Smarter Giving

Smarter Giving is our dedicated member service to enable businesses to direct their charitable efforts locally. We have a special interest in the Church Street Ward, an area just north of Marylebone Road that has historically had many social and economic challenges. Since launching the service in 2013, we have developed relationships with local charities, community groups and schools based around Church Street, which is within walking distance from Baker Street, and are well positioned to facilitate introductions to help build long-term sustainable relationships between them and you. For one-off team volunteering days, we will refer you to an organisation who specialise in facilitating group activities.

Our focus for the year ahead is to support local people into employment through our Inspire and Experience programme, seeking assistance from businesses for successful employment in the widest sense from supporting education, through to inspiring young people about the different career paths that our members’ industries provide, to employment and apprenticeships. Plus, our two collaborative volunteering day projects that bring together businesses, suppliers and volunteers to deliver an ambitious project that makes a tangible difference in the community will return – watch this space for full details and how to get involved.

  • How You Can Get Involved

    How You Can Get Involved

    One-Off Donations – Waste not, want not is our motto, so if you’re moving, refurbishing or simply having a clear out, remember to contact us so we can help re-direct as much as we can to local causes.  We recently arranged a donations of lever arch files!

    Food and Clothes Drives – We help you host quarterly food and clothes drives which are easy to set up and give individuals the flexibility to donate as much as they like. We provide personalised collateral to help you promote the drives and can even assist to deliver the donations.

    Annual Appeals – With Christmas truly being a time for giving, we have a range of ways in which you can help brighten up the festive season for locals including an annual Toy Appeal, which has raised over 2000 gifts to date, hamper appeals for the local food bank and families and fundraising opportunities to get the whole team involved.

    Collaborative Volunteering Projects – Every year we focus on one or two ambitious collaborative projects where we call on as many members to get involved as possible. The range of skills, suppliers and volunteers’ from different members can bring to a project is of huge value and have enabled some fantastic projects be delivered. One of our favourites and most demanding was overhauling 20 allotment gardens at the nearby Warwick Estate which is now used by the community to grow fruit and vegetables.

    We focus on facilitating long-term relations so for one-off team volunteering days, we will refer you to a partner organisation who will support you in finding the right volunteering activity for your group.

    As well as these ongoing initiatives, here are some practical ways you can support the Inspire and Experience area of our work and help local education and employment:

    • Host a careers talk
    • Set academic challenges
    • Run a literacy workshop
    • Take part in a careers fair
    • Hold a workplace visit
    • Offer an apprenticeship
    • Lend your professional skills
    • Conduct a mock interview
    • Be a mentor

    Read on to discover what member businesses are doing.

  • Who We Work With

    Who We Work With

    We work with an array of grass-root charities and community groups in all aspects of society from a homeless day centre to a family playgroup, a children’s intensive care unit to sheltered housing for the elderly. We know every business is different, so we work with you to find opportunities that suit your organisation’s interest, capacity, skills and resources, and match them to the needs of organisations to build meaningful long-term relationships that have lasting impact.

    There are endless ways you can offer support, take a look at some of the opportunities here.

  • What Our Members Have Done So Far

    What Our Members Have Done So Far

    Thanks to the generosity and support of our members, we have been able to help over 30 local causes through various initiatives. From regular food and clothes drives to supporting drop in centres and food banks, to facilitating members in donating over £100k of funding. Over 300 member volunteers have invested their time to get involved with the local community, including supporting students from King Solomon Academy and other local schools through talks and workplace visits, projects such as overhauling the playground at the Portman Early Childhood Centre, reviving gardens and allotments in the Church Street area and accompanying local elderly residents on days trips.

     

  • Our Approach

    Our Approach

    Our Inspire and Experience strategy sits at the heart of the Smarter Giving service and will drive our efforts for the year ahead to bring about sustainable positive change in the challenged Church Street area, where we primarily work. The four core strands of this strategy are; Education, Experiencing, Supporting Local Employment and Skill Sharing.

    The Church Street Ward has historically struggled with numerous social and economic challenges including unemployment, low income families, limited visibility of the career opportunities available to individuals and how to grasp them, social integration and language barriers. With the support of businesses, we believe focusing on the four strands of the Inspire and Experience strategy will make a real difference to the area, help young people maximise their education experience, raise aspirations and open up employment opportunities to all. And there are huge benefits for businesses too. Supporting local people means your business will be helping to strengthen links with the community and build long-term, sustainable relationships – a win-win for all.

  • Education

    Education

    Your business can help inspire students through career talks, practical workshops, and academic challenges to help them get an insight into your working world. You can also support local schools through readings and literacy workshops or take part in their career fairs. A great example of this working is by member, Oliver Wyman, who recently helped students from King Solomon’s Academy with ‘personal statement’ workshops, 1-2-1 coaching for those applying to university and work experience.

    View our school calendar here, this outlines the different activities you can support and when in the academic year they take place.

  • Experience

    Experience

    Early experiences of the workplace are fundamental to the career choices young people make. Can you host students for a tour, inspirational talk or practical session? Private members club, Home House recently hosted a group of twelve students for a taster of the hospitality industry which included an inspirational talk by MD Andrew Richardson who shared his journey to MD and a demonstration in fish filleting by the Head Chef.

    Your business can help the future generation realise their potential and provide real-life insights that will give them the confidence to make the right choice – you may even be looking at your future employee!

  • Supporting Local Employment

    Supporting Local Employment

    With your help, we’re dedicated to helping local residents and students into the workforce and new graduates find placements. We are also looking at how we can facilitate apprenticeships so if you are interested or would like to discuss this area of our work, please get in touch.

  • Skill Sharing - Supporting Charities and New Enterprise

    Skill Sharing - Supporting Charities and New Enterprise

    Why not help one of our Smarter Giving charities or causes by sharing your skills. Expertise in IT, leadership, marketing, finance and much more are always welcome. Some recent examples of great work from members include an IT department sharing their skills to update a charity’s IT systems and website and a volunteer from PIMCO taking up a position as a Treasurer for One Westminster.