Monday, 5 July 2010

Working for Charity - Giving World Online

Well, it’s been even longer between posts than last time! Life hasn’t really been hectic, but I’ve had a lot on my plate lately that was important, so I’m afraid the blog and hobbies have suffered. Now this may be a long post, but it’s well worth the read!

Down to the meaty bits, then. I got that job! Seems like forever ago that I was stressing over that interview and now that I’m here, I love it. Basically, I’d like to tell you a little more about my job and the wonderful people that I work for.

The company that I’m working for now is a non-profit organisation called Konnect9 and they run (amongst other projects) the charity Giving World Online. They are based in Leicester, but operate a national service and hope to extend it across more of the country. Basically, the charity links good-quality, new business surplus to those in need. The idea of the charity is based on their website, where businesses can register to give away their surplus and charities can register to receive any surplus that they may need. Best of all, it’s free!

Not only is the idea behind GWO a stroke of charitable genius, it’s so simple that I’m still amazed there is only one other organisation that offers a similar service.

Rama and Sujata Bhalla are the two wonderful ladies behind the whole thing and are two true gems. The sisters started out with just some paper that they rescued from an organisation who were going to send it to landfill. They saw opportunity in what others would see as waste and took on the task or re-distributing the paper to local community groups who could benefit from such a simple thing.

How did we get from handing out paper to becoming a fast-growing national charity? Well, truth is everything just seemed to snowball for the sisters and their charitable nature led them to accept more and more surplus and help more and more people. Where do I fit in? I am a member of the Fundraising and Income Generation team, aiming to secure funding to keep the charity afloat and help us grow. I and 19 others (basically all of the staff apart from Sujata, Rama and the volunteers) are funded currently by the government’s Future Jobs Fund scheme (giving opportunities to people who have been out of work for 6 months or more, to gain skills for their future jobs) for 6 months, enabling the charity to have a full working team at no cost to themselves. Unfortunately, the government (in their infinite wisdom) have stopped this scheme and now the charity is trying to secure funding to keep the staff on.

Ok, so down to what I really want to say in this post. I think that GWO provides an excellent service to businesses and charities alike and so I want to spread the word! Tell your family, tell your friends! You could tell your boss and see if your business could register to give some of its surplus! It’s great for their Corporate Responsibility and their pockets, because in helping charity, they will save on not only disposal costs, but storage and transport too. You could tell your favourite charity that they could get products for free, and even request anything that they might need. Just please remember that big national charities often get huge donations and the smaller ones suffer. GWO aim to make it more even by being the connection between business and charity.

Phew! That really was a long read, huh? I'll let you off for now, but I will be back with some more interesting bits from work!

If you would like more information on GWO, or to sign up to their service, visit
You can also follow their blog here, Twitter Feed here, and join their FaceBook page here.