Generous giving is on the cards at Yorkshire's Card Factory - guided by its staff it has launched a charity foundation to help good causes in local communities.
REQUEST CHARITABLE SUPPORT: The greeting cards retailer says it is open to charitable causes approaching it for support by emailing email@example.com.
READ MORE: Card Factory has been supporting Macmillan Cancer Support since 2006 and has so far raised over £5 million for people affected by cancer. For full details - CLICK HERE.
Home is where the heart is and for staff at the Wakefield-based greeting card retailer, that is the communities in which they live and work.
Although the company has donated millions over the years to well known charities such as MacMillan Cancer Support, staff wanted the company to do more charitable work.
In particular they wanted the business to help them contribute to their local communities in a positive way. This feedback was from insight gained from some of its 9,000 colleagues.
To allow the FTSE-listed company to facilitate this philanthropic will of its staff, this February it launched the Card Factory Foundation.
Chris Beck, executive director of business development at Card Factory, said: “The business and our colleagues want to do more in terms of giving something back to the communities in which we have stores and our colleagues live.”
He added that by establishing a foundation, the greeting cards retailer could give to charitable causes in a more structured way.
The foundation has three funds. There is the CFF Match Fund, which sees the retailer match the amount raised by staff through sponsorship.
There’s the CFF Family Fund which supports the retailer’s colleagues and their families with a helping hand in time of hardship or life-changing events.
Finally, there is the CFF Community Fund, supporting projects and charitable causes in local communities where Card Factory operates including its heartland in Yorkshire.
“We launched this internally to our colleagues in February,” Mr Beck, who is chairman of the
Card Factory Foundation, says. The reaction has been “really positive” from colleagues across the business, he adds.
Anyone can email the board of trustees, who then review and approve fundraising or donation requests.
“Everyone wants to continue supporting the big charities but the ability to support things that are more local and more personal is making a big difference,” Mr Beck said.
Charities often find themselves jostling amongst each other for much needed donations.This can lead to smaller charities being overlooked.
Card Factory believes the structure of its foundation will enable the firm to donate to good causes that would otherwise miss out as well as helping large established charities.
Mr Beck said: “Although we are a Yorkshire business, we are a retailer with a national presence and have over 930 stores. Raising money for local causes also helps engage with our colleagues and customers at Card Factory’s network throughout the UK.
“The foundation makes it a lot more personal to our colleagues because we can make a real difference to causes that are important to them where they are, which may be many, many miles away from head office.”
The Card Factory Foundation has also become a custodian of the money raised from the sales of plastic carrier bags to Card Factory customers and expects
the foundation to be able to support good causes with £750,000 a year.
The trustees are committed to donating the majority of funds raised each year and where excess funds exist these will be shared amongst the company Corporate Charity partner Macmillan Cancer Support and three charities chosen by the colleagues being NSPCC, British Heart Foundation and the Alzheimers Society.
Card Factory is one of the corporate success stories of Yorkshire. Founded in 1997 from one store in Wakefield, it now has a nationwide presence with over 930 stores shops spanning the length and breadth of the country.
However, it still remains proud of its heritage and Yorkshire roots. It is one of the few greeting card firms to still manufacture in the region.
At Card Factory’s head office and distribution centres in Wakefield, the company has 430 staff.
It employs another 100 people at it manufacturing site in Baildon and employs over 9,000 colleagues across its stores.
Mr Beck said: “It is an extremely successful business in Yorkshire and it’s only right and proper that we do give something back.”
He added: “Almost everything we sell in our stores is designed in Yorkshire. The majority of the greeting cards we sell are designed and manufactured in Yorkshire. That’s quite rare for a retailer these days.
“We continue to invest millions of pounds into our operations in Yorkshire to support our national chain of greeting cards.”
One of the reasons for Card Factory’s philanthropic direction may well lie in the company’s Yorkshire roots.
Mr Beck said: “People will sincerely go out of their way for you in Yorkshire. I think that is very different to other parts of the world.”
CARD FACTORY FACT FILE
Card Factory was established by Dean and Janet Hoyle in 1997.
Mr Hoyle is the chairman of Huddersfield Town FC.
The business has 430 staff at its head office and distribution centres in Wakefield and another 100 people at its manufacturing site in Baildon.
The company employs over 9,000 colleagues across its stores.
Card Factory has 930 stores nationwide.
Web site: For more visit Card Factory's official web site - at www.cardfactory.co.uk.