Businesses urged to join together to make Oxfordshire a better place to live and work

The new Oxfordshire Collective Business Fund is a way for businesses to make a genuine difference to communities by investing in local charitable organisations.

Oxfordshire Community Foundation is offering businesses a simple but effective way to have a meaningful impact with their giving. Many companies are already committed to corporate social responsibility (CSR), with evidence that it has a positive impact on reputation, retention and productivity. Yet OCF’s consultation of around 50 Oxfordshire businesses showed that 84% do not have a proactive CSR strategy, and 60% would like their charitable giving to be more strategic.

This business fund allows companies to combine with others to make a bigger difference than they could achieve alone. Each business contributes £2,000 or more annually to the fund, which is held by OCF. This will allow us to award at least £60,000 annually to local organisations supporting Oxfordshire’s most disadvantaged communities.

Businesses can be involved in determining the theme for grants rounds, and will be offered employee engagement opportunities with local charities.

We are very pleased that two key companies have already kickstarted the fund. Law firm RWK Goodman and motorsport technology company Prodrive have signed up, and are encouraging other businesses to join.

Tracy Norris-Evans, Partner at RWK Goodman, says: “This new initiative from Oxfordshire Community Foundation allows local businesses to work collectively to address some of the county’s most serious social problems. For RWK Goodman it enables us to be a responsible business and have a positive impact in the communities we operate in.”

David Richards, Founder and Chairman at Prodrive, says: “Prodrive’s commitment to the local community has always been a source of pride. Supporting the collective business fund means we are now also supporting unsung local charities that do essential work to alleviate disadvantage in our county.”

“The fund represents an innovative way for local companies to increase the value and impact of their investment,” says Frank Nigriello, who is chairman of Oxfordshire Business First and B4 National – two of the largest business networks in the county. “Around 20 Oxfordshire businesspeople from Oxfordshire Business First reviewed early plans for the fund at a Big Gig innovation event. There was strong support for the initiative and for the benefits that it could bring to both the community and the businesses that were contributing. Members referred to it as making OCF a fund manager for social capital.”

To sign up, contact our Head of Philanthropy Sarah Giles on 07971 997010 or at sarah.giles@oxfordshire.org.

B4 is supported by

Beard logoActivate Learning logoOxford Brookes Business School logoOxford Bus Company logochapman robinson and mooreYou HR Consultancy logoExplosive Learning Solutions logoWellers logoOxfordshire LEP logoOwen Mumford logoOxford Innovation logoAston and James Office Supplies logo