“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.”
These are the wise words of anthropologist Margaret Mead. And over the past year and a half since we launched Sage Foundation, I’ve been lucky enough to experience the proof of this first hand.
When people ask me what my best day at Sage has been, I say the same – the day I was lucky enough to volunteer on a Sage Foundation project in Soweto, South Africa. More than 60 enthusiastic Sage colleagues used their Sage volunteering days to build an educational library for hundreds of disadvantaged children. The Little Rose Centre is steps away from the shacks where these children live with no sanitation or running water, and it provides an essential safe haven with. Now, with a new, modern library with IT, the Centre provides more than that – it provides these vulnerable children with hope.
A small group of people can certainly change the world – the same is true of small charities.
That’s why today, I am delighted to share that Sage are launching the Sage Foundation Enterprise Fund, a brand new fund to support bright ideas from non-profits, whatever their size, across Sage Foundation’s three focus areas for 2017: women and girls; our young; and ex-service people. CLICK HERE TO APPLY NOW.
When thinking about the challenges facing small businesses and entrepreneurs, we rarely consider non-profits and charities as part of this group. But they are, of course. Small charities – which make up over 80% of the UK charity sector – face just the same everyday issues: managing cash-flow, keeping control of overheads and staying relevant and innovative in a competitive environment.
These grassroots charities don’t get the attention that big charities do. But if you step outside your front door and look around your local area, you can find dozens of organisations innovating and changing lives in small, often unnoticed and unassuming ways. They are the unsung heroes.
The ideas are there – what would happen if they had the funds and the exposure to make these ideas come alive?
This is what the Sage Foundation Enterprise Fund is all about. It’s a pot of $1 million made available across 2017 to charities or non-profits with enterprising ideas to improve the lives of military veterans, young people or women and girls, available in all 23 countries in which Sage operates.
How it works
Grants of between $5,000 and $35,000 will be awarded, with an interest in charities that taking an innovative approach to solving issues in the communities in which Sage works. Within this brief, the fund is unrestricted, and might be used towards funding new initiatives, raising more income or enhancing existing and proven activity.
The $1 million is split between $500,000 made available now, and a second round to come in July 2017. Applications for this round are open until April 5th – so get thinking, and apply now!
All entries that fulfil the eligibility criteria will be considered, but Sage Foundation are keen to support organisations that are currently small but have ambitions to expand, grow and deliver sustainable change.
If this sounds like you or someone you know, then we want to hear from you.
We passionately believe companies should jump into their communities with both feet and play an active role with charities affecting positive change for the vulnerable and disenfranchised on our doorsteps – the best form of compassionate capitalism. This sense of responsibility is at the heart of Sage Foundation. I am so proud that the Sage Foundation has gone from being an initiative we dreamed about to a living and breathing program delivering real change to communities around the world.
Sage have always believed in the revolutionary power of an entrepreneur with a bright idea – now, we want to recognise that your local charity or non-profit might have the brightest of ideas, hidden in plain sight.
Apply here for the #EnterpriseFund.