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SociaLink Enlists Business Heroes For Social Sector

SociaLink, which supports the Western Bay of Plenty social and community sector, is encouraging “business heroes” to provide discounted services and products for local not-for-profit organisations.

It’s launching a directory of businesses which offer discounts, voluntary staff time or donations to for-purpose organisations and charities. Businesses can easily join the directory online and for-purpose organisations can search the directory for services or products they need.

The directory is being developed by Phil Holland, a business coach with plenty of experience in the business sector. He says many businesses would like to offer their services to charities and social sector organisations, but don’t know how.

“The directory will bring together those businesses that want to be part of it and community organisations looking for a service, product or staff help.”

So far the response has been extremely positive and the businesses contacted have been fully committed to helping out for-purpose organisations.

“We’ve had amazing feedback from the business sector so far. We’re keeping it easy to register what you can offer and it just takes five minutes to sign up using a link on the website.”

Businesses can offer four different kinds of help - a discount on products or services, staff time through Volunteering Services, providing voluntary products or services, or making a donation to organisations.

“This is a win-win-win for everyone involved. It helps a business find more customers, the

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customers benefit and for-purpose organisations benefit. We’re looking mainly at local

businesses but there will likely be nationwide discounts available as well.

“The directory will be future proofed and everything can be done online, just requiring a quick

approval from SociaLink. We encourage all kinds of businesses to apply.

“For-purpose organisations can need all kinds of support, from trades, kitchen supplies, automotive, professional services such as accounting, legal, IT or signwriting. We’re covering as many bases as possible.”

Phil’s background lends itself to developing the directory. He’s been a business owner since he was 21, but describes himself as “not a guy in a suit”.

He’s been a business coach for 10 years, and says he’s always had a lot of time for organisations doing good in the community. Taking on the short-term task of developing the directory appealed as a chance to create a link between local businesses and the social sector.

He’s also keen to see the directory become a little competitive, with businesses offering more discounts to compete with each other.

“It would be good to see a bit of one-upmanship emerging,” he says.

SociaLink general manager Liz Davies says SociaLink does not endorse any of the businesses listed in the directory but is grateful for their support.

“I believe most local businesses want to do good and are increasingly recognising that having a positive impact on communities is an important way to attract and engage staff and to sell products and services.

“Points of difference, such as doing social good in communities, become an important selling point to attracting staff, many of whom are not looking just for a job but are also seeking meaning or a purpose,” she says.

“Customers are increasingly expecting businesses to not just provide a product or a service but to be contributing to their communities and are using their spending power to support those businesses who are doing good.”

A SociaLink survey of social services providers in the Western Bay of Plenty found the corporate sector was the sixth most common funding source, with philanthropic and government the main funders of social services.

Businesses and social sector organisations can find the directory at

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