Scope launches scheme for philanthropists to sponsor charity shops

Supporters will see their donations 'triple in value in five years', according to Richard Hawkes, chief executive of the disability charity

Richard Hawkes
Richard Hawkes

Scope has launched a new scheme that asks wealthy people to sponsor new charity shops.

The disability charity said that £50,000 covers the cost of opening one of its shops, which will then generate £30,000 a year towards funding its work.

It is asking philanthropists either to  donate the money or make loans that can be repaid in two years.

The fundraising scheme has been trialled over the last year and Scope aims to attract enough donors to open 15 new shops by March 2013.

During the pilot, eight donors lent a total of £100,000 to open two shops in Cambridgeshire.

The charity said the new shops, in Ely and St Neots, which opened in March, have been exceeding their fundraising targets.

The charity has 235 shops. In 2011/12 the stores made £2.9m for the charity’s work, an increase of 27 per cent on the previous year.

Richard Hawkes, chief executive of the charity, came up with the idea, which the charity hopes will appeal to philanthropic-minded entrepreneurs and business people.

"We are making donations go much further," he said. "By helping us open a new shop, a supporter will see their donation triple in value in just five years. 

"Scope is about making this a better place for disabled people – this new way of fundraising means we can run more campaigns and provide more services that help us to achieve that vision."

Isabel Hudson, chair of the National House Building Council and a long-time Scope supporter, put money towards one of the new shops in Cambridgeshire.

"People are interested in giving money if they know it is having a real impact," she said.

"They are interested in seeing how their donations can be used most effectively. People that make significant donations are interested in getting the most value.

"That can be difficult with a one-off donation. But anything that can provide ongoing value becomes twice as attractive. This scheme is value for money."

The charity said the sponsor-a-shop scheme was part of its plans to look into creative fundraising mechanisms. In June, Scope became the first operational charity to issue bonds, raising £2m in the first tranche.

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