We try to run the kind of business in which we can work happily and with a clean conscience. Part of that is decency in our daily practice: paying suppliers on time, treating clients as individuals rather than as assets to sweat, that sort of thing. Another part is ensuring that a chunk of our effort will benefit charities, non-profits and social enterprises whether through pro bono work or fundraising efforts. Here’s what we do.
The “Tiny Tithe”
We donate £50 to our nominated UK charities (below) for every client invoice we raise above a nominal threshold. This is not a surcharge which we factor into our quotes or which we pass on to our clients, but we ask each of our clients to decide where they would like the £50 to be directed when the time comes.
The Gatehouse is a drop-in café at the St Giles Parish Rooms in Oxford which exists to provide a calm, safe refuge for people who are homeless or vulnerably housed. Max first discovered the Gatehouse through a friend who volunteered there (and because the Parish Rooms are also used for auditions for an am-dram group of which Max is a member).
In 2018-19 we donated £500 to the Gatehouse through our Tiny Tithe, with another £200 so far this year.
Children Heard and Seen’s mission is:
- to lead the way in providing quality support and intervention for children and young people with a family member in prison
- to enable children and young people to fulfil their potential
- to reduce intergenerational and parent re-offending
- to work innovatively in partnership with stakeholders, other partners and funders
- to undertake pioneer research and develop models for evidence-based practice
In 2018-19 we donated £1300 to CHAS through our Tiny Tithe, with another £400 so far this year.
Arts at the Old Fire Station is a unique model of social inclusion. The public come to the Old Fire Station to drink coffee, buy art, attend classes and watch shows. Artists come to rehearse, create and showcase. Homeless people come to access Crisis services and build confidence and skills by participating and working in the arts.
They all come through the same door and find themselves sharing the space and having overlapping interests.
No other arts organisation in the UK has such a close relationship with Crisis, whilst simultaneously supporting artistic talent in our theatre and exhibition space, and facilitating a crossover between the two. Here, a homeless person can be an artist, volunteer, or audience member.
In 2018-19 we donated £2,900 to A@OFS through our Tiny Tithe, with another £1,150 so far this year.
Some of our clients have asked us to donate to other charities on an ad-hoc basis (which we are happy to accommodate). In 2018-19, recipients have included the Oxford Radcliffe Hospital’s Silver Star ward (£650), MIND (£650), Scope (£50) and New Life Special Care Babies (£100).
We participate in everyday fundraising activities – distance runs, obstacle courses, free seminars, whatever works best. Most recently Max ran the Oxford Half Marathon, raising funds for the Gatehouse.
Pro Bono Work and Sponsorships
We support local charities and non-profit organisations in Oxford, through pro bono work and sponsorships. Recent activities include the following:
We sponsored captioned performances of this new play by triple Olivier Award winner Mike Bartlett (Doctor Foster, King Charles III) directed by fellow Olivier winner Clare Lizzimore during its premier run in Oxford in December 2018.
We helped Primary Care International to refine their agreement with project partners overseas, as part of a major ‘healthcare innovation programme’ tackling non-communicable diseases across Africa and elsewhere.
We provide Justice in Motion with support in relation to various commercial contractual matters.
We sponsored this pilot project by the Oxford Health NHS Foundation Trust during August 2017. The project aimed to help children with autistic spectrum conditions develop their social skills through the use of drama based therapeutic games, working with actors and therapists from across the city of Oxford.
Previous “Tiny Tithes”
Here are some of the fantastic charities that we have supported in previous years.
KEEN provides inclusive sporting, social and creative activities for children and adults with special needs in the Oxford area. We donated £2,025 to KEEN during 2017 through the Tiny Tithe and raised a further £270 through fundraising.
The Wildlife Heritage Foundation (WHF) operates The Big Cat Sanctuary in Smarden, Kent, providing a sanctuary for endangered big cats and assisting in conservation, breeding and the return of endangered animals to the wild. WHF also engages in field conservation projects overseas. We donated £800 to WHF during 2017 through the Tiny Tithe and raised a further £180 through fundraising.
Max and Jo first met WHF when they visited the Sanctuary in 2016. They fell in love with Nuwara, a Sri Lankan Rusty Spotted Cat (one of the smallest members of the cat family), so Windich Legal adopted her. Like us, what she lacks in size she more than makes up for in attitude.
Isn’t she a beauty? If you would like to adopt one of the WHF’s amazing animals, click here.