The magic that happens when businesses and charities unite

The first ‘Networking with Purpose’ (NwP) breakfast event kicked off on Wednesday 20th July at Wyboston Lakes Hotel with a great turnout from businesses and charities alike.  NwP followed three years of a joint partnership between Hunts Forum and Rachel Hales from Get Synergised to provide workshops for charities and social enterprises to help them develop their ways of working with business engagement.  

The ‘More than a Giving Machine’ themed workshops were aimed at helping charities recognise that many businesses had moved away from novelty cheque photo opportunities and were now looking to develop more meaningful and impactful partnerships. Across different sessions in different locations, charities had the opportunity to hear from several businesses about what they were looking for in a charity partner. 

It was clear at these that learning was not a one-way street. Many of the businesses coming to talk to charities found that they were learning a great deal about how differently the third sector has to operate, the challenges they face and the different ways that the sectors could work together for the benefit of our communities. 

‘Networking with Purpose’ is designed to help charities and social enterprises engage with local businesses and look at ways to establish mutual partnerships with each other.  We targeted SMEs to show them that they have an essential role in supporting the volunteer sector and building community connections.  

When a local business supports a local charity or social enterprise, the impact it can make on our communities is more significant and something the company can see happening and be a part of. 

We want to thank everyone who supported and attended the launch event in Huntingdonshire. There was certainly a buzz in the room, and I know the charitable organisations and businesses got something positive from talking with each other. It was great to see everyone breaking down barriers, improving understanding and finding ways to support each other.  Here is some feedback we received from the attendees after the event; 

One business attendee wrote, “I will connect with all the people in this room today, and review and target those charities that align with my business and personal aspirations”. 

Another business attendee wrote, “Connect with charity representatives to explore support opportunities.” 

A charity attendee wrote, “I will work on my ‘offer’ and keep growing in confidence to ask for what I need.” 

Another charity attendee wrote, “Connect with everyone online to continue conversations on how we can make more LGBTQ inclusive communities and organisations work together and what that looks like for different partners.” 

Hunts Forum and Get Synergised are now exploring ways to make this successful first step a regular occurrence in Hunts.   

If you are interested in attending the next event, please email keith@huntsforum.org.uk.