Kjell Bovin is the initiator of a new fund-raising foundation for charity work. The name is ShareityWorld.com.
Shareityworld. It´s a word that is both hard to say and to spell. How did you come about it?
”Well, I and my wife were thinking of a pun. One single word for sharing and donating to charity. Share it and Charity. That´s how the name was born. I am a bit cocky about the word myself even though no one understands what I am saying”, Kjell continues with a broad smile. ” I have to spell the word loudly many times”.
-But how were you thinking about starting a fund-raising charity foundation? I mean, today there are a great number of organizations involved in charity work.
”For many years I have contributed to charity. In one way or another. I like it. That´s the way I am doing my part. I like to participate and make a difference. If even a small one”.
”But I have always had a worrying feeling that I don´t know where my money goes. I have often donated money to the big organizations hoping that they would be using it wisely.”
”Finally, I decided to do something about it. Doing it my way. So, I initiated a fundraising foundation with the basic idea that you should never hesitate about the money reaching it´s intended goal or how big a part of the total cost to be allocated to “administration”. This should be crystal clear.
I set up 4 points.
1) Possibilities to concretely see where your money goes and go together jointly in a project.
2) An interesting homepage including personal stories, reports, pictures and articles about how the money has improved people´s lives.
3) Everything should be super simple and super clear.
4) Our work will provide for life´s little extras for the receivers as well as for the donors.”
Why contribute to a project which just provide for life´s little extras? When you can contribute to life-and-death projects like taking care of victims of war and the fight against cancer.
“You´re right, there is a lot to do. Many fund-raising organizations are doing a fantastic work for charity. But our idea is clear: Besides helping people in distress, we want to provide for life’s little extras, for receivers as well as for donors. Every day”.
We want to market the little bringer of happiness, which will cheer up people. About giving with a warm heart. We are small. And we want to concentrate on small things.
“There is an old Buddhist saying: You must share your merits. Your good things. Your credits. I like this way of thinking”, Kjell says.
How big part of your fund-raised money do you use to pay the administration costs?
“According to government regulations set by Svensk Insamlingskontroll, (SI), every fund-raising foundation will receive a specific “90-konto” for saving collected means in the bank. They must also engage a certified accountant. SI supervises his/her work. Should the administration costs exceed 25% of the collected funds, SI is cancelling the “90-konto”. So, there are strict rules!”
“In 2015 a total of 15.9 thousand millions SEK was fund-raised in Sweden. 11% of this amount was allocated to cover administration costs, according to SI. So, a little more than 10% is usual.”
Kjell looks out through the window wondering how to proceed with the answer. After a short while.
“20 of the biggest fund-raising organizations control 73% of the Swedish market. It shows that people are willing to donate to charity via big organizations. Probably they feel more secure with the big ones and are a little bit sceptic and suspicious to the smaller ones.
The market would have looked otherwise if there was no suspiciousness. To me it is quite clear, that if the donors were confident with small and nisched fund-raising organizations, they would select one that suits their interests and needs better. Not only the biggest established operators”.
-Your first project is via your partner, i.e. a well-known and well established help organization, which is fine. But is it then really necessary with a “middleman”?
”They operate a school in Cambodia in favour of orphans. They finance their operation with funds. Fantastic, isn´t it?
”We in Shareityworld raise funds to do something to help them. In this project we will renovate the school buildings and repaint them in happy colors. Our partner doesn´t have any means or a budget to do this themselves. We provide for life´s little extras to the orphans and their teachers.”
“We will never compete with our partners. They´ll do things on their agenda. We´ll do things on ours. The idea is that we will finance something that they would not have done or postponed for the future.”
You mean that if you donate together with a group of people, a project will be successful. Do you think that the willingness to raise funds increases among “loved ones”, work mates, sports clubs etc.? Of course there will be an interest, but how big?
“Imagine getting a message about a charity project in your mobile phone from one of your friends. You can read the info about it and who has already donated. You send the link to your friends and if you want to participate, you just enter an amount you would like to contribute with. Our idea is all about the positive influence from the group.”
“This should take less than three minutes. And you should be able to do it anywhere, e.g. on the bus, in the metro, in the diner or in your grocery shop. If you then would like to follow the project, it should be very easy.”
“If this works, we might be able to bring our idea with a smaller budget. Doing so, we will be able to reduce our administration costs and thereby allocate more means to charity. Hopefully this will extend further.”
The interview is over. We stand up, thank each other and shake hands before we split. The empty coffee cups are left on the table.