The whatCharity platform hopes to close the gap between charities and companies by helping them to help each other.  We are beginning this mission by collaborating with the UK’s leading health plan provider, Simplyhealth, which has been improving access to healthcare professionals since 1872. 

Read about our campaign on the Fundraising UK website!

Simplyhealth have enlisted our help to find the most meaningful charities and projects for it to support, using our access to every charity in England and Wales. A minimum of £40,000 of its annual grant budget has been demarcated to charities that apply through whatCharity. The amount can be distributed as a single sum or as multiple grants towards smaller projects.

Courtesy of Simplyhealth, whatCharity are offering the Premium prescription for FREE, until the end of 2019, for all charities applying for the grant-whether they are shortlisted or not.

Applications are now open and will close on 9thOctober!! Find out how to apply here.

Simplyhealth is an award-winning organisation. In 2018, it won best CSR activity for its Teeth Team initiative at the Corporate Engagement Awards. In the same year, it was named the Best Health Insurance Provider for the fourth consecutive year at the 2018 Personal Finance Awards.

We interviewed Sarah Greenaway, Head of Community Impact at Simplyhealth, who tells us a bit more about what the organisation stands for and what it hopes to get from this exciting collaboration with whatCharity.

What does Simplyhealth do as a company? 

Sarah: We are an organisation that has been helping people overcome barriers to health since 1872. Our belief is that no one should go without the healthcare support they need, and that our business activities should support this belief. Our corporate purpose is ‘improving access to healthcare professionals, making it easy for the many for the long term’.

We are now the UK’s leading provider of health plans, dental plans and pet health plans.

We help 3.7 million individuals, families, employees and their pets to be proactive about their health and wellbeing in a cost-effective way. We do this through our health plans, all of which are tiered so you can choose the cover you can afford. Our health cash plan provides 24/7 GP telephone access for anyone who signs up, as well as support towards dental, optical and physiotherapy costs as well as diagnostic consultation costs.

Our Simply Dental Plan covers dental check-ups, scale and polish and treatment. All tiers offer the same generous figure in instances of emergency, so you and your families can feel safe, knowing you will get the support you need in adverse circumstances. 

How does your company contribute to society through charitable activities?

Sarah: Simplyhealth was founded with a community purpose, before the advent of the NHS. It was set up to help people afford the professional healthcare services they needed when they needed it most, and to support those who couldn’t afford it.

The national charities we support through funding and grant distribution help disadvantaged adults and children access healthcare professionals. We give 10% of our adjusted pre-tax profits to charitable activities. On top of this, we give our employees 3 days a year to volunteer for causes close to their hearts, which amounts to an amazing 9 years’ worth of contributed time to charities each year.  

In terms of initiatives we have supported, through Brainwave – a charity which offers therapies to children with additional needs – we have seen children who were told they may not walk again, stand up, walk and run! For those diagnosed with macular degeneration (loss of sight), we’ve been able to offer them the counselling they need, via The Macular Society. 

We are doing our best to tackle child oral health inequalities, which is clearly a pressing problem in the UK. Evidence suggests 1 in 4 five-year-olds start school with tooth decay, despite 90% of cases being entirely avoidable. Our support of the nationally-recognised Teeth Team charity programme, takes dental care into primary schools in deprived areas. So far, they have helped 13,000 children across 53 schools and nurseries. The team are supporting more people and schools across the UK than ever before.

It is important we teach healthy habits to children as early as possible, because there is increasing evidence of a link between poor oral health and later developments of chronic health conditions. Therefore, the Teeth Team offer supervised brushing and face-to-face dental assessments. This will have a positive knock-on effect for their education, since poor oral health is one of the main reasons for school absence, and the single biggest reason children are admitted to hospital for general anaesthetic surgery. 

What is the difference you wish to make with these vast contributions? 

Sarah: Ultimately, all the work we do hopes to further our goal of making access to healthcare professionals easier for as many people as possible, for the long-term.

Our health plans are one of the ways in which we do this. Part of their cost funds our charitable giving, which allows us to provide the same services to people who cannot afford to pay for them.

Our partnerships with charities are the other way we try and make a difference. By collaborating with these organisations (who have our purpose in common), we hope to have a broader impact in the community.

You have decided to level the playing field for charities to apply for your grants and wish to find new charity partners through whatCharity. Tell us about the vision and strategy behind this decision?

Sarah: We are excited by this development in the grant distribution process which whatCharity are making possible, especially by the prospect of gaining access to smaller charities or projects that we may otherwise have never heard of. We want to reach out to charity partners who need our support on interesting projects that really bring our purpose to life. 

By using the whatCharity platform and its access to all charities in England and Wales, we look forward to discovering all the diverse ways people are trying to make a difference in the areas of health and wellbeing and we look forward to being able to assist these endeavours. 

What kind of charities are you looking to collaborate with through this grant scheme and what is the impact you intend to make?

Sarah: We want to work with partners whose work aligns with our services and products. We are interested in charities who can effectively communicate the difference they make, through strong impact reporting and a clear project proposal.

Through our funding, the projects we support will help us tell our brand story for our customers.  Applicants need to demonstrate how this goal will be sustained and what the specific health outcomes will be.

How is the work of charities linked to what you do as a company? 

Sarah: We were founded with the principle that excess profits made by the organisation should be used to support charitable institutions which provide healthcare support. This is fundamentally part of our DNA and written into our articles of association. We are careful to support charitable work which supports the work Simplyhealth does as a company, in terms of breaking down barriers which prevent access to healthcare professionals. 

How do you see the future of company/charity collaborations developing in general? 

Sarah: We think any collaboration between companies and charities works best when there is an exchange of skills and business knowledge. 

Collaborations that appreciate the benefits for both parties in company and charity business transactions, will be able to have the strongest positive social impact.  

However, we are still some way to go from making this process more streamlined. This is the important role whatCharity is now fulfilling: being the middle man between companies and charities, and drawing attention to their specific shared interests. 

Why did you choose to collaborate with whatCharity?

Sarah: We want to ensure our charitable investment is being put to its best possible use and this is what whatCharity are assisting us with, through their access to all charities in England and Wales.

We want to improve our grant distribution process. whatCharity will help connect us with the highest quality organisations or projects which most suit our company’s purpose. 

However, another goal we have in common with whatCharity is digitalisation. In 2018, we invested in developing the online experience for our customers. We assessed the effectiveness of our software and technology systems to make them as up-to-date but also user-friendly as possible. 

whatCharity, as an online marketplace for all charitable activity, wishes to similarly bring the charity industry further into the tech world, which is currently 5 years behind in digital terms. This is an institutional problem which prevents the impact charities could otherwise have. We recognise that for organisations to have longevity these days, they must keep up with the world in which we live.

We hope through our support at whatCharity.com, we can inspire charities to make digitalisation a priority moving forward.

Insight behind whatCharity streamlining the grant process: 

By linking Simplyhealth up with the charities who have their goals most in common, we are helping both the grant-holding body to find the most suitable way to invest their money, as well as freeing charities from the arduous processes they must usually endure if they want to apply for grants.

We conducted a Survey in 2018, with 523 respondents who demonstrated why this whatCharity grant service is so needed. Find out what they said here.

Streamlined grant application programmes is just one service we offer; having a charity profile on the whatCharity platform will also allow you to promote the fantastic work you are doing, collaborate with other charities and appeal to the public for the resources and services you need to thrive. Find out more here.

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