Partnership in focus: Jelf

In 2012, Bristol-based independent business consultancy Jelf chose It’s in the Bag as the charity of its ‘Next Generation’ programme (a management training scheme which develops future Jelf leaders). Thus began a one-year partnership which brought fun and some unforgettable moments for Jelf staff, and to date has raised an impressive £17,500 in the process.

Jon Baker, Head of Proposition Development at Jelf, explains:

Why did the Next Generation team choose It’s in the Bag?

The team came up with various alternatives. IITB was suggested because a member of Jelf’s staff was diagnosed with the illness a couple of years ago and was given great support by the charity. That wasn’t the deciding factor though, and the key point was that the team wanted to feel that they were supporting a charity where they could all make a real, practical difference. The Next Generation team then met with the IITB steering committee and really liked the personality of the charity, what they were doing and how they were doing it… and the rest is history!

How has Jelf helped It’s in the Bag?

There are three broad aspects:

1. The Next Generation team led the charge by organising a number of fundraising events throughout 2012 and into 2013, including:

  • Two family fun days for Jelf staff
  • Raffles at Jelf events, such as the office Christmas party
  • Unforgettable Movember moustaches
  • A balloon release (let off in Chipping Sodbury – the farthest balloon returned came from Poland!)
  • Car boot sales
  • Dress-down days

To gain publicity for the charity fund, the team also arranged for members of the IITB steering group to be interviewed on Dr Phil Hammond’s BBC Radio Bristol show. They have also helped IITB to raise awareness of testicular cancer, and suggested some ideas about the future development of the charity.

2. Jelf staff raised money for the charity of their own volition.

IITB has gained a high profile in Jelf, and most Bristol staff recognise the name and what they do. This has led to Jelf staff spontaneously raising money for IITB, through events such as:

  • A walk along Hadrian’s Wall (in very treacherous weather!)
  • Cakes sales
  • A static bike ride

Also, when someone popped out of the office and forgot their swipe card, they had to make a donation to IITB to be let back in!

3. Jelf as a company supported IITB through cash donations and sponsorship, and also by giving staff time off to work on IITB activities.

Jelf’s company contribution includes:

  • Sponsorship of the hugely successful 2012 Testicular Ball
  • Support for the Next Generation team, by providing a platform for them to raise further funds at some of Jelf’s highest profile events – the Jelf Annual Conference and two Golf Days
  • In 2012, Jelf donated £1 to IITB for every completed survey returned in both its yearly Employee Survey and annual Investor in Customers Survey

In total, the support from Jelf and its clients has amounted to £17,500 being donated to IITB.

How has being involved with IITB benefitted Jelf as a business?

The main benefit is in bringing people together. Testicular cancer is serious, but IITB approaches it in a light hearted way. From the pants logo through to the Keep Calm and Check Your Balls cards and t-shirts, IITB make it easy to be involved.

Would you recommend IITB to other businesses looking for a charity partnership?

Yes we certainly would. IITB is a small charity with a great personality and very clear objectives that are easy to understand and support. Everyone knows a man aged 15 to 50 (the typical age range between which testicular cancer strikes – be it a son, grandson, father, brother, cousin, neighbour, nephew or friend – and they therefore have an immediate connection with what IITB is trying to achieve.

“Jelf provided a key level of support at a formative time for It’s in the Bag. Not only did they raise valuable funds on our behalf, but they committed time and effort to help us evaluate what we needed to do in order to grow and develop as an organisation. For that we are very grateful.”
Peter Styles, IITB Strategy Group Member

To discuss how your business can create a rewarding partnership with It’s in the Bag, please call us on 0117 342 3472, or email hello@itsinthebag.org.uk