Building a community of supporters
Everybody has heard the saying “It’s not what you know – it’s who you know”. This isn’t only relevant when you’re trying to get a new job – it’s also important to remember for people in all sectors who want to widen their business networks, whether in the corporate or third sector.
When you’re entrenched in your role in one sector, it can be hard to reach out to those who operate in different ones. And this barrier goes both ways – I sometimes struggle to connect with those in the corporate world, and I’ve heard from those who work is CSR for big businesses that they too have issues forging the best connections they can with charitable organisations. They find it easy to identify the big players in the charity world, but beyond giving to obvious (and very worthy) causes like cancer research, children’s hospices, and animal shelters, find it tricky to identify philanthropic opportunities that are local or cause specific.
One easy way to break down these sector wide barriers is by connecting in with a network, which is where we at Community Foundation Wales can help.
We’ve got lots of different groups that provide individuals that want to make a difference in Wales with the opportunity to do just that, without the time commitment of becoming a trustee, or financial element of signing up to be a supporter or Friend.
Perhaps you’d be interested in joining the Supporters Network, which is a group designed to raise awareness about CFW amongst people living both inside and outside of Wales.
It is not a fundraising or marketing group, or a formal committee that reports to board. It is a network of likeminded people who either know about CFW already, or individuals who don’t know much about us but support our mission of changing lives in Wales. It will also give us the opportunity to find out from externals what they like about us and what makes us different- what our USP is.
Members are not committed to staying for a set number of years, and we encourage a large amount of group turnover. We have members who held senior positions at the CBI, Institute of Directors, across Welsh Government and the charitable sector. Meetings are held in both Cardiff and London, with plans for North and Central Wales groups in the future.
I also co-chair Spotlight, with solicitor Hannah Williams. Spotlight is a completely free, women only business group, bringing corporate and 3rd sector professionals together for mutual good. Our quarterly meetings provide the opportunity to meet women with similar values to you, all who share a common goal of increasing the resilience of Wales’s communities, whilst also growing your own networks.
Every individual gets their own chance to take the ‘spotlight’ and talk about their role, whilst also hearing from other women, and finding out more about their challenges and successes.
If you want to find out more about joining one of our networks, get in touch.