Why supporting local causes is good for business
If you want to be a successful business, start by giving back.
Ok, so we’re about to blow the Opendoorz trumpet…Over the last year our Opendoorz members raised over £43,000 for our chosen charity, the very worthy Be Free Young Carers.
Every year, we support a local charity and every year we are always blown away by how much our members, all local businesses themselves, go over and above to support, fundraise and raise awareness. It links back to one of our core values – generosity of spirit. Like a stick of rock, it runs through everything we do and reflects our firm belief that as a business we have a commitment to support and be a part of the local community in Oxfordshire, Gloucestershire and Berkshire.
Raising much needed funds for charity is, of course a major objective. The money that Opendoorz members raised has enabled Be Free Young Carers to buy essential winter hampers for young people with caring responsibilities. It’s funded 3 Christmas parties for young carers and made a trip to the pantomime for over 60 young people a reality. It’s also enabled the charity to buy essential care products for young carers, such as sanitary towels, that they might otherwise go without in the this cost of living crisis.
BUT, it’s also so much more than that. As Sabiene North, CEO of Be Free Young Carers told us:
“For us this wasn’t just about fundraising, it was about supporting us when we needed you the most. It was about giving us access to expertise and advice. Through the Opendoorz network we now have a bookkeeper onboard who is essential to our finance team. We were able to set up an HR system, which we had never had before but now we cannot live without. We also have a clear marketing strategy in place for the next 12 months, with concise vision and values.”
Why do we do this every year? Obviously, it’s great to give back and who knows when we might need to call upon the support of these amazing charities. But, it also makes good business sense and this very much links back to that generosity of spirit core value.
Supporting local charities is a tangible way to build a culture of giving and support that benefits business. The Opendoorz team and all the members are proactive in sharing their experiences and expertise to create a learning environment where knowledge is shared and new ideas and initiatives formed. Supporting each other through questioning, challenging and giving honest and constructive feedback helps everyone to improve, innovate and grow.
It also reflects ‘how we do things around here’ – we are always keen and eager in all our undertakings (even filing VAT returns!). From our regular group sessions to meeting potential new members for a coffee we approach each and every element of Opendoorz life as an opportunity.
Generosity of spirit is the culture that runs through Opendoorz. We are keen to share our expertise and to support each other on our business journeys. We are also keen to support and be an active part of the local community – to give back and use our business as a force for good.
There is a final element that makes generosity of spirit so important to the Opendoorz ethos and it links to another of our core values – that all of this should be fun! Approaching everything we do with the mindset of ‘can help, will help’ means that our meetings are lively and fun. We and our members have a long tradition of organising and taking part in innovative events and crazy challenges. In raising money for Be Free Young Carers our amazing members have taken part in bike rides, half marathons, raffles, wine tasting (ok, that one wasn’t too much of a challenge!) and we need to give a special shout out to the amazing Peter Yearling and the team at Point to Point Financial Management who secured some phenomenal donations for the charity.
When charities and businesses work in partnership, everyone benefits.
We are thrilled to have chosen another incredibly worthy local charity to support throughout 2023 – Oxfordshire Mind. For over 50 years, Oxfordshire Mind have been campaigning for better mental health in Oxfordshire and providing support services to tens of thousands of people.
It seemed like an obvious choice to us for several reasons. Firstly, we’ve all been through some challenging times in the last few years and many of us have felt the impact that has had on mental health. Secondly, the charity has a very similar geographical remit to Opendoorz, covering all of Oxfordshire and into West Berkshire. Finally, they also have a committed team of fundraisers who can and will fully embrace the opportunity to be part of the Opendoorz community and use it to raise the charity’s profile.
It’s fair to say, they were pretty pleased when we told them;
‘WOW!!!! What wonderful news to receive on a Monday morning… in fact, on any morning. THANK YOU so much! This partnership will absolutely give Oxfordshire Mind greater exposure within the business community and make a huge difference to our brand awareness and fundraising.’
Our members are already on the case with raising money and awareness for Oxfordshire Mind. The North Oxford group recently set the bar high with £1000 raised during a recent guest meeting. We can’t wait to find out what crazy, whacky and fun fundraising ideas will emerge over the course of the year.
If you’d like to try a bit of networking love the Opendoorz way, drop us a line and join us at a guest event. We have groups across Oxfordshire, Gloucestershire and Berkshire: