What I always check when I match a company with a charity or project, is whether it has an EXIT strategy.
The EXIT strategy for charities is driven by the aim of a sustainable solution. Sustainability in this matter means that when they leave a place it does not mean that things have ended, just that the involvement has ended. Because in the end, helping the local community is meaningful and life-changing, BUT it should be possible to end the help and support.
To do so, it’s important to see whether a charity or project has an EXIT strategy in place. A plan to hand over the solution to the local community or country itself. In the end, ideally there should be no dependency on financing from Western companies in the future. There are multiple ways to do this, such as training and sharing knowledge, handing over production and hiring local workers (localization), and micro-funding. The EXIT Strategy for charities can be a 10-year plan or even longer, but with the end goal to make the project 100% independently operating.
Why you should have an EXIT Strategy check?
Financing or supporting a project that will exist forever, is unrealistic and brings a lot of responsibility. I would advise my customers to avoid starting to support such products, by opening up the discussion about the EXIT Strategy. You can ask questions, brainstorm about solutions and make a plan together that will be evaluated regularly.
My tip? Make an EXIT-Strategy a requirement when you would like to start supporting a charity or project. The SSIR Organization developed a helpful checklist to realize the EXIT Strategy for charities that could be super helpful to check.
Like to know more or discuss options to partner with a charity? Leave me a quick note here and I’ll reach out to you!
Love, XOXO Eva