Leamington-based 'dating app for charities' calls for more Warwickshire residents and businesses to get involved

Make Good Grow (MGG) helps businesses and individuals to provide money, skills, time, or products to good causes in South Warwickshire.
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A Leamington social enterprise that matches businesses and volunteers with local charities is calling on people from Warwickshire who are passionate about doing something worthwhile to step forward.

Make Good Grow (MGG) helps businesses and individuals to provide money, skills, time, or products to good causes in South Warwickshire.

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The organisation is currently working with 35 charities on more than 70 projects that require a total of £1m of investment of in-kind, in-cash and in-time donations.

Co-founders of Make Good Grow, husband and wife Dessie and Nigel Shanahan with the ‘Passion Wagon’ - available for use by charities free of charge to help with their projects.Co-founders of Make Good Grow, husband and wife Dessie and Nigel Shanahan with the ‘Passion Wagon’ - available for use by charities free of charge to help with their projects.
Co-founders of Make Good Grow, husband and wife Dessie and Nigel Shanahan with the ‘Passion Wagon’ - available for use by charities free of charge to help with their projects.

There is no requirement for individuals or businesses to pledge support on an ongoing basis – projects are often short-term but impactful, helping to transform charities and thereby changing the lives of those the charities support.

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Make Good Grow Co-founder, Nigel Shanahan said: “MGG is almost like a dating app for charities.

"And, like all good match-makers, we are careful who we introduce.

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"We have established a process to ensure that business risks are minimised and that fit and alignment are right, before any action is taken.

“We are incredibly proud of our progress to date, but we know we can do more. To create long term change to people's lives, we need more funding and more support from local businesses and individuals.

“We forecast that that in the next five years, 1 million lives in our community will be positively impacted through MGG. But it’s not us doing this, it’s the local community - we are just Cupid.”

Nigel explained that the theme of passion runs throughout the ethos of MGG

He said: “We even have a ‘Passion Wagon’.

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"It's a minibus that is available for use by charities on a free of charge basis to help with their projects.

“There’s nothing quite like doing something for someone else to put a smile on your face. We want people see our story, get curious, get inspired and come and join us.”

Since it was set up in 2018 by Nigel and his wife Dessie, MGG has worked with 250 charities. The projects range from re-fitting a derelict former bus to become a music department for a Special Educational Needs school, to smaller scale initiatives such as creating websites; delivering grief counselling; helping streamline recruitment processes; and giving leadership advice.

MGG has created the Pledge Marketplace - a digital space for individuals and businesses to make a pledge, and charities to express an interest in taking up that pledge. For example The Belfry donates its boardroom twenty times per year, while Amtico Flooring offers flooring to a set number of charities.

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Another digital offering from MGG is the Social Impact Dashboard (SID).

This piece of software tells the story of how an organisation has helped a charity and is available to integrate within the organisation’s own website to celebrate the story of the brand and its people.

MGG recently started running charity incubator programs where selected charities get coaching and skills development from a range of businesses relevant to the things that are holding them back from increasing their impact.

The Lord Lieutenant of Warwickshire, Tim Cox, said: “I’ve had the privilege of visiting Make Good Grow a number of times.

"This is a wonderful project dedicated to fostering collaboration between businesses, volunteers, and local charitable organisations.

“I urge anyone who would like to make a positive impact in our community to get in touch with Make Good Grow. Whether it be through offering financial support, sharing skills and knowledge, providing training opportunities, or dedicating precious time, there are countless ways to contribute.”