Be a partner in business

Find out how you could help your community and raise funds for the NSPCC.

Ken Dougall, a senior manager with Allied Irish Bank, spends some of his working life in contact with IFAs who arrange life cover, pensions and investments for his clients. But it seems that Ken cannot get enough of advisers as he is now recruiting them outside of work for the NSPCC Partners in Business network.

Dougall wanted to put something back into the community so he decided to support the NSPCC by giving his time to organising fund-raising events and taking groups of people to attend events organised by other supporters. This is vital to the NSPCC as 84 per cent of the charity’s income comes from donations and gifts.

Dougall believes this type of network brings together many businesspeople from various sectors. As well as giving IFAs the chance to contribute to their local community, Partners in Business provides many networking opportunities with influential people in business regionally.

The first fund-raising event that Dougall took a group of people to was a quiz night which raised a large amount of money for the NSPCC and he says it felt really good.

From solicitors and IT professionals to accountants and engineers, the NSPCC has business specialists like Dougall across the UK who campaign and fundraise on the charity’s behalf.

Now the launch of the Partners in Business network will bring together existing supporters and recruit new members. The NSPCC aims to establish networks in every major town and city across the country, made up of individuals and companies of all sizes and backgrounds.

The NSPCC is inviting IFAs to join its Partners in Business network, which links business leaders across the country.

By joining the network, partners can expect to meet others in the business world, help raise their company profile, motivate staff and make a real difference for local children. The link between business and charity is seen as mutually beneficial.

Lloyds TSB has chosen the NSPCC and Scottish sister charity Children 1st as Charity of the Year 2004. Charity manager Dorothy Millham believes the partnership with the NSPCC and the company’s wider commitment to CSR, has a demonstrably positive impact on the business.

She said: “Becoming a charity partner means just that – a two-way relationship. Although raising money is a key part of how we support the NSPCC, it is also about raising awareness of the charity’s work.

“Customers expect businesses to give something back to the community and charity partnerships are a key way of building trust and good will locally. It demonstrates that you are paying more than lip service to corporate social responsibility. The end result is an improvement in employee morale, leading to greater customer satisfaction.”

IFAs are in a unique and powerful position as they have connections with individuals across their communities. As Partners in Business brings together key individuals from business in a particular area, it provides a unique networking opportunity. It allows like-minded individuals to pool their expertise and work together for the benefit of their community.

As well as helping vulnerable children, this also has a positive impact on the businesses as their customers see their commitment to making a difference in their community.

To become a Partner in Business, you must play a part in the local business community and be committed to raising money and awareness of the charity. For more information and how to join the Partners in Business network contact: Jo Carter at the NSPCC on 020 7825 2651.

You will receive details of groups which operate regionally in London, the South-east, South-west, the Midlands, Eastern England, the North and North-west, Wales and Northern Ireland. You will be invited to attend an initial meeting to work out how your skills could best work with existing partners.

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