As Sandy mentioned over on the charity payback thread last week, and as part of the Social Purpose pieces of work that I'm leading on, it has come to my attention that Charity Payback needs a refresh.
This is to ensure it continues to sit at the heart of everything we stand for. And for that reason, I am making this my primary focus.
The journey so far:
So as part of this journey, I have read a lot, had conversations with members, and also ran an internal workshop to get an understanding of what changes could be made.
The two main areas of focus were:
- Fulfilling some of your wants and expectations
- Aligning with the bigger social purpose picture and starting to make an impact within communities across the UK. You probably have seen my thread here
The major things that I have uncovered that you want to evolve in terms of charity payback (and bear with me because these requests have had to be broken down in order to make them manageable) are:
- The want to give to more than one charity per payback period. Ensuring that smaller, more local causes that otherwise don’t get the funding can be supported
- To have a trusted and reputable third party involved - have the whole process independently adjudicated
- To make more of an impact, and know where the money has gone and how it has made a difference
- Going local but with a national impact
- The ability to nominate more that one cause/charity per period
- Ensure that there is a vetting process in place for all nominated charities to ensure that they are legitimate and our money is in the hands of those that really need it
I know that every single request isn’t covered in the above list (I have seen the master spreadsheet that the educators have worked on) but I do think that if we manage to solve those during phase one, or even just a few of them by trying something new out, then we are making progress. As always, it would be lovely to hear if you would agree, or not?
The proposed route forward:
So with the above in mind, and thanks to your long-standing support, builds and feedback, I feel like I have a potential solution that could fulfil a number of the changes you want to see.
One caveat to make though. In order to fulfil these asks, we need to partner with experts in the local community/causes field, and for that we need to know that we have a trusted, credible partner onboard. From what you’ve said, this feels key.
I have researched hard, met with a number of potential partners, vetted and presented proposals back to our teams, and I think I have an exciting proposition on the table that we could test out.
Of the four different partners I have met, one stood out and made me and the team around me massively excited.
Why? Because they really could help us to turn charity payback into something that helps support so many local community projects up and down the UK (and they also fix a number of problems that you have highlighted).
The proposed partner is called ‘Neighbourly’( https://www.neighbourly.com).
There’s a lot of information on their site so i urge you to take a look, but I will also try to summarise why they could be brilliant for us:
What do they do?
“Neighbourly is an award-winning giving platform that helps businesses make a positive impact in their communities by donating volunteer time, money and surplus products, all in one place”.
They could help us to build impact themes related back to our social purpose ‘reconnecting the disconnected’, using their specialist knowledge, visibility, and access to inform us of the biggest problems being faced by people in society and within communities across the UK.
They can then create relevant topic/impact areas for us (they have over 12,000 community/local charities across the UK within their platform already).
They would then map out where they are locally, what they need and how they will use our funds to help, distributing funds to these small local projects in desperate need of support.
They would then report back on how this has helped and what we could do to further support (be this through volunteering or additional support).
It’s worth mentioning that the cost of partnering with Neighbourly would NOT come out of the charity payback donations, we have agreed for this to come out of the marketing budget if we all agree to move this forward.
So what would change if we partnered with Neighbourly?
It would create a fair approach to distributing funds to community projects that have been highlighted by a trusted and reputable partner.
We would introduce a trusted vetting process from an independent party that includes charity commission registration status, companies house registration status, financial records check, media and social media check, FCA registrations, spot checks, and cyclical vetting.
We would be supporting local community projects, distributing funds far and wide at a grassroots level but with national impact.
We would have an Account Director from their end to represent the charities/causes and ensure that whilst aligning with our social purpose of ‘re-connecting the disconnected’, the impact is made in areas that need it most.
Also, they are on hand to answer any question that arises from us and our members on a daily basis.
Results provided by Neighbourly, using their impact metrics and reporting models to ensure that our funds are making a difference.
Members and employees could also nominate their own local causes into our giffgaff page on Neighbourly. Then providing that it connects to the subject area that we are trying to impact that payout period, and they pass the vetting process, your nominated cause will also get a cut of the kitty.
Over to you….
So this is a brief intro into who they are and what they could do for us.
If we all feel positively about them as a partner then we will enter into phase 2 where we’d discuss the area of focus and impact that we collectively want to make at the launch phase.
So that’s enough from me, let’s all discuss together.
Like you, I'm very aware that we don’t have much time if we want to make this change for June, but I am here to drive this forward and facilitate it if we believe that this could be a good step forward. I would need your support and help though.
Thanks for reading, let’s chat.