Two pillars of the MK Business Community discuss what drives their passion for supporting the volunteer sector, their community and business values? Digital Leadership Strategist, Jono Poon, met with Ian Revell of the Milton Keynes Community Foundation and Tim Lee of business networking group, Collaborate MK and the three of them chatted about all things philanthropy and business.
JP: So, Ian, what brought you to join the MK Community Foundation?
IR: I was attracted by the way they married philanthropy with property. I’ve always been an activist at heart. From a young age, I’ve derived huge satisfaction from volunteering, and now my hobby is my job. I love to make a difference. The foundation seemed to offer just that opportunity.
JP: What actually drives you? What motivates you to get up in the morning to go to work?
IR: As a CEO, you’re almost, by definition, shut away from what’s going on at the coal face. But, if you’re to be truly effective, you need to carry out regular seeing-is-believing visits. You need to be connecting with the amazing volunteers and their client base. That’s the part of the job I love the most and is what inspires me.
JP: Tell us more about the Community Foundation model.
IR: Well, we’re definitely not just a charity that raises and distributes funds for good causes. We’re much more than that. Our goal is to provide a sustainable support model. Over the past 34 years we’ve built a portfolio of properties. We then manipulate and optimise our investment to provide ongoing support to hundreds of great causes. This could be in the form of grants for specific projects or subsidised office or conference facilities.
JP: And Tim, how about you? Collaborate MK is a new networking group. You launched a couple of months ago. How’s it going?
TL: Things are going great! We’re getting five or six new members a week. By Christmas, we should hit 150 members. We’re really proud to have the MK Community Foundation as a key member and provider of office space.
JP: So, why is working with charities so important to you?
TL: For most of my working life, I’ve been involved with strictly commercial activities. But recently, I’ve been able to understand the value of ‘giving back’ – of supporting the increasingly vital work of the charitable sector.
JP: Tim, Ian – thank you for your great insights.
Jono Poon – Freelance Digital Leadership Strategist www.jonopoon.com firstname.lastname@example.org
Ian Revell – CEO Milton Keynes Community Foundation www.mkcommunityfoundation.co.uk or email@example.com
Tim Lee – Collaborate MK www.CollaborateMK.co.uk tim@CollaborateMK.co.uk
Bee Penrose – Penrose Creates www.penrosecreates.com firstname.lastname@example.org