Social investment at nfpSynergy

fancy dress picture of the team

Our social investment programme runs as a thread through every aspect of our business.

At its core is the range of free research reports and briefings we produce each year to benefit non-profits, available on our website. We also blog every week on the key issues facing the sector and attract thousands of readers a month.

We use evidence from our research to campaign for the sector on key issues. Buoyed by our success in reducing the costs charged for SMS donations, we're now running a campaign for the deregulation of charity lotteries. We've written a free report based on surveys and interviews with the general public and people in charities and identified what we think are the problems. We've made some recommendations and already presented these to the Department for Culture Media and Sport. If you'd like to take a look, download it free here.

We also support small non-profits by providing free places at our seminars, doing talks all over the UK and through pro bono research assistance. We offer a sliding scale on our pricing, so smaller charities pay less for our research. We also provide a paid internship programme, paid staff volunteering days and free office space for CharityComms.

We're proud to show that even as a small company, we can put social investment at the heart of our business and still make a profit. We do a huge amount to help the sector we believe in and we'll keep providing free reports, events and blogs on the issues affecting the charity sector.

Social investment in the marketplace

Free research for charities

In the process of undertaking paid work for clients, nfpSynergy accumulates vast amounts of contextual insight about charities and the issues they need to face.

Using this knowledge, we produce free research reports for the non-profit sector. We have more than 70 free reports available on our website, as well as editorials, free briefings and presentations on topics of interest to charities.

Topics on which we have produced reports include:

  • branding
  • fundraising
  • volunteering
  • innovation
  • building trust and confidence
  • grant making from both sides of the equation

We produce these free reports, editorials and presentations to help small charities (often with little or no budget for research) to benefit from our wealth of data and knowledge of the third sector.

If you have a suggestion for a topic you think we should research on behalf of the sector, please contact Joe Saxton or Michele Madden.

Social investment in the community

  • Support  for CharityComms (the sector body for communications)

nfpSynergy contributes to the operating expenses of CharityComms and we've given them over £50K of support to do the work they do. They operate out of our offices with no charge for rent, administration or IT support.

  • Support for the Institute of Fundraising and the text donations campaign 

We carried out a major research project at no charge to the Institute of Fundraising and published the results. ‘Sending out an SMS: the potential of mobile phones and text messaging for charities and non-profit organisations’ was the result of a year's work by nfpSynergy, the Charities Aid Foundation and the Institute of Fundraising. It aims to encourage greater use of mobile phones and text messaging as a fundraising and communications tool for charities.

We launched a campaign with mobile phone operators in the UK to reduce their charges. Text donations used to lose about a third of the amount to network providers, now the cost is practically zero. Much more money is now heading to good causes.

  • Support for small charities

nfpSynergy runs three events for clients every year where we present our latest ideas and research and we reserve places for small charities. We also run workshops for charity staff on issues as diverse as branding, stakeholder engagement and staff development. Combined with our free reports, it gives small charities access to training, knowledge and market research they couldn’t otherwise afford.

We also give free talks to regional and rural charity fundraisers and volunteer managers. We have done more than a dozen of these over the last few years in locations such as Bournemouth, Slough, Llandudno, Edinburgh and Dublin.

  • The Model Grant-maker Report

Last year, we conducted research and wrote a report on behalf of the John Ellerman Foundation. We looked at what charities think makes the ideal grant-maker and how they think the process could be improved. The result was Taking Nothing for Granted and it is another free report on our website.

As a follow-up, we are interviewing the grant-making trusts themselves for their thoughts on charities. This report is in its final stages and will be on our website soon.

Social investment in the workplace

Support for staff to support charities

We have a pot of 100 volunteering days every year where staff can take paid time off help at their chosen charity. The following are just a few examples of staff volunteering to date:

  • regular work for the British Red Cross, in Refugee Services at the Hackney Destitution Resource Centre
  • a trustee at Look East Wild Earth
  • volunteering for Street Kids International
  • working with prisoners in HMP Grendon
  • volunteering for WaterAid and Toynbee Hall
  • performing in a capoeira demonstration for the National Lottery

We also match all staff payroll charity donations and donations raised by staff for charitable events, such as the team's recent effort in the Great Spitalfields Pancake Race.