How can £1,000,000 run the home forever?
When the £1,000,000 goal is raised, it will be invested, to accrue annual interest. I only need £23,000 per annum maximum to run the home (food, water, holidays & healthcare included, see the full breakdown of costs on THE HOME PAGE) so the £1,000,000 total will never be eaten into and will remain accruing more interest every year and funding the home comfortably for the rest of their lives.
Why have I gone about it this way? I will be working with 2 small, independent charities in Swaziland that I have known for decades and trust 100%. They are very used to well intentioned people (like myself) wanting to help those less fortunate but have learnt that sometimes those people promise funding and then struggle to deliver, leaving the charity with mounting bills & no source of income. They would only work with me on the condition that I could guarantee funding (in advance) for the rest of their lives. By raising £1,000,000 and needing (after construction) to use only the annual interest for the home, I can both offer that guarantee and cover the costs of the home securely each year.
What if the exchange rate changes, how will you fund the home?
Exchange rates between the UK and Swaziland have fluctuated over the past 20 years and used to consistently average £1 for 10 Rands. Over the last 10 years that has changed and the exchange rate has almost doubled in MMTO's favour. Currently I only need £23,000 maximum to run the home per annum but I have budgeted to be able to afford £38,000 per annum too, should the exchange rates revert back.
Where will you accrue your interest from? Interest rates are at an all time low.
This is true but MMTO will be in a strong position to yield returns of 3% minimum for a number of reasons...
How is the £1,000,000 invested? In property to be used to allow people to tap back into their ‘inner wild’… Homes and buildings to be used for ‘wild’ retreats, hired by companies selling foraging, wild swimming and other ‘wild outdoor’ services/events. This income provides £40k annually to fund the home in Swaziland WHILE aiding people in the UK to live warmer, richer, healthier and more aligned lives, tapping us all back into nature. (Partners who have paid £1000 to be in the Mission Milly Club get discounted rates off hiring fees too).
And how do I know this investment will yield 4% interest? Because I have spent the last 9 months working with companies who would either hire these spaces or who run similar ventures themselves.
Whatever is decided, MMTO's £1,000,000 raised will ONLY be safely invested with guaranteed, ethical returns.
Are you a registered charity?
Not yet, but we are an official non-profit instead of a corporate business and are allowed to refer to ourselves (100% legally) as a Charity, just not a registered one. We are what is called a 'Charitable Company' which is one step down from being a registered charity. We have just applied for charitable status as a CIO with the Charity Commission. Fingers Crossed!
How can you prove that you're legitimate?
I am greatly hoping that the Testimonials Page (with images of Tweets that can't be faked) will go some way towards building trust in MMTO Swapsies. I know that it's hard these days - where anyone can set up a website - but I have deliberately placed my personal phone number on this website and made myself as available as possible for contact so that anyone can reach me and ask further questions. There are a great many further Testimonials on the YouTube Page.
How can I know that you won't squander my donation? You're a new Non-Profit.
I can only give you my promise & the chance to ask ME any questions you like & even come and meet me in person at Swapsie Drinks events. This mission is incredibily important to me - I have quit a career in TV & worked 7 day weeks for a long, long time to bring it about - and every financial decision to be made when the £1,000,000 is raised will be done only with the best expert financial advice from those who are ethical & socially conscious & wouldn't risk any loss of capital. When I first embarked on this campaign, I flew to Swaziland and spent weeks speaking to Doctors about rehabilitation costs and had many meetings with local charities investigating the construction costs & annual requirements for the home & for these 8 people. I already have a community network ready to support & embrace them once the home is finally built. That same care will continue to go into every decision to guarantee that your donation isn't wasted.
Why aren't you using a JustGiving Page?
JustGiving is a great service but it charges 5% on donations, which it predominantly takes from the added Gift Aid. Since MMTO Swapsies isn't a registered charity yet, we would just lose 5% (£50,000 of out million £ target.) At present - with Paypal - we would pay a maximum of 3.4% + 20p per donation which drops significantly as soon as we can apply for Charity Registration. More money for the home :-)
Also, the 'Living what you're Giving'' idea is to create a human & emotional understanding between Donors & the 8 young, disabled people you're helping. For that we need your Membership (email address.)
Why can't I find out full details about the disabled people? I want to know where my money's going.
There are a few reasons for such discretion. ONE of the most important reasons is to respect the privacy & dignity of those I want to help. In a society where fundraising adverts are full of close ups on suffering children this may seem a ridiculous whim - people do want to see where their donations are going after all - but having worked in human rights documentaries and other programme making for most of my career, I have seen the exploitation of vulnerable people and I don't think that I have a right to do the same. I have since been convinced that protecting the identities of these 8 people is right because - as the SLC Centre in Swaziland told me, who foster abandoned children & follow the same policy - "You wouldn't want your life story publicised for all to see. You have the right to tell the people who are important to you as they come into your life. The children we look after deserve the same dignity."
ANOTHER equally important reason is for their own personal safety, at least until they are officially fostered. They are already very vulnerable and situated in places with no security measures and if it was popularly known that they were due financial aid, there is a very real possibility that they could be harmed by those jealous of their potential good fortune.)
How will I be invited to Swapsies Drinks?
As a Swapsies Member you will be emailed an invite to Swapsies Drinks with details on the event, so you can choose to come along or not :-)
How do I enter for a prize?
As you become a Member of Swapsies you'll be sent an email asking which prizes (Experiences/Personal Effects) you'd like to win & share/promote (to be able to empathise with the the young people you're helping most effectively.) Members are automatically entered for Cash Prizes.
Do Prizes come out of the £1,000,000 total?
Nope, Prizes are paid for by sponsors.
What happens if I win?
You'll receive a personal email from us and it will also be announced in the Swapsies Newsletter. You'll be asked for a delivery address to send the prize to. If you'd like to send any selfies or news back as to how the prize was shared with friends/family then that's fab but it's not mandatory. You can share the prize/promote MMTO Swapsies whatever way you like and Swapsies won't be checking up on you with any expectations or further demands.
What if I just want to donate?
That's absolutely fine and MUCH appreciated. Go to the MAIN PAGE and click the button at the bottom.
If I DonARTe/Donate or Upload a Musical Recommendation via 'Safe & Sound' but then decide I want to SWAP LIVES/WIN PRIZES, what do I do?
If you have already donated (& if you chose to, submitted your Music Recommendation or DonARTe Selfie) simply email me at with your Paypal receipt or the receipt code and I will create your Membership and send you the details to join in with 'Living what you're Giving' (no extra donation necessary.)
If I win a prize, am I taking something from the young people?
Quite the opposite... If you win a prize & invite friends/family to share it with you, you're GIVING the young people even more because you're promoting the Swapsies Campaign and inspiring more people to donate & help us reach the £1,000,000 goal faster. You're going one step further than giving.