaged, dejected or disabled young people. And yet despite this good work, these organisations struggle for funding because they don’t have big marketing budgets or a wide support network. Most of the funding that they do receive is unpredictable and unsustainable.

It’s unpredictable because they have no foresight into the success or failure of a grant application or the kindness of a patron from one year to the next. It’s unsustainable because there are only so many times that a charity can ask a wealthy individual to buy a table at a gala dinner, or to find a willing participant to run a marathon and send around a JustGiving link. Most small charities rely on a small number of large grants for the majority of their funding. It leaves them incredibly vulnerable – despite the incredible work that they do.

When it comes to marketing, some charities can give off the wrong impression. On the whole, it’s easiest to get someone to give if they sympathise with your cause. Charities need to illicit empathy, which means that a lot of marketing can be negative and show how bad things are. They have been known to use chugging, to hassle people, to drop unsolicited leaflets, to ask for more money, and so on. All this can be stressful. In my view, it has created a negative stereotype around the word ‘charity’.

So here’s the problem: lots of small charities making the lives of children better in effective ways. And yet… their source of income is unpredictable, unsustainable and sometimes their approach to marketing isn’t quite right. They’re not appealing to a broad number of people because most people are now (understandably) sceptical of charity.

I believe that we must create a sustainable funding model for these under dogs of the charity sector, so that these excellent and effective small charities can have greater clarity on their sources of income and are able to do more of their excellent work helping young people. One way that I think we can do this is to provide people with an appealing way to give a small amount of money that will still have a huge impact on the lives of young people across the UK.

And so Raise Your Hands was born…

We support 12 carefully selected, effective charities that work tirelessly to help young people every day. Our vision is to have thousands of people all donating £10 per month, which hopefully is not too much for an individual, but collectively will have a huge impact on charities that need support the most. 100% of this money is passed on to our supported charities

In return, Raise Your Hands makes a promise to its donors: this isn’t charity as you know it. We don’t ask for any more money, it’s hassle free, we only pass on positive news stories about the work of our charities, and we’ll make sure that your money is put to good use. On top of all this – if you want, and only if YOU want - we can help our members visit the charities we support, we can help them volunteer, we even help them develop their professional network. You can propose charities for us to support, and at the end of the year, you’ll have a vote on how the money we raise is split.

Charity needs to change. We’re changing it.