The Mikuska Group  

Having a cause does not mean you should start a new charity

Every so often we hear of an individual or small group of people starting a new charity because they are passionate about a particular cause, usually one close to their heart because of a personal connection.

While this seems like a laudable action, consider this: with 88,000 charities registered in Canada (4,000 in Manitoba alone), there is a LOT of competition for dollars, board members and volunteers. Indeed, it’s very likely that another organization is doing work of a similar nature, or has a mission that encompasses a particular passion or need.

I challenge people considering a new charity to instead look around for potential established partners. What can you bring to an existing organization (e.g. your passion, contacts, knowledge) that will help them extend their reach to include your cause?

Or consider third-party fundraising events and activities. Take the example of three friends of the late Travis Price, who run the annual Travis Price Golf Classic ¬†in his memory¬†with the proceeds going to Variety’s Camp Brereton. Sponsors and participants in the tournament are confident that the funds raised will be used to further the work of a highly respected charity. An amazing $339,000 has been raised in just two years!

Julie Mikuska

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