Here at whatCharity.com, we have spent the past few years getting to know the UK charity sector and building the UK’s top charity search site. Our mission has been to democratise the third sector, giving an equal voice to all UK charities – regardless of size or type. We want to keep meeting sector needs and are expanding our platform to include social enterprises, companies and grant-makers as well as charities, so that organisations can interact and share resources with ease. 

Throughout the lifespan of whatCharity.com, we collected data from thousands of charities and researched their biggest obstacles to accessing funds.

What we’ve found is that there are more than enough resources, in the form of skills, goods and services to solve some of our most pressing issues and to really lend a helping hand to the organisations doing the beneficiary work on the ground. The issue is, these resources are often poorly distributed, or those holding the resources don’t know where to begin when it comes to engaging with charities and other organisations focused on social impact. 

We discovered that a lack of shared language between those seeking resources and those offering resources was a major barrier to generating a social impact. Companies and charities have a hard time understanding each other – resources from companies often don’t meet the needs of charities and CSR activities all too often exist as tick-boxing exercises, even when the desire to make a real difference is there. Grant-makers on the other hand, often have such rigid funding criteria that they exclude worthy charitable organisations and social enterprises. This is all set to change with our AI enhanced matchmaking platform. 

We have been working to expand our existing platform to bring to the table a two-sided marketplace that allows those with the resources (in this case companies and grant-makers) to match with those seeking resources (charities and social enterprise in our case). We hope that this will democratise the arena of social impact and the way these two groups interact. 

We invite companies, grant-makers and social enterprises (as well as charities) to join our new site. Our goal is to make resource distribution democratic across all organisations that are invested in making a change within society as we work towards a more sustainable future. We have developed an algorithm to match organisations based on shared values and goals for the future. Does your organisation want to help eradicate homelessness in inner-city London? Our technology can match you with strategically aligned charities and/or social enterprises that share the same mission and carry out the value-driven work “on the ground”. The two-way marketplace lists charities and social enterprises as “Recipient” organisations and companies and grant-makers as “Supporter” organisations. We already list all charities in England, Wales and Scotland using information downloaded from the Charity Commission and the Charity Register Scotland, but all organisations have the option to create a profile on the platform. Both Recipients and Supporters can list their needs or what they are offering (skills-based volunteers, money donations, goods, services and product donations) so that resources are shared between best matched organisations for serious impact creation! 

Giving should not be a linear transition of value from A-B, but a mutually beneficial process that benefits all parties involved. Most importantly, social impact work should be a process of co-creation and innovation. Current funding models use a top-down approach which obscures the voices of Recipient organisations – it’s time for this to change. Forget lengthy application processes, due-diligence checks and poor quality partners. whatimpact displays all the information needed for working relationships between Recipients and Supporters, so making a difference can be fuss-free. Our profiles give all necessary due-diligence information, details about the missions and ethos of each organisation, their past projects and partners and our impact reporting tool means that you always know the impact you helped create.

whatimpact launches this November, but if you are an organisation looking for support or you have resources to give, you can sign up for a one-on-one call with our head of BD now and become frontrunners! Simply email shona@whatcharity.com stating what kind of organisation you represent to arrange a call, or to simply get some more information! We have produced a white paper investigating how traditional dynamics of funding and charitable activity entrench power dynamics between those offering resources and those seeking resources. We offer solutions to redress this imbalance, which include a radical mindset change in relation to philanthropy, an understanding of the third sector and private sector as a barrier to co-creation, mutually beneficial company/charity partnerships that rely on a shared vision of the future and finally, a model for standardising impact reporting. Read the white paper and learn more about whatimpact here.

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