Most charities in the UK are ‘small’ – some 97% have an income less than £1million and over half have less than £10,000. With all the fantastic frontline services that they offer, this often doesn’t leave a huge pot for digital. We feel that’s a pity, particularly as digital is getting more and more important.
Everyone at Fat Beehive has a say in shaping the company’s future, and business planning is done as a team. So we took the collective decision to support the set-up of a new independent charity, the Fat Beehive Foundation, and have committed to donating a portion of the agency’s profits to the charity every year. The aim is to help out exactly those small charities doing incredible work who may be struggling to afford an agency, or even release any budget at all for a digital project.
The charity will provide grants of up to £2,500 to charities with a turnover under £1 million. This can be used for activities such as the design, build and launch of a new mobile optimised website, an app or to digitise a service. Applications for support have to be made online and the first grants will be made in October 2020.
There are a few important legal caveats about the foundation’s work. In order to avoid any conflicts of interest, we won’t deliver any of the projects it funds. We are providing operational support to the foundation and the majority of funding, but a group of volunteer trustees will decide where the grants are allocated and how the charity is governed and run.
As a staff initiative originally, Fat Beehive employees will be invited to provide a list of causes they would like the charity to support each year, but the final decision on this shortlist will lie with the trustees. Staff will also have the chance to serve as a trustee and gain experience of charity governance, but there are strict rules in place about the number that can serve at any time – again to avoid any conflict of interest.
So with the legal considerations out of the way, I’d like to end with a final bit of fanfare about the new foundation. We are particularly happy, despite these challenging times, to have played a part in establishing it now, especially as Covid-19 is having a particularly negative impact on the charity and not-for-profit sector. This kind of extra support feels more necessary than ever right now.
As Fat Beehive’s CEO, I am incredibly proud of our staff for supporting this initiative to help the wider sector. As an agency we have always worked with charities, not-for-profit and other organisations committed to social good – and that same commitment is shared by our whole team.