Pilotlight takes message north of border

Venture philanthropy charity Pilotlight, which offers free business advice to charities, is to launch in Scotland tomorrow.

Pilotlight Scotland will enlist business expertise from companies to help small and medium-sized charities working with disadvantaged people. It is currently in talks with HBOS, Scottish Power, PricewaterhouseCoopers, Scottish Water and Scottish & Newcastle.

About 20 business executives have already agree to give three hours a week to coach charities on issues such as finance, marketing and IT.

Charities that take part will be matched with four business people from different organisations and with different skills. Five charities have already signed up to the scheme, and Pilotlight Scotland aims to work with 38 charities and social enterprises within two years.

Angela McCusker, chief executive of Pilotlight, said the charity’s model offered benefits to both businesses and charities. “In larger corporates they have money to sort out problems; in charities they don’t,” she said. “The business people have to be very creative in the way they think and look at things from a different perspective.”

Pilotlight, which already works in London with 40 charities, plans to set up eight new charities in different regions of the UK. The first of these, a Pilotlight for Wales and the west country, will be launched next year.

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