Most charities know something most businesses don't Sep 10 2019 | Alison chandler, Aberdeen Council of Voluntary Organisations (ACVO)

Alison chandler

Alison chandler

I am proud to be celebrating my fourteenth anniversary in a job which makes the most of thirty years “game-keeping and poaching”. If I have helped one organisation give more effectively or get more efficiently for its community then each day of that time will have been worthwhile. It is time to make sure your business benefits from what my colleagues, clients and I bring to Aberdeen.

 Wherever you operate in Scotland there is a crossroads where your business and your community can meet. My colleagues and I are waiting for you there.  We are your Third Sector Interface - an independent organisation. There is a TSI  for every Local Authority area. Each is responsive to the specific needs of that community and can help you to be too. In Aberdeen City your TSI is called ACVO. The best bit is that it is a charity core funded by The Scottish Government.  We sit at the highest tables in Aberdeen, ensuring we are informed and inform others.

You could say I am sitting on a balcony with a telescope trained on the detail of what is going on around your business. With three decades “gamekeeping” with those who have funds to invest in their communities – and “poaching” on behalf of charities seeking funding,  I know what I am looking at – or, if I don’t,  I can call on my  colleagues specialist in health and social care, volunteering, youth services, community justice. There is something for your socially responsible business too, as many who like robust long term thinking has already found out.

Being a professional sector which pays skilled staff and aspires to generate/invest surplus we don’t use the terms “voluntary” or “not-for-profit”.  Instead  “Third Sector” encompasses the hundreds of I charities, social enterprises and voluntary groups that respond to your stakeholders’ interests and those of their families and communities.  Their supportive volunteers contribute £8.7m hours to your community – some are your staff. This month I am advising organisations tackling asthma, helping dolphins, looking after men’s mental health, employing people with special needs, delivering elder care. Some are household names which will resonate with your staff.  Some are brand new, entrepreneurial and just who you would like to get along beside.  I also work closely with a number of the City’s top corporates on their giving strategies.  We maintain a database of thousands of volunteering opportunities and 2500 people subscribe to our weekly e: bulletin – you can too.

So here I am at this crossroads in my life and a meeting place for you.  I am waiting here for you to understand what value your TSI has for your strategy ahead, wondering if the path you want to follow is one we can share together. Over the next six months, ACVO aims to reach out to you through the Chamber, helping you to understand what we can do for you. Keep reading or get in touch right now! www.acvo.org.uk Alison.chandler@acvo.org.uk

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