The online platform whatimpact.com is positively changing the funding landscape
There is a growing need to bridge the gap between the third sector and the private sector to ensure that resources are distributed as efficiently and effectively as possible. whatimpact aims to start the conversation and improve opportunities for charities and companies to network and addresses some of the main challenges facing charities in the UK.
The marketplace platform invites both companies and charities to create a profile on the site and either list the resources they have to offer, or apply for the resources they need. The platform harnesses technology to increase the ability for companies and charities to form effective partnerships and to report on impact.
Company donations don’t meet charity needs
For over half a decade, the whatimpact team has been getting to know the sector to ensure that their product (launched this year) meets the needs of charities around the country. Their research shows that
50% of charities admit to accepting time donations (volunteers) from their CSR partners out of obligation, when in fact it has little impact and often costs them resources
1.5% of charities get 70% of the sector income
10% of charities are currently mentored by company representatives whilst over 45% claim they would value this
Only 40% of charities receive skills-based volunteering, but 70% need it
These statistics show the depth of charity need, and that more often than not, these issues could be addressed through more effective partnerships. whatimpact gives a voice to smaller charities so that they too can access funding. They also consult with companies so that they know the best way to offer their skills and time, ensuring donations are more relevant and charities don’t form superficial partnerships.
You can read more about whatimpact’s theory of change in their white paper.
Businesses are keen to make a change
whatimpact’s research has also illuminated that now more than ever, companies are keen to get to know the sector and collaborate with small and local charities. As of January 2021, new measures came into effect making it mandatory for companies bidding for government tenders to demonstrate their social value (Procurement Policy Note (PPN) 06/20).
Companies must now be able to evidence their social, economic and environmental benefit - for the entire life cycle of the projects. The legislation sets out five main priority areas that are relevant to procurement:
Covid-19 recovery (helping local communities to manage and recover from the impact of covid-19)
Tackling economic inequality (creating new businesses, jobs and skills, and increasing supply chain resilience and capacity)
Fighting climate change (effective stewardship of the environment)
Equal opportunity (tackling workforce inequality and reducing the disability employment gap)
Wellbeing (improving health and wellbeing, as well as community integration)
This means that companies are increasingly in search of strategic partnerships with charities and social enterprises, especially in local areas where they might be bidding for tenders. As a result, there is a huge opportunity for small, niche charities to get the recognition they deserve, particularly causes that overlap with the focus areas.