Together with his wife, Tricia, Jeff Raikes founded the Raikes Foundation, a nonprofit organization that seeks to change how charities allocate the donations they receive. While each organization may have the best intentions in mind, giving available funds to individuals or organizations most in need isn’t really solving the given problem. Mr. Raikes believes there are better ways to allocate funds.
The Raikes Foundation employs a different kind of spending model. By setting a target date by which the funding should be entirely spent, Jeff has found that it’s easier to choose the best philanthropic projects for funding. The organization can be more selective in the types of projects it chooses to support, since funding is placed on a timeline. This can help the organization support the projects that will bring about the most change.
Additionally, Jeff hopes more organizations will look for ways to address the underlying problems in our society. By addressing the causes of poverty, for instance, charities can help bring about change that affects a broader number of people. Helping one individual, or a single family, is little more than temporary relief from a much bigger problem. Mr. Raikes would like to see those underlying causes corrected, so more people are presented with better opportunities.
In order to adopt this type of philosophy, each charitable organization must begin by stating their mission. This should devote them to a specific cause. Everyone involved with the organization should feel passionate about this cause, so they will be motivated to bring about necessary changes.
The change should be brought about through a solution that addresses the primary causes of the issue. This means analyzing the system already in place to discover how it’s failing people in the community. If the weaknesses in the system can be identified, it will be easier to come up with strategies for fixing the underlying problems.
Once a philanthropic organization begins working with the community, bringing about long-lasting change becomes more possible. Often, this means working with government agencies to find ways to implement the needed changes. Over time, changes to a system’s infrastructure may be far more effective than simply gifting funds to a smaller group. This may be the best use of donations because it allows an organization to help a larger group over a longer period of time.