Business Seeks Jolly Good sponsors to help charity and themselves

A LOCAL business set up to help address inequality in the third sector is appealing for local firms and individuals interested in sponsoring it so it can continue to help charities in desperate need.                       

Jolly Good Causes is a community-interest-company set up by a Powys woman to offer free and low cost communications, marketing, fundraising and other related services to smaller charities, not-for-profits and social enterprises to enable them to get the support they need.

Jo Barr, 38, a former journalist and senior RSPCA press officer, who now lives in Llanfechain,near the Shropshire border, set up the social enterprise, with her redundancy money, to help smaller charities, not-for-profits and social enterprises to gain the public profile they need in order to be able to continue and grow the work they do.

But she soon realised that in order to be able to help the charities that needed the support the most she would not be able to charge them anything and so she would need to find additional funding for Jolly Good Causes.

Jo, said: “There is a massive inequality as over four in ten of the 180.000 registered charities in England and Wales have an income of £10,000 or less. These charities represent 84 per cent of registered charities but have less than 5 per cent of the income recorded.

“Around just 6 per cent of charities receive almost 90 per cent of the total income recorded. That means the largest 500 charities (0.3 per cent of those on the register) attract almost 50 per cent of the total income.”**

Jolly Good Causes has already been inundated with small charities in desperate need of help and they have taken on causes which range from from a Condover dog rescue and a mobility to a organisation which helps children with a life threatening skin condition and a rugby club which helps homeless people.

But it order to cover basic costs the social enterprise is in desperate need of sponsorship and they are hoping the local businesses will understand the significance of what they are trying to do.

Jo said: “Some people have asked why they should not just give their money direct to charity, which of course they can - but by sponsoring or donating to us they are helping a variety of good causes at once and we have proved that we can make a real difference for small charities.

On one occasion, a press release put out by Jolly Good Causes for an animal rescue, resulted in a newspaper article that led to the organisation rehoming a pony and a group of local people finding out about a charity, which they had not been aware of and a week later raising £530 for it.

And on another occasion, securing publicity for a charity, which has failed to do so itself, meant they were able to get volunteers, to take part in a sponsored event, which will potentially raise them several thousand pounds.

Jo said: “By sponsoring us for £100 a month, or whatever they can afford, a business will be helping us support a wide variety of charities and in many cases the support we offer bring those charities support and money - so it’s good business sense and we also offer training and support to our clients so they can become sustainable and we can move on to help other good causes.”

Jo, who is the Charity & Communications Coordinator at Jolly Good Causes said: “We all know and love the big charities like the RSPCA and NSPCC, which have become household names and do amazing work.

“But so much good work is also going on at grassroots level by smaller charities like RSPCA branches, often run on a shoestring, sometimes entirely by volunteers and these are the sort of causes we want to champion as their voices and causes are often inadvertently drowned out by the bigger ones.

As a social enterprise, the driving force behind Jolly Good Causes is to benefit the community any profit will be ploughed back in, to order to help more clients.. But as with all businesses, it needs to be able to make money in order to pay very basic staff costs and cover its expenses.

Jo explained: “By sponsoring and supporting charity through Jolly Good Causes not only will be helping us to help them - you will also be benefitting you own business as we will offer free publicity, marketing, branding and other help to our business sponsors - to let the world know that your business has a heart.

“And if there are any individuals out there who wants to make a substantial investment or donation then since we are a community-interest-company, you may be eligible for social enterprise investment relief, meaning you save tax and help charities.”

Although there are already paid PR agencies and organisations that support charities by helping with their communications needs, the founder of Jolly Good Causes believes her firm is unique in the approach it takes.

For more details please visit www.jollygoodcauses.com or email [email protected] or call 01691 779152.

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Pete White Pete White

Love Shrewsbury editor and chief developer at The Web Orchard, find out more on petejwhite.com

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