Director External Affairs, Humanity First UK
The life of a non-profit organisation and charity can be a challenging one. When you are dependent on the goodwill and generosity of people, it can feel like you’re living hand-to-mouth and yet you are the organisation that is tasked to provide relief to people who are actually living in that manner.
The Covid-19 pandemic has hit all charities very hard and a sector which is needed more now than ever is struggling.
In 2018, Humanity First UK had the blessed opportunity of an audience with Hazrat Khalifatul Masih Vaa. After some structural changes with Humanity First International, a newly formed Humanity First UK had been granted an audience with their guide and master to gain direction on how to move forward.
Although this new team was inheriting all the work and efforts over a 23-year period in the UK, in many ways, they were starting from scratch. So where better to start than at the office of the one who guides millions across the world. Where best to obtain that ‘blueprint’ to work from? And blueprint it was!
During the mulaqat, when the head of admin asked Huzooraa about the nature of how our reports should look, Huzooraa took the conversation to another level and effectively laid out where he already knew we needed to make ground. In a few words, Hazrat Amirul Momineenaa effectively expounded on how Humanity First needed to market itself and push its name and good works out to the wider public. He was acutely aware of the humanitarian services being rendered but also that the world needed to know.
It seems so obvious now in 2021, but it was a torch that Huzooraa lit to show us the direction we needed to travel in.
The charity industry is highly competitive. The most well-known charities around the world like Save the Children and International Red Cross have huge marketing budgets and teams of paid employees whose sole purpose is to market their organisation and stay relevant. On the other side, there is Humanity First, born out of the divinely guided vision of Khilafat and sustained by its prayers with its base of volunteers tasked with the same mission.
During the mulaqat, the age-old question and concern about funding came up. Humanity First is a charity, it needs donations to stay afloat and keep serving humanity. It was at this point that beloved Huzooraa said those words which have been our formula ever since:
“If people see you serving humanity, they will trust you and give to you.”
It may seem to be obvious now when reading this, but these words were nothing short of a revelation at the time and have been proved to be so. This blueprint opened the way for a new and improved Humanity First website, an increase in social media activity by adding other platforms and posting on a daily basis. We’ve seen an unexpected increase in funds despite the pandemic through new events like the Virtual Dinner and Eid Mushaira. These events have focused on giving feedback to donors, showing them the work on the ground and where their money has been spent and as a result, exactly how our beloved Imam told us, they saw and they gave to us.
The flagship fundraiser of the year is the Telethon where, again, in the spirit of that guidance of Hazrat Khalifatul Masihaa, we will visit different countries and highlight to the viewers the impact of their donations through Humanity First. Be it Ghana, Palestine, Uganda or in Yorkshire and the Midlands in the UK, it’s an opportunity to see Humanity First serving humanity, obtain your trust and for you to give.
This year the Telethon will be held on Sunday, 5 September between 12 pm to 5 pm UK time live on YouTube.
The Telethon can be watched live on our YouTube channel: www.youtube.com/HumanityFirstTV
Our activities can be followed on Twitter as well: @HumanityFirstUK