A majority of this series to date has focused on the philanthropic missions of for-profit organizations in an attempt to showcase conscious capitalists committed to giving back, and shine a light on a growing trend that is fast becoming the standard model for doing business. But I think it’s equally important to highlight the nonprofit organizations who are helping to bring these corporate missions to life, and in the case of Media Matching, a UK-based service that connects for-profit companies with volunteer opportunities, materializing missions is all they do.
A division of Media Trust, Media Matching works in partnership with the media and communications industries to build effective communications for the charity and voluntary sector. It does this through media training seminars and workshops, film and TV production, broadcasting (they run the digital TV channel, Community Channel), news distribution, media matching, and campaigns. Essentially, they give a voice to the nonprofits they support, and the for-profits become the megaphone for spreading the word.
Their online service allows charities to upload a request for help, where media and communications professionals (or “advisers” as they call them) can register, and view all the charity requests. If the adviser feels they can help, they respond direct to the charity via the site and the “match” is made.
In addition to the online service, they also offer “bespoke” matching and Speedmatching events. Speedmatching works a bit like speed dating where 10 charities and 10 advisers are invited to enjoy drinks and light fare in a friendly atmosphere, and then each adviser gets 5 minutes to speak to each charity to offer on the spot advice and ideas, and can choose which charities with whom they want to connect further for volunteering and partnership post-event.
While it may be going too far to call Media Matching the “cupid of consiousness,” one thing’s for certain: they help enterprise put their money where their mission is.
1. How do you define for-profit philanthropy?
Businesses and individuals sharing their time, skills, creativity, and resources with charities and voluntary organisations.
2. Please describe your philanthropic business plan and your current charitable activities.
Media Matching is one of Media Trust’s many charitable activities. Through Media Matching, we match up media and communications professionals as volunteers with charities that are looking for help with the way they communicate their messages.
So, for example, a charity might need assistance in writing a communications strategy, advice on producing a press release, making a short film, designing an annual report, rebranding their organisation (or hundreds of other things!), and we try and find them someone who could help them with this pro bono.
We match charities and volunteers through an online service, by hand, and through Speedmatching events (which work a lot like speed dating!), and have successfully matched more than 700 charities every year.
3. How do you communicate the impact of these efforts to your customers?
As the matchmaker who brings the two sides together, we follow up every match so we know what the volunteers are doing and how they are working with the charities, but measuring the impact this has overall is difficult to quantify, as every match is unique.
That said, we have loads of success stories and happily matched charities and advisers and we use these stories on our website, in our monthly newsletters, in our annual reports, and other publications. We also regularly speak at events, and go into companies to make presentations to their staff about how they can get involved.
Here’s just a couple of comments from two of our happy customers:
“It’s brave to bring together people with disparate skills and needs, but it works, so full marks to the Media Trust.” David Brewer, Media Ideas
“We have received an excellent service from all the volunteers matched through Media Matching. We could not have afforded to pay for the time, expertise, skills and knowledge of the volunteers otherwise”, Sujata Bhalla, Konnect 9
4. Why do you think it’s important for companies to adopt philanthropy as part of their revenue model?
It is so important for companies to get involved in philanthropy, and this doesn’t have to only mean giving money.
Offering your time and skills to a charity or voluntary organisation is not only massively helpful to the charity you’re working with, it can also help you and your colleagues develop new skills, find out about the community you live in, network, highlight the positive impact your company is making and do something positive, enjoyable, and different.
5. What would you say is the most critical element in successfully implementing philanthropic endeavors?
Enthusiasm! If you’re passionate, positive, and enthusiastic about something, you’re much more likely to make it happen.
Name: Felicity Lambert
Title: Media Matching Manager
Company: Media Trust