This idea is to create a process and support system a where anybody can design, trial and assess the effectiveness of an idea to help the needy, without having to become a charity.
For a long time we seem to have assumed that "helping the poor" is somebody else's business, and yet every now and again somebody takes responsibility for it on their own. And sometimes that initiative has enormous payoff for the most vulnerable in our community. I have heard of people putting washing machines in vans so that the homeless can wash their clothes and people making a point of spending time having a coffee with the homeless and disadvantaged. There are lots of little things that can be done, and yet getting started, when you are not a registered not for profit organisation can be a real hassle. My idea is to create a process whereby people with an idea, can propose that idea (perhaps online). Either the community at large or a board would decide if it seems feasible, and the person with the idea would be given two things to support their venture. One, being some cash to give the project a red hot go, the other, being a coach or mentor who would manage the finance, and provide advice and assistance around the development, running and assessment of effectiveness. As an example, perhaps a person wants to give away socks and sanitary products, (two of the big needs on the streets). They create a short video saying that they want to give out these things to people but they need to create a sustainable approach to doing it. This project would look at the video and decide, yes, that seems like it might work. So they grant a $2000 startup fund and a person to work with the individual to ensure that an effective plan is created, trialed and assessed. At the end of a set trial period there would be some solid evidence that this made a real difference and it really wasn't very expensive to maintain. At that point, the person would be far more likely to be able to continue in what they were doing without assistance or even to gain support from a not for profit. By enabling people to give their ideas a go, with support, the community may just be able to make a big difference in a few ways without the red tape associated with starting another charity. In fact, these projects and ideas, may just be adopted by existing charities and organisations because they have a proven ability to make a real difference.