22nd November 2021
With the Pandemic and various lockdowns that forced new ways of working, small Charities have come under even more strain as they struggle to provide their vital services with increased service demand. They have had to respond rapidly and adjust how they operate, moving services and support online. This has increased demands on staff capacity, technology, and infrastructure they do not all have. The public have responded to national appeals to volunteer, but this has bypassed many local voluntary organisations. Finance has suffered as fundraising and trading income has disappeared and there is uncertainty over future grants and funding.
The Lloyds Bank Foundation have been working in 6 Communities to help the local charity sector build back better. Bolsover is one of the 6 Communities that are benefitting from this work. You may already be aware that our work has included System Change and Organisational Resilience. One part of the work that we are looking to now start in Bolsover is to help develop new ways that businesses and charities can collaborate that aren’t
purely based on seeking financial support and focus on developing long lasting relationships that have the potential to be mutually beneficial. Local businesses have the potential to offer a great level of practical support to Charities and deal with familiar issues bringing skills and expertise that would otherwise be outside the reach of many Charities. By staff sharing their wide-ranging skills, experience, knowledge, ideas, and networks it can help charities to grow stronger and more effective. In turn, staff build stronger ties to the communities where they live and work, while stretching their existing skills and developing new ones. ‘Partnering’ with a local business goes beyond traditional fundraising and donations.
- To help Charities who want to find a business ‘partner’ to identify what the ‘ask’ and the ‘offer’ could be.
- Help Charities identify skills/knowledge gaps and Broker the relationship to find suitable skills match and support. Encourage both sides to be open about what they want to achieve from the partnership that has the most benefit. (a charity may not want a fence painting but need help with marketing)
- To help Charities to develop their skills to network and build strong mutually beneficial relationships with the Business sector
- Help charities to be more visible and build a stronger profile in the community attracting a wider audience, to have an ‘elevator pitch’ and tell their story in a compelling way that engages support.
- Encourage more skills-based volunteering opportunities as a programme in addition to one-off activities. Building longer term relationships whilst rescoping volunteering to include volunteering in a virtual world.
- We have a successful programme of 4 workshops that we have run in other Communities that help Charities to develop their skills towards this ambition.