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Why you need to give back if you want to be a successful business

How to be a ‘generous’ business and why it’s so crucial to your long term success.

At Opendoorz one of our core values is ‘Generosity of Spirit’. Like a stick of rock it runs through everything we do and is a key part of our DNA. But what do we mean by ‘generosity of spirit’?

Well, to start with it’s about being keen and eager in all our undertakings (even our 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. We are open to what the experience might bring and try not to put too many of our pre-existing expectations upon it.

It also expresses the personality of all the Opendoorz groups. The Opendoorz team and all the members at each of the seven groups 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.

The other element to this core value is our firm belief that as a business we have a commitment to support and be a part of the local community.

Every year we choose a local charity to be our main cause. But there are also a whole host of ways in which other charities receive support from Opendoorz too. We welcome charities to join us at our guest events to build connections with our members and benefit from that culture of sharing expertise and providing support. Coming along to a networking event is also a great way for a charity to raise their brand presence within the local business community and publicise upcoming events they’re hosting.

Many of our members also have their own charities they support and we actively help them promote events and fund-raising initiatives through the Opendoorz network.

So, to us and our members 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. From Music Festivals and Woodland Parties for The Nasio Trust, to mad drivers and dodgy cars in the Twin Town Challenge and a Mad Hatters Party for Special Effect, to a Pink Tie Ball for Breast Cancer Research, a coat collection challenge for the Homeless, and the icing on the cake last year was a Wing-Walk for Seesaw.

Throughout 2019 we supported Seesaw, an Oxford based charity that works with children that are bereaved, and raised over £20,000

Jane Elliott, corporate fundraiser at Seesaw said;

Cathy and Sonia are SeeSaw Corporate Ambassadors and have done much in this capacity to support me personally and SeeSaw over several years. I was thrilled to learn at the beginning of 2019 that Opendoorz had chosen SeeSaw as their charity of the year.

Little did I know what an amazing year 2019 would turn out to be. One of the important benefits to any charity being Opendoorz’s charity of the year is the chance to attend guest events during the year. This is a super opportunity to meet with many new businesses along the way in different parts of the county. Attending guest events enabled me to raise awareness about SeeSaw’s work and to drum up interest for SeeSaw challenge events through the year.

In terms of our challenge events we were thrilled that four Opendoorz members ran for SeeSaw in the (very wet) Oxford Half Marathon and raised £1,876 in sponsorship. Two other members also took part in Bike Oxford and raised £1,706.

Sonia and Cathy helped organised two charity networking breakfast events in aid of SeeSaw and our great friends at SpecialEffect. There is no doubt that we wouldn’t have been able to run such successful events without their wonderful support and input.

An ice hockey event in December organised by Opendoorz held at the Oxford Ice Rink brought SeeSaw together with Oxford United in the Community to raise vital funds and awareness about both organisations.

The highlight of the year and indeed my whole time as a fundraiser for SeeSaw was the wing walk that Cathy organised. Thirteen Opendoorz members bravely took to the skies on the wings of a by-plane in September. I know that it took a massive amount of work to pull this event together and Cathy faced challenges with the plane not being ready in time and the weather wasn’t on her side either. Despite this the event was a great success and raised £17,500 for SeeSaw as well as a fabulous promotional film that we are able to use going forward.

Cathy, Sonia and everyone at Opendoorz demonstrate how charity and business partnerships can work well for both parties and be great fun at the same time.” 

If you are a charity based in Oxfordshire get in touch and if you are a business owner who likes the sound of how we do things in Opendoorz, come along to one of our guest events. Find full details of all events on our website:


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