Business Improvement Districts, Corporate Social Responsibility and engagement in civic society

Tuesday 24th May 2016, 3-6pm (networking drinks 5-6pm) Venue: Buzzacott

A round table discussion with contributions from:

• John Griffiths, Rocket Science (co-authors of the Evolution of London BIDs)
• Christine Lovett, Angel BID
• Peter Williams, Better Bankside/The Means

A recent report for the GLA/London Enterprise Panel on the Evolution of London BIDs notes that numerous BIDs “broker engagements between members and local voluntary and community-based organisations. These include fundraising, mentoring, in-kind resources and employee volunteering. These often operate in isolation, at a time when there is growing interest from funders such as City Bridge Trust, Big Lottery and the GLA in providing strategic-level support and coordination to maximise place-based giving.”

London’s Giving, inspired by Islington Giving, which is funded by City Bridge Trust is looking to support place-based giving initiatives in several areas of London which have a BID: Kingston, Camden, Hammersmith, Twickenham, Sutton and Southwark. This approach chimes with some of the recommendations for catalysing business involvement in their communities which are coming out of the London Fairness Commission report and the London Communities Commission
London Funders convened this round table discussion to explore the current and potential role of BIDs:

• as more than business membership bodies
• as local agents of community development and social (ie as well as economic) cohesion and growth
• as brokers of business engagement in the local community (connecting with the local voluntary, community and social enterprise sector)
• as potential sources of investment in the community (cash/grants, volunteering - including pro bono expertise - as well as support in kind)
• as partners with other local stakeholders in developing place-based initiatives

The meeting drew on the experiences of BID directors from different parts of London and looked to address the following questions:

· Do BIDs have a role to play in the changing infrastructure which supports London’s civil society?
· What are BIDs’ particular strengths/weaknesses in this context?  
· How might BIDs be better supported to be an effective conduit between businesses and civil society organisations? 

Please click here for a full meeting report