As anyone who works for a charity will tell you, one of the most important parts of our work is creating networks. To me as a student, “networking” was a dirty word, and networking events were attended only by smug people who wanted to tell everyone how great they are.
I did go once, to a law networking event, because my friend told me there was free cheese. I managed to embarrass myself in front of any prospective employers by displaying my ignorance of the law (I was a maths undergrad, to be fair). The cheese was delicious, though.
It turns out, though, that networking in the real world is an incredibly useful tool, and without it, a charity’s work would be so much harder. Networking is not about free cheese, it’s about making links with like-minded people and spreading your word without spending lots of money.
STOP THE TRAFFIK is lucky enough to work with many partners who allow us to focus on what we do best: enabling and empowering communities to stop trafficking. This means we don’t have to spend time or money doing the things we’re not trained to do.
One organisation we work with is Advocates for International Development (A4ID), who draw on their extensive network of lawyers around the world to provide pro bono (literally meaning “for a good cause”) legal advice to those who need it. Their main focus is the UN Millennium Development goals, and they support charities who work in any of the areas covered by them.
A4ID have worked with us a number of times, including advising us on legal issues surrounding our website and campaigns, and drawing up a joint venture agreement when working on a project with multiple partners.
Legal advice can be costly, but the cost of not taking legal advice can be even higher. That we have access to these services for free – pro bono work is done without compensation – is a great support for us.
Another such organisation is Leagas Delaney, a creative agency who do lots of creative stuff and have genius ideas to engage people in our work. Again, this is something that can be expensive for small charities, and our partnership has led to some of our best campaigns.
We’d like to give a big STOP THE TRAFFIK “thank you!” to A4ID and Leagas Delaney, and to all organisations who work with charities like they do. By providing their brilliant expertise, large organisations can make such a difference, not only to us, but to people suffering from injustice across the world.