Charity of the Year

If you work for a business, the chances are you’ve engaged in some form of charitable giving. Whether your work has a dedicated charitable foundation, a match-giving scheme or you’ve been part of a staff fundraising challenge, each and every kind of corporate fundraising has an incredible impact on charities!

Today we’re going to take a deep dive into another form of charity giving – Charity Of The Year partnerships. This blog explores why they are particularly transformative for both charities and businesses and how you can go about getting your business involved. 

Why are Charity of the Year partnerships so important to us? 

Venture Scotland’s youthwork is not a statutory service but countless young people have told us that our work has saved their life. We rely on the generosity of fundraising and donations to continue saving young lives and stop suicide being leading cause of death in young people in Scotland. It’s thanks to the amazing people who support us through their family Trust, or by running races and climbing mountains, or through Scottish businesses, that we are able to continue to give young people hope for their future.

A Charity of the Year partnership is a truly magical gift to Venture Scotland because it gives us two major opportunities:  

  1. To raise unrestricted funds. Unrestricted funds are like gold dust to us and can be put towards whatever has the most need across our charity.
  2. To talk to a wide audience of colleagues and raise awareness of we do. This helps us increase support but it also helps spread the word about our services and volunteering opportunities.

How can you help? 

A lot of businesses look to change their charity partnerships around this time of year. There’s something about the end of the financial year which creates a great opportunity to reset and look to the future! 

It’s now required for businesses with over 250 employees to report on the positive impact they’re having on the ESG (Environmental, Social and Governance) Goals every year. Most businesses look to support their local communities and a great way for them to do this is to chat with colleagues about the charities in their area that are close to their heart.

The first step in supporting Venture Scotland to become your work’s Charity of the Year, is to find out who looks after that kind of ESG support. This structure will look different for every organisation but there are some general helpful hints for where to start. First of all; if your work has someone who looks after ESG, CSR or Sustainability they would be a great person to talk to first. If not, the Marketing Team, or HR Team, would be a good place to start as charitable work has great positive PR opportunities and helps boost staff morale. Finally, sometimes the Admin Team, like office managers or PA’s, are the people to talk to – if they’re not the ones that manage it, they will know who does!  

Okay, I know who to talk to… but what do I say? 

A great place to start is to ask a very open question, like – can you tell me more about our organisation’s charity support?

It might be that your work doesn’t have a Charity of the Year, but that they do have a Foundation that you could nominate us for (let us know if you need any help!) or share with the Fundraising Team at Venture Scotland, so that we can apply.  

If there is a Charity of the Year opportunity, it is a good idea to ask about the timelines; some ‘charity of the year’ partnerships run for two or three years, and whilst the staff vote might be in April, the shortlisting may be happening in February.  

You can also ask about the process – will you need to fill in an application form? Or is the name of the charity enough? This is also a great time to get in touch with Katie at Venture Scotland who can help you to draft your nomination, or give you the most up to date information about Venture Scotland’s work.  

We would be so thrilled to hear from you about Charity of the Year partnerships, please don’t hesitate to get in touch –