Philanthropy | For Goodness’ Sake

It’s a mix between boardroom pitch and charity auction

Going, going, good: bidding on social enterprise

It’s a mix between boardroom pitch and charity auction

April 27 2010
Sibéal Pounder

Since its début in 2002, The Funding Network has become master of the fundraising event, raising more than £2.7m for around 300 projects. This month it partners private bank Coutts to create a charitable evening for the corporate philanthropist.

“It’s something of a mix between a boardroom pitch and a charity auction,” says Coutts’ Head of UK Philanthropy, Maya Prabhu, of the event, which will see five social entrepreneurs, each with six minutes, pitch their charitable cause. Following a Q&A with the audience, donations are pledged by raising paddles.

But, while the style of the event isn’t new for Coutts – a similar evening in 2008 raised £130,000 – the focus this year is exclusively on social enterprise, whereby innovative business models are employed to tackle social problems. “We wanted to provide a platform for inventive, yet relatively unknown, social initiatives,” says Andrew Haigh, head of Coutts’ Entrepreneurs’ Client Group.

Prabhu adds, “There’s been a marked shift towards informed social investment and away from straightforward donations lately. This really appeals to today’s results-oriented donor.”