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Our ethos at Prism, from the beginning, was to use what we had to help third sector organisations. At the beginning of our journey as a start-up business we did not have the resources or ability to generate and donate money. What we did have was a desire to donate our core ability – IT Support and encourage other SMEs in the same place to do the same, whilst backing initiatives that allowed the SME world to get involved in philanthropy at no monetary cost.
We realised that giving our core ability to local charity Friends For Leisure (FFL) in 2008 was not scalable, although we have maintained that original gift for ten years.
At the same time as this we were receiving an abundance of unwanted PCs from our clients that, at the time, would have been destined for landfill. Seeing all this waste made us realise that we could refurbish the best ones and put them back into use in the third sector, whilst diverting the rest to a local social enterprise who would go on to make use of them in offering employment through the reuse and resale of these devices.
In a quest to build a scalable offering we began to accept donation requests and got into the groove of one a week.
We now had a sustainable Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) strategy.
The more we spoke to third sector organisations the more we realised they wanted more, but our hands were tied to the hardware donations having already realised that the service element was not scalable. We looked at the areas they needed help with and decided that raising funds would let us pay for the technology products and services some required.
Our Christmas party fund raiser was created in 2016, The Winter Wonderland. We take a venue that has social credentials and made a festive event happen with profits going to the PETT scheme.
To-date we have supported three gifts with three further in the pipe line.
CSR in SME land is a journey and should evolve as the business does.