On the 27th September we are taking part in City Giving Day, working with Virgin Money to increase the support the City gives to local charities, and celebrate where this is done well. Spearheaded by the Mayor the day brings together companies engaged in charity and community support, to highlight and champion this work. The campaign provides an opportunity to engage businesses with the capacity to do more to support local causes and to demonstrate the value of partnerships.
At Virgin Money Foundation our ambition is to think as broadly as possible about how we use the capacity of our donor Virgin Money to benefit local charities. We want all our grant making to be underpinned by a wider offer of support and this is only possible when more than funds are made available. Volunteering is a brilliant example of this. Before coming to lead the Foundation I ran a busy homelessness charity. For every £1 that came to the charity, we had a myriad of areas we could spend it on, each one pressing. In this context paying for specialists to help us with business planning, financial modelling, marketing or advice never felt like the highest priority. It was often necessary, but was the type of cost that came with a sinking feeling because it didn’t have an immediate direct benefit to our clients. Skilled volunteering from city firms is of significant value. It means charities save on costs and can put more into the services they deliver. More than the output the volunteers produce however it builds partnership, collaboration and a reciprocal benefit – a sense of social purpose for the volunteer, engagement and support for the charity. During City Giving Day 2015, 3000 new volunteers were recruited across the city to support local charities and community groups, Virgin Money Foundation are engaging with City Giving Day this year to support their ambition of recruiting even more.
Nancy Doyle, Executive Director