Clients that come to me wanting to do more than just support an already existing charity, often ask me about starting their own charity or social venture that would serve a developing country. I typically have one standard reply.
If you want to serve a developing country (or group of people), you’ve got two choices.
1) Drop everything you’re doing, move there, live among them, learn what they need, listen, learn, dive deep into their culture, eat their food, become one with them. Commit to at least five years for this process. Do this because you can’t fathom doing anything other than this. Do this not because you are in love with the cause, but because you are in love with the people that are suffering. They are your family, just as real and true as your own blood. Do this because this is who you are, who you were created to be.
2) Support someone else that is already doing this.
It takes a considerable amount of effort to just find someone like this, ensure their integrity and character, establish a relationship, create systems for accountability and develop a support structure. Then you have to maintain that relationship on an ongoing basis.
Don’t start another organization (non-profit or for-profit) just because you see a need. There are thousands of altruists out there that have already put in years and years of work and they understand what needs to be done much better than you could ever fathom. Honor their work by supporting them.
If you really want to “help”, either dive in or support someone that already has.