Today in celebration of Pro Bono Week we are attending a breakfast at which we announce our grant to Norfolk ProHelp.
It is an unusual grant for Virgin Money Foundation, with the vast majority of funding going to initiatives developed by the incredible people working in communities to address thorny issues and bring about change. It is a grant that we are excited about.
Since we started the Foundation in 2015 we have increasingly realised that a certain kind of magic happens, when you match charities with private sector businesses. Charities benefit from skilled support they would struggle to otherwise afford – architects and accountants, lawyers and brand specialists – and businesses find a way to connect with their local community, becoming highly valued corporate citizens, playing their own role in making the community in which they are based stronger and more resilient.
We are not talking about community halls being painted by HR specialists, we are talking about decorators volunteering to refurbish community halls and HR experts volunteering to write and review People Policies and advise on recruitment procedures.
It doesn’t happen without coordination, planning and match making. The Foundation plays this role for the charities it funds but, because we believe in the model, we are funding the work of Norfolk ProHelp, so that beyond the Foundation’s direct reach, charities throughout Norfolk can benefit from relationships with businesses and businesses can benefit from relationships with charities. Together we can support communities to thrive.