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Business and Charities working to produce Thriving and Vibrant Communities

It is often said that charities and business speak different languages and have little in common.   Apparently, we work in different worlds and have different values, ambitions and aspirations. According to some, business exists for the sole purpose of producing profit and extending market share, whilst charities seek to support the vulnerable.

In reality though, nothing could be further from the truth.        

Business people Live, Work and Invest in the same communities where charities deliver their services, activities and projects.

We both want the same thing: Thriving and Vibrant Places that contain  healthy, happy and well connected individuals who can participate in and contribute to our economy. It’s the premise behind a civic society, where the majority share in the benefits that society has to offer and not the minority.

And that’s a common aspiration for both Business and Charities.

Our Charter for Business:

Voluntary Impact Northamptonshire wants to engage and work with business on a level playing field, beyond the mere tick box expectations of Corporate and Social Responsibility. This requires a new type of discussion where business sees the charity sector not as a way of discharging its CSR aspirations as quickly as is possible, but working with charities to deliver real and meaningful change. There are a variety of ways in which this can be done, but business must recognise that none of this is a free resource and therefore costs will be attached:

The benefits for business:

Brand profile reach.

Brand extension.

Market share into new geographical audiences.

Heightened Corporate and Social Responsibility.

Enlightened and motivated staff.

Employee Supported Volunteering Initiatives.

The opportunity to deliver real change in communities.

The services of a dedicated VIN Account Manager.

The requirements for business:

We want business to commit to a full and thorough engagement partnership with us. There are many opportunities:

Employee Supported Volunteering: Lots of local business now build into their employee experience the opportunity to volunteer in a community based organisation. Rather than being an adhoc request, business should look to work with Voluntary Impact Northamptonshire over a 12 month programme. The cost of placing each volunteer is assessed at £125.00.

Training or experience days: whilst it is easy for business to release employees to take part in a team building day, the cost to a charity in terms of planning and running that day can be costly. Voluntary Impact Northamptonshire will  broker these team building days at a cost of £1275.00. This will ensure the day is planned accordingly, and that business volunteers extract the very best from the experience.

Support: Health and well-being is now a major and pivotal issue for any workforce. Voluntary Impact Northamptonshire works with a number of Mental Health Charities who can visit the workplace or in these unprecedented times run a series of Virtual Health and Well-being Workshops which will help local business to employ the right protocols and ensure that staff have the best possible work life balance. These 2 hour sessions are available at a cost of £250.00.

Learning and Skills Exchange: We recognise that business people have skills and knowledge that could be vital to charities. The issue is always the same though: business wants to provide the support in a timely fashion and charities do not react in a timely enough fashion. The business becomes frustrated and moves on. This happens through a lack of planning, not a lack of understanding or a desire to help. We are therefore asking that business work with us to agree a 12 month programme of Learning and Skills Exchange. This will maximise the business impact, ensure that all parties receive the best from the experience and hopefully develop like long associations between both sectors. Our brokerage fee for this service is £750.00.

In addition, Voluntary Impact Northamptonshire also has a range of its own products which business can sponsor if they so wish.

Helping the isolated and disconnected:

Our Happy at Home Service plays a pivotal role in supporting the isolated through befriending. We currently work with over 60 volunteers in Northampton, and last year we reached over 130 vulnerable individuals. Our Befriending Volunteers play a pivotal role in supporting, advising and assisting those who need it most, from the collection of essential food shopping or medical prescriptions to lending a sympathetic ear when individuals feel lonely or disconnected from society.To sponsor this service costs £24,000.00 per annum. Whilst we are not suggesting that one local business only should support this programme (unless they wanted unmitigated branding rights of course) but any form of sponsorship will help. The cost of sponsoring one volunteer for a year is £400.00 and the community benefit huge and inspiring.

Roads are tarmac jigsaw pieces connecting people and communities:

Our Community Transport Scheme ensures that the physically disabled, or those without transport make their essential medical and health and well-being appointments. Without this transport, many individuals would be unable to leave their home. It’s more than just a set of wheels. Our drivers make life long connections with individuals who they support and signpost to other services. We have 25 volunteer car drivers and a fleet of 8 minibuses. It costs £52.00 per day to run a bus. Why not sponsor a bus for a period of time and let the bus do the advertising for your company. For a 3 month sponsorship across Northampton the cost would be £4,368.00.

Help to Make a Place:

We work in building community spirit, so that individuals can help each other and those who are deemed most vulnerable. It’s a programme called Make Your Place. We all know how important a sense of Place is, and what happens to People and Places when neglect sets in, and aspirations are crushed. Sponsor one of our Make Your Place Programmes and be a part of the difference: Increased levels of connection and cohesion, more volunteering, bigger community initiatives led by the community themselves. For £10,000.00  your local business could brand its very own Make Your Place Programme in an area favoured by your employees.

For more information on the contents of this page please contact the organisational CEO Russell Rolph on 07592 501770 or at

Start where you are. Use what you have. Do what you can (Arthur Ashe)