How to better connect Askers and Givers in Bristol? 

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Bristol is a city where there is a deep desire to create better lives for fellow citizens. During this crisis the outpouring of offers to help (with time, things, spaces, skills and money) has been extraordinary.  

John Manley, Bristol’s High Sheriff, has been thinking about a better way to match all the different asks for support with offers of help.  Making matches quickly and relevantly would benefit charities and community groups of all sizes from across the city. 

These past months, too many people have been frustrated that their offers of help have not been taken up. Meanwhile third sector organisations are swamped with work and lack the time to take up so many kind offers.  

We know that matching “asks” with “gives” hasn’t always worked efficiently.  John and his colleagues want to experiment with some different ideas of how to improve it. Would you like to take part in this pilot and perhaps gain new support for your organisation?

What will be happening?

John is looking for 20 charities, voluntary and community groups from across Bristol to receive specialist help to define what support they need in volunteering time, things given and lent, spaces lent, pro bono skills and money.  A clear and precise set of current “asks” will be developed with you. This will take around an hour.  It is intended to make this as simple as possible.

All the asks will be collected and actively matched to people, businesses or organisations from all around the city – they will be approached for that help.  

“If this works and the charities joining the pilot make new connections and relationships that help them continue and grow their important work, we’ll know we’ve developed a useful mechanism to use not just in times of crisis, but whenever charities need extra support” says John.

This is an experiment to test the ideas. But like all experiments the results might fall short of the vision. We hope it will show promise. If it does then your asks should get some promising matches with individuals, businesses and organisations.   

If you are interested in participating or learning more please contact John at