Small charities in Britain need support. A recent report, by the Charities Aid Foundation (CAF) and the Association of Chief Executives of Voluntary Organisations (ACEVO), found that generating income and achieving financial sustainability is the most pressing challenge for charity CEOs.
For small charities in particular, finance continues to be a key challenge with as many as one in five (21%) saying they are struggling to survive.
Having a healthy and vibrant local charity and social enterprise sector is essential for building healthy and vibrant communities. And supporting the growth of healthy, vibrant local communities is at the heart of everything we do at TSB.
That's why we decided not to have a centrally chosen Charity of the Year. Instead TSB Partners across Britain are empowered to recognise local causes which matter to them. It's a simple idea but one which we believe is a really powerful one. It means that small independent charities can get a share of an estimated £300,000 of fundraising by TSB Partners this year.
Our new approach is proving a huge success with our Partners, who have already set up Local Charity Partnerships with nearly 400 local causes this year. From helping people facing financial hardship in Stirling, to supporting a youth group in Ludlow, our Partners working in our branches and office sites across Britain are busy raising money for local causes that are close to their hearts.
And Partners working at TSB have a fantastic track record as fundraisers. Last year we raised over £190,000 for Alzheimer's Society and Alzheimer Scotland and almost £100,000 for other charities across the UK. We've 'hiked or biked it' to work, held piggy bank parades, and our Scottish branches even raised over £10,000 in one week simply by raffling hampers to celebrate the anniversary of our launch!
Already this year we've had countless bake sales and hamper raffles, and our Partners in Birmingham hosted a Charity Evening for all Local Charity Partners in the area, attended by the Lord Mayor. This was a great opportunity for them to talk to other local charities about the challenges they face and to share ideas. And there's more to come, including Partners planning to abseil down our Keypoint office in Bristol and a rowing event down the Severn!
In addition to fundraising, and to really build on our support for the communities we serve, we also encourage our Partners to spend a day, when they would normally be working, out volunteering in their community.
So, as you can see, local banking at TSB goes a lot deeper than just helping people with their banking needs. We're here to give people in the UK a different sort of bank, serving only local customers and local businesses. That includes supporting the charities, clubs and social enterprises that serve the communities we serve; because communities thriving across Britain is a good thing for all of us.
Nigel Gilbert - Chief Marketing and Communications Officer