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Wednesday, May 30, 2018

Data Protection Policies

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Data Protection Policies - (Amyn’s Guide!) 

Note!  The english below is simplified to the point of being crude to get a message across – Unlike the way lawyers tell you the same thing politely and then pass you a consultation fee in thousands…


What is God? God is your own perception of your faith that has been mindlessly handed down to you dynastically! 

I have been born and am a Muslim (I follow Islam) however I have come to understand that no matter what you call God – Be it Allah, Bhagwan or God, or what religion you follow – all of them say

  • 1.     Be a good human being
  • 2.     Don’t harm others
  • 3.     Do good to and for others
  • 4.     lastly don’t be an asshole .    (loosely translated) 

What is Religion? – Religion (again) is basically a set of guidelines on how a person should live their life (sent down from God)

Every religion has their own beliefs and all religions irrespective of one’s personal opinion MUST be respected as those are the views of a certain society.  (whether you like it or not – every religion or scripture has published that its followers should respect others who are of different schools of thought) – I did not say accept  (if you do not wish to) – I only said respect

What is Law(s) – Laws are a basic set of rules that any society follows – when documented they get different names such as schools call them rules – clubs call them membership guidelines – associations call them articles of associations etc. blah blah blah

Right now that we have the basics for the foundation upon which to build your logic and reasoning then should you be a hedonistic, narcissistic, over smart, attention seeking web master and desire to have your ego waxed by the client whom you feel you can sweet talk with tech jargon and TIME IS NOT your most precious commodity then stop reading this and carry on with your life as this issue and Cyber security are real issues to consider! 

I may not own a college degree however, I have seen some of the world’s most text book competent lawyers lose cases because of grammatical, punctuation or errors that they have over seen because “someone” lacked common sense to cover the obvious!

A few years ago Lawyers started getting rich, we as a society stopped reading the fine print and simply started seeing it, and saying it but well lawyers well, all they do is talk a lot and try to sound important yet sorting things is an indefinite problem for the consumer.

Data Protection – The beginning – to find out its history and all go here - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Data_Protection_Act_1998 and if you need more clarity yet need to be a bit confused then go here https://www.gov.uk/data-protection

What are Data Protection Policies? – these are a vague set of policies that may leave a woman questioning if she is half pregnant – depending upon the religion one might even consider that another immaculate misconception might occur because everyone feels like half a virgin?

Why?...  is everyone is feeling violated?... yet don’t know if they have been?  So the lawyers are making money by doing frivolous contracts on areas that are grey as only they will benefit and their clients will be caught up in endless litigation thus billing…. Get the drift! Hello! This is a reality!

If you desire to know what data protection is all about – go here google or research and first look  for GDPR guidelines not data protection.   The best update for all the above for an online social media company is here from Facebook - https://newsroom.fb.com/news/2018/04/new-privacy-protections/

The other most articulate guidelines on how to write such documents (yet confusing to those who lack common sense are found here)

Data Protection and Cyber Security is something that is extremely unique to any industry – DO NOT GO FOR WHAT ABUDDY WILL TELL YOU – you need to cover specifics – so go to a cyber security specialist and NOT a lawyer!  They will be cheaper and more to the point and focused – unlike lawyers they will give you a solution and enforce its as well – if you go to a lawyer – you will pay the lawyers’ fees – waste more time and get more confused and then eventually wind up going to a cyber security specialist

The one company that I trust and know is good is this one https://www.catalyic.com/
my reasons for liking this company are based upon the following
1.     The company is focused – unlike any of your buddies sitting online trying to get work from free lancers and being the jack of al trades
2.     the owners are hands on and tech savvy and extremely educated
3.     being based out of Pakistan is a good thing for them as they know what happens ( a country that has fluid policies and we all know what happens from the press)
4.     despite the odds from within the country – the company has an international portfolio that has grown steadily with government accounts they manage

The link for this cyber security company that WILL NOT WASTE your time is given here –  https://www.catalyic.com/ quote me AMYN in the subject line (hey i will get credit for it) and if you ask them for a reference or any advice – they are great and will offer you a simple one time free consultation (like they do for everyone) on email with a cost attached to it - https://www.catalyic.com/

Please do not look for the most well reputed ONLINE DRAMA QUEENS – money and a good web developer along with some kid who is a make shift freelance graphic artist can weave the most impressive website – a good website does not mean the cyber security company or IPR lawyer is good

You need to see how many cases they have won over the years and what their client portfolio is…

If you are in the UK real estate world - thank you for inspiring me to write this – it is illegal to call people and do what you are doing – it is stated on your partner websites that you do not do these things (such as falsely advertise inventories that are not on the market) – yet you are doing them – I wonder how many lawyers will get rich due to over smart real estate sales managers not knowing what they are doing!

IMPORTANT DISCLAIMER!  The author is NOT a lawyer, neither is he advising you here, all the author is doing here, is presenting an argument online about a pressing issue at hand and you are free to do your own deductive reasoning and make your own decisions independently!  

Should you wish to use any of the guidelines that Amyn followed as presented above then you will do so at your own risk and discretion and NOT hold the author liable for any consequences thereafter!

Please share and distribute this if you think it made sense or gave you a real reality check!


Friday, May 11, 2018

Guide Fund Raising

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Amyn’s Guide To Fund Raising

INTRODUCTION 
If you belong to any charity or not for profit and do fund raising then this document will help you!  This document has been created by Amyn A. Ghulamali – (The Author is an entrepreneur that has 31+ years of sales, marketing, business development & fund raising experience and these guidelines are based upon what Amyn has learned over the past 3 decades) 

This document is for public use however, this document does NOT guarantee donations being made or given as policies keep changing and one needs to always be sensitive to the laws of the land (country where the donation might be gifted from)

If you have identified an individual who you think could be financially helpful to your cause or they can help you in kind and they are interested in supporting what you do as a charity, and they have the means to give a large sum of money, and you know them personally or have someone willing to make an introduction. But you don’t know how to go about asking them to make a gift. - Then this guide will provide you with the basic process one should follow.

BEFORE YOU BEGIN
A few things you need to be aware of and note before you venture out to do your “Fund Raising” – These are as follows!
  1. The British Government has the best guidelines available (which saved me from a lot of drama myself) and if you follow these regulations you will get a basic into the paper work & legal documents involved when it comes to fund raising
  2. You should NEVER solicit funds unless you are a part of or manage a not for profit & a charity that is licensed recognised & accredited with the government(s) properly!
  3. If your organisation is proper and the paper work and registrations ar authentic then you MUST carry a written document with you authorising you and defining what kind of fund raising you can actually do for the entity!
  4. Privately Soliciting funds for Charities is ILLEGAL!  You can and will face imprisonment & (like me also face public humiliation if your team is corrupt) indefinitely should you be found using public funds for personal gain!  This is because people only want to look at bad news on social media these days and ignore factually documented achievements like this - https://propakistani.pk/2016/02/11/warid-joins-hands-with-uwc-for-educating-the-underprivileged-students/
  5. The above is not a threat this is a reality that you can verify here - https://www.gov.uk/guidance/fundraising-legally-and-responsibly 

Kindly Note!  
Donors are becoming more and more aware of fraudulent causes and even a person like me has been wrongfully accused of trying to defraud an NGO.  Recently I was asked to chair a charity which I left as their paperwork and registrations were incorrect and I refused to sign off or lead a cause that I myself had doubts about….

This can happen to anyone so before you venture out to do what you feel would help people – it is advisable to thoroughly research the organisation / cause you wish to support and then its entire board of trustees and organisation. 

Advisory / Warning! 
Financial records government documents and books from any 3rd world country are always dodgy as one can buy and sell the law in most of those countries.  

One of the biggest problems donors are facing today is accountability and transparency from that part of the world and even huge aide organisations have suffered or are suffering immensely

Don't think because an organisation has a "white" person on or as the front face of your organisation with a foreign passport you can get away with such acts...

If you are soliciting funds for the Muslim world please note that whilst the Muslim community might be very generous but the penalties are extremely harsh if you do not follow the proper Islamic guidelines – yet at the same time in Muslim countries the Shariah law applies – if you need a better understanding of this you may find the information here in the three links presented below
  1. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sharia
  2. http://www.islamicsupremecouncil.org/understanding-islam/legal-rulings/52-understanding-islamic-law.html 
  3. http://www.billionbibles.org/sharia/sharia-law.html


WHAT IS FUND RAISING
Fund Raising, if one looks at it pragmatically, is basically a more intricate and specialised sales process. If we apply the law of common sense to fund raising then you will realise that fund raising should never be done by one person alone rather a group or a team of people.  The main stages in the process of fundraising from individuals are explained below in this blog (the basics)

The Philosophy To Have (Mind Set)
Your cause should be dear to you yet not personal!  You are raising funds for a cause and the objective should never be about personal recognition!  If you are looking for social media fame or a PR stint then sadly you are the wrong person for this kind of work. 

Raising funds to help those in need to me is a cause that one should never put a price tag on so anyone can be a possible donor!  I never look at the value of the donor (amount of money they can or will give) – I always accept what they can generously give!

Fund Raising for Dummies 
If you think you can raise funds as an individual then you may have a decent pool of buddies under your belt wiling to help you once or twice but Fund Raising to help people in need (be it for education, relief work etc.) is best done by teams of people as there is so much paperwork and documentation involved that it is always good to have groups of people accept the responsibility to help you along the way.  These people should be good in accounting / finance / understand how to write grants & funding requests & then legally be able to document the same for your donors.

Global Charity Regulations Keep Changing and if you are a part of a charity or manage one and need further clarity you may find it here –- https://www.gov.uk/guidance/charity-types-how-to-choose-a-structure - (The link above is specific to the United Kingdom and the most articulate guidelines out there however, you are  required to google or research the Excise / Taxation & other laws specific to the country you operate in)


PROSPECTING / IDENTIFYING A POTENTIAL DONOR
If you do not know the person well do a bit of research before meeting them.
  1. Use the sales FFAR approach (Friends, Family And Relative – soft or social approach) ask your contacts or look for the information online if the prospect is well known.
  2. Always have a designate a separate person from your group or charity for each prospect. (especially if the person is well known to several people or someone you might know personally.  This makes the process easier)
  3. This person who will manage the relationship needs to lead all communication.  know about all contact with the prospect, i.e. emails, meetings, conversations, even on topics seemingly unrelated. This person will probably be the “asker” but not always. – “successful fundraising happens when people asking for donations know when to keep quiet and not over sell their cause” & “especially when attention is given to detail as far as communications and documentation go)
  4. The person asking for the donation should also manage the relationship and should not be embarrassed by the idea of asking for money as that is the purpose. I have personally seen potential donors get upset and raise concerns when a person asking for donations does not display confidence or ownership of their cause!
  5. Whoever you will assign to manage your relationship and be the lead person to negotiate the donation amount etc. must be a very well respected peer of the prospect so consider age, social status etc. when deciding this.
  6. Irrespective of the amount in question you need to display that you know exactly what it is and how much you want to ask for.  So before you go about hunting for a prospect please make sure that you are able to document on paper and define the appropriate amount to ask for.
  7. Donors do not like to fund causes anymore as they seem to get frustrated when it comes to financial transparency.  It is better to ask for donations for projects where one can display the progress of where there money went transparently.
  8. One should not look purely at a prospect’s wealth but at their propensity to give and what they are all about. If you research their previous philanthropic activities then you can adjust this amount as you meet with the prospect and determine their level of interest in your cause much earlier.
  9. Right from the start you need to financially display how you want the funds – so speak with your team / trustees and document whether you would ask for the amount as one gift or as a series of instalments for regular support.
  10. Kindly record / document & archive everything!  Please maintain multiple soft copies on-line and in physical copy as well – you can get online guides anywhere – just google them!



How to NOT beg for Donations
When it comes to asking for donations everyone instantly thinks of the Salvation Army Santa’s standing on the street corner over Christmas.  Fundraising begins essentially at the first meeting, but it is best not to ask for money straight away.

I advise a very slow and soft approach as you really need to get everything right (paperwork) and it is suggested to have around 3-5 meetings with any future or present donor and articulately document their needs  before asking them for money or any form of donation.

The meetings need not be very formal but should involve very short quality relationship building conversations as to donors the most precious commodity is time.
Asking for funds to help others is basically asking for a gift so it is advisable to be very patient as these processes are painfully lengthy and time consuming it will take time to yield a gift so be patient.

It’s common sense that before you sell anything to anyone or ask for any money or gift you find out if they know who you are, what your cause is and what projects/scholarships you are raising money for.
When you meet them for the first time your homework that you have done and displayed should be perfect so that the possible donor before you will not have any more questions left to ask you about what your organisation does or its credibility.  Your conversation can be focused about the project you want to fund!

“Fund Raising to me should be done by someone who knows how to sell and is experienced enough to know when to keep quiet.  Sales people (fund raisers) often lose out when they oversell and confuse the possible donor.”

During Your Meetings
  1. Always be very focused, talk less and listen more, and in your meeting concentrate on asking questions and getting to know the prospect better.
  2. It is advisable to allow the donor to do 80% of the talking so that you can find out more about them.  This will help you develop a thoughtful, authentic and eventually philanthropic relationship with them.
  3. Avoid small talk and ask direct yet, polite strategic questions and listen for clues to determine their interests.


The Ice Breaker

The first meeting or an ice breaker as we know it in the sales world for cold calls is simply to get to know each other so simply introduce yourself and your organisation formally and tell the prospect about your work and what all you have done in the past.  

This meeting should be not more than 20 – 40 minutes and you should be sensitive to the body language, tone and demeanour of the possible donor.

The second meeting and its value will be determined on how you have managed the first meeting.

As far as venues to meet are concerned for meetings, I would strongly advise you to meet in offices and or business centres where there are no distractions and external social noise as your meetings need to focused and all your efforts will go to waste if you do not give attention to detail.

Make sure you go for convenience rather than cosmetic value when it comes to selecting a venue and try to keep them as realistic as possible but always meet your possible donor face to face, one to one (or with their team) and at their convenience.

To any donor a “meeting” might mean social coffee, lunch, drinks, an event you have organised or something more formal like a business presentation but these are not for specific focused talks.  

Whilst you have personal time with these potential philanthropists you need to know that you should understand that developing a personal bond is ok but you need to or MUST be formal at all times with donors. (never mix friendship with this relationship)

Solid Articulate Factual Paperwork that can be Verified is one of the key elements to you getting any kind of gift be it in cash or kind. So you must follow up on each meeting with a personal yet formal acknowledgement/note/email/text etc. 

Please do not oversell yourself, just keep the communication  simple enough to convey your gratitude and acknowledge the chat/communique and look forward to meeting them again soon.

In fund raising people will give money or help you if the see transparency above all yet you need to know that donors fund causes dear to their hearts so emotions are involved.  The person managing the relationship should always lead with a positive and enthusiastic dialog about the achievements you have under your belt.
Whilst the intent and ethos as well as transparency of Not For Profits / charities or people raising funds is always being questioned (especially international ones) Donors have also tried to defraud governments (hey it happens) and you must always anticipate tricky questions and have short to the point factual answers prepared that can or are published as well on your websites. (I have raised funds in developing or third world countries for years and can confidently tell you that whilst these countries have constitutions and governments – the people who need to do the legal work within these countries are extremely opportunistic and will help their own people if they themselves get any personal gain.  (I hope you can understand what I am trying to imply here) 

This reality is something one can google and find out about online for themselves specific to the country one is developing funds for.  An example of such doings is better explained here - https://www.theguardian.com/world/2015/jun/12/pakistan-shuts-down-save-the-children-offices-in-islamabad

If your possible donor is welcoming towards you then the next step would be to help build the relationship with your organisation formally by introducing them to others of significant importance (key 2 – 3 people only) within your cause or institution so that you can begin to institutionalise the relationship more formally. Consult with your team and slowly bring the prospect/donor into the circle and get them involved in other aspects of your work (only) if appropriate.

Once you have identified everything, documented the process properly and have a formal document, you can and now HAVE to ask for the donation you need as that what the intent all along. Sadly but truly there is simply no substitute for asking this ugly uncomfortable question.

When asking for the donation you should do it in person with two or more people with you (in person, face to face) and present the same in a short document as well formally.  (please make sure you have more than 05 (five) original copies for your donation in the form of a proposal / grant that includes financial information that are drafted and presented at the same time.

When asking for the donation be very focused and ask for the exact amount stated in the document very politely & humbly. (does not matter what the currency or value is)
After that let the donor digest the information as nobody likes to get a bill (be asked for money) and please do not think that the silence is uncomfortable, give them time think and to respond to you.

There is no perfect way to ask for any donation so it is advisable to use your intuition, you will most likely sense the right moment to ask for the donation along the way as you manage the relationship, if you don’t feel confident and are not able to understand your donor and his needs then neither will they “get” you.

Asking for donations is very sensitive so please ensure that you have one or two people present for this meeting with you who are people of significant control or importance in your not for profit or charity or those who can answer questions related to finance and accounting especially someone who understands taxation laws.
If you take a whole entourage with you it is likely that you will pressurize or might even embarrass your potential donor.
Like I said in the beginning – it is best to do this as a team and have a coordinated effort.  You all should agree on a strategy beforehand and decide your responsibilities before you start working on the donor and document everything in writing beforehand including your modus operandi for that specific donor.

Donors can be very selfish and a lot of them are smart and know their way around the world.  You need to be careful so that you lead the donor / recipients dialog as you do not want your donor to fund something which matches their interests and it is something you cannot do or deliver or part of what you are allowed to do as far as your own ethos and articles of association go!  
You as a recipient need to ensure that you are not in a situation where the donor funds something you had no intention of doing and takes your attention away from your already defined areas of interest that need funding or help!

Dealing With Rejection
A lot of the times right at the last minute your donor decides to back out!  This is very normal!  If this happens do not panic, do not get upset and politely enquire about their reason for refusal so you can consider these to better yourself for other donors.

You have every right to ask them if you can re work anything in the paper work presented which might make them reconsider their decision to not support you.  If they still decline then it is wise to thank them and ask them for support and guide you towards other people who might be more interested instead.

Ask them in writing if you may keep them updated about your work so that they may change their mind about giving you help in the future. (make sure you do not spam them)


Managing Your Donor
Cool!  So you got the aid you need or a gift in cash or kind!  Now What!

  1. Follow up with a formal acknowledgement & thank you note on official letterhead or a note card within 1-3 days. (printed old school)
  2. Then present them with a communication document to establish the guidelines and define who will manage their account relationship / who will observe and report the progress – this is essential to avoid frustration and confusion for the entirety of the relations ship.
  3. As an organization you should meet with your regularly & update them on your progress. Donor’s should never feel that you lost interest now that you have their money or commitment.
  4. It does not matter the size of the donation or the gift.  You must always determine a formal reporting process for all your `SOP’s (especially financials) & these should be public information as well.
  5. The greatest bit about fund raising is that your donors become a potential again if you can manage the relationship perfectly and will help you get other donors once they have more confidence in your practices.  (in reality when they can see you walk the talk – honestly!)


If you managed to get yourself a donor – Well Done! – Now start the process to keep the donor!

Always remember the old school saying “getting married is easy – staying married is the hard part!”(ironically I have come to realise that donor relationships are professional marriages which are extremely unforgiving and the negative results can affect a person’s own reputation catastrophically if not done properly!)

ABOUT ME 
I am an entrepreneur, I am not perfect, I have made my mistakes and have failed before in life.  My success does not define me only that my experience has taught me what not to do!  If you need help to set up / establish or manage your charity then do reach out to me & I will charge you for a direct specific consultation. 

What is presented above is a guideline with suggestions only! Should you wish to follow the advice you are requested to do so at your own discretion, and out of your own free will. It is to be noted that I (the author) am not responsible for your success / loss.

Please feel free to share this if you desire to do so but do reference the credit back to me (this blog here) please.  Thank you and I hope you found this helpful.

As I close I would like to end with a personal note! - "I thank my father for being the guiding light & teaching me all that I know with regard to articulate documentation as far as paperwork goes as that is what saved me in the end!"