From charity of the year to cause of the year?

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What does this mean for your business?

Quartet Community Foundation has been working on a new initiative to help business owners think through how they and their employees support charity.

Typically, choosing a charity for a business to support follows a common process.

  1. Employees are asked to nominate a charity. Most choose a large or charity brand because they haven’t heard of many of the 3500 small local charities working in our region.
  2. A shortlist is drawn up. Small, local charities are often overlooked because of awareness and perceived trust issues.
  3. There is a vote. The charity with the largest number of votes is selected as charity of the year. Some employees are disengaged following steps 2 & 3.
  4. The chosen charity is (sometimes) invited in to the office to explain who they are and what they do.
  5. Employees who are still engaged with the chosen charity will run and jump, bake, cycle and more to fundraise for the next 12 months.
  6. The chosen charity is handed a cheque (photoshoot?) or simply sent a bank transfer.
  7. The charity sends a thankyou letter (to be shared with your employees).

This is not a criticism. This is the way that the majority of businesses support charity, and how charity responds. But we don’t believe it’s the best way to either support charity or to provide employee engagement.

Your business can choose a different way.

  1. Employees are asked to choose (vote) for a charitable cause or theme from a pre-determined list, that covers a range of causes relevant to your community/business purpose. Quartet can provide real life examples of work being undertaken in our community under all of these causes by small and local charities. This list is not as fixed as it may look. Many of the causes cross-over. ie., those who are bullied (Fairness) are likely to struggle with mental health issues (Health).
    a.     FAIRNESS – includes bullying, disability, access issues, poverty, social inclusion, social services, stigma, discrimination, financial exclusion, disadvantage and more.
    b.     SAFETY – includes crime, domestic violence, anti-social behaviour, gangs, offending, sexual abuse, violence, emergency services, exploitation, harmful practice and more.
    c.     HEALTH – includes wellbeing, serious illness, sport, recreation, substance abuse, mental health, reducing isolation, addiction, counselling, caring responsibilities, health advice and more.
    d.     STRONG COMMUNITIES – includes volunteering, supporting family life, culture, religion, refugees, racial integration, isolation, community assets, support and development, asylum, immigration and more.
    e.     WORK & LOCAL ECONOMY – includes employment, skill development, training, social enterprises, labour, access to employment and more.
    i.      ENVIRONMENT – includes recycling, improving surroundings, renewable energies and more.
    Or you can choose your region/city as your cause of the year. We operate in Bath & North East Somerset, Bristol, South Gloucestershire, North Somerset
  2. Quartet provide quarterly news updates from month one for employee inspiration showing real-life projects happening in the community under the chosen cause – giving example of grants from £00’s to £’000’s.
  3. Engaged employees run more, jump higher, bake bigger, cycle further and more for the next 12 months.
  4. Quartet receives the funds raised, and distributes as grants following a detailed due diligence process with all grant applicants. How this is distributed, and to how many grant applicants is determined by the amount raised. Money either goes into a collective giving fund, or if a business prefers there is an opportunity to build a fund in the name of the business, and have more involvement with which charities receive a specific grant.

Our Choices Toolkit goes some way to help business manage this new way of thinking.

Why are we promoting this initiative?

In December 2017, according to the Charity Commission, of the 168,000+ charities in the UK, 73.2% are small or micro. They receive 3% of income generated by business and individuals through charitable donations each year.

This is not a typo. Three percent.

The largest charities (6.8%) receive 90% of income. It’s likely you will recognise these names or brands.

Our local good causes are predominantly small and micro. Small means they operate on less than £100,00 per annum. Micro means less than £10,000 per annum.

Some of our grants are provided to charities who operate on significantly less than £10k and are reliant on Quartet and their volunteers for their survival.

These organisations are effectively invisible to most of our community, but their work is inspirational.

They need our support. They need your support.

Charity of the year to cause of the year is just one small change.

One small change for your business will deliver an increase in employee engagement.

We know that this same small change will make a profound difference for our small and local charities.

Get in touch for more information. 0117 9897700