1. We help businesses, their employees & their customers to get involved within their own local community.
We create opportunities for them to know the local community and to meet the human needs they come across through giving, fundraising and volunteering. For example, we launched a ‘Give Local’ campaign with Costco employees so that every warehouse could donate a £1,000 grant to a small, local charity addressing their own most pressing local needs. These range from tackling hunger through local food banks, to supporting people experiencing mental health issues through sports classes.
2. We co-create projects where we identify a need for help, but can’t find anyone else stepping in. We ask our partners to support delivery within their own local communities.
For example, after consulting teachers, children, childcare experts and other charities we identified a need for more libraries in schools and books in homes. Approximately 20% of primary schools in England do not have any library at all, and many more are inadequate. 1 in 3 children do not have a book of their own at home, even though reading with a child for 15 minutes a day is one of the most effective routes to tackling literacy and ongoing learning issues. This means that over 1 in 3 children on free school meals, leaves primary school unable to read adequately. Our Reading Oasis project is designed for schools where 30% or more children are on free school meals. It gives the schools brand new books, furniture, teaching tools & parent engagement. It gives every child a book of their own to take home, and every pre-school child a book a month delivered to their home. 11 Reading Oases have now been funded, and we locate schools in the same communities as the partners who fund them.
3. We innovate bespoke projects.
Where a partner has an area of particular impact or interest, we develop an initiative relevant to them. For example, the organisers of the International Festival for Business 2016 wanted to ensure that they had a positive impact on disadvantaged young people in Liverpool, where the festival was taking place. We worked with LCVS, the United Way in Liverpool, and local youth charities to better understand the needs of young people, and how these related to ‘international business’. The disadvantaged young people let us know that they were too intimidated to approach them for employment, even when relevant jobs were available. We worked with our international network, local charities & IFB2016 to co-create ‘First Day’, which broke down barriers between business leaders and young people through a mass mentoring event for nearly 100 young people, mock ‘first days’ and support for 500 young people in large businesses based in Liverpool & London, and an awareness campaign with senior business leaders detailing their own ‘First Day’, how they got there, the fears they faced & how they overcame them.
Why we work in this way
- We want to give small, disruptive charities the chance to flourish, innovate and achieve scale. They are unable to do this without support- The largest 0.36% of charities receive nearly 50% of all income. And the largest 5,000 organisations receive nearly 80%. On top of that, between 2008/09 and 2012/13, government funding to small charities fell by 44%
- We know that once people are involved with their own community’s charities through volunteering & events, they are more likely to fund their work
- We work in collaboration with other charities and across sectors. We are part of the world’s largest charitable network, United Way. This means that we learn from 1,800 organisations in over 40 countries, support one another’s development and achieve economies of scale.