Ghost Fishing UK needs you! …to access ‘corporate social responsibility’ funding

Ghost Fishing UK team members with laptops on the MV Halton dive boatA nice cup of tea makes paperwork easier. Image: Paul Duckworth

Businesses increasingly recognise the need to act in an ethical and sustainable way. Their actions are important in influencing how the public perceives their brand, and being good corporate citizens helps them attract and retain staff. But what’s this got to do with Ghost Fishing UK?

Well, your employer may well operate a corporate social responsibility (CSR) programme that can help you volunteer with Ghost Fishing UK, or can contribute financially to our mission. Programmes may be structured differently from company to company, but all encourage staff to volunteer in their communities, and may include one of more of the following:

  • Volunteer grants: paid to charities where staff volunteer, either to support a specific project, or the charity generally. Sometimes these are proportional to the time spend volunteering, or only kick in once a certain amount of time has been given up.
  • Paid time off: is an in-kind contribution to staff allowing volunteering to be done in work time, rather than having to use annual leave.
  • Matched giving: donations by staff are matched by the company, sometimes at greater than one to one multiples, and paid to the charity.

Ghost Fishing UK is a registered charity (number 1174396) and is eligible to receive funding from CSR programmes. But applications for funding have to come from employees rather than charities, and so we need your help to make it happen.

Take a look at your corporate intranet to see if your employer runs a CSR programme, or ask your manager, or human resources advisor. Most large organisations provide CSR funding, but smaller companies may be willing to provide grants or time off on an ad hoc basis if you ask.

Here are a few tips for completing the application form:

  • Have a look at your company’s mission, vision and values statement – can you show how a net recovery project would complement these?
  • Think about the skills you use with Ghost Fishing UK (teamwork, organisation, even public speaking) and how these might be transferred back to your day job to benefit your employer.
  • Describe your contribution (where applicable) to the project you are requesting support for. Describe your feelings and motivations, as this brings the story to life and is more persuasive than facts alone.
  • Use the videos, and photographs from our past missions to illustrate your application.
  • Look at our frequently asked questions, or contact us if you need more information.

Several Ghost Fishing UK volunteers have successfully accessed their employers’ CSR programmes, both for funding and for volunteering time off.

Graham Atkinson, one of our volunteer divers, said “I hadn’t realised my employer, TAQA Bratani, did grants for charities as part of their corporate social responsibility scheme. It was a chance conversation with one of our corporate communications team that led me to it. It was easy to apply, all I had to do was fill in a form with details of who Ghost Fishing UK are and what we do. I explained what the money would be used for in general terms. After the application was submitted, the CSR committee reviewed it and asked me for details of where the money should be sent! That’s all it took and £500 was on its way to the Ghost Fishing UK bank account. I also put in a couple of sentences for the employee newsletter which helps raise awareness of what we do and was a chance to thank the company for the donation.”

Please do consider looking into funding and volunteering opportunities with your employer. Good luck! and thank you.

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