CHARITIES are running out of time to win a place at a ‘Dragons’ Den-inspired’ event, which could net them £5,000.
Oxford Gives, organised by The Funding Network Oxford, is now in its sixth year, and sees four charities chosen to ‘pitch’ to an audience, who then pledge funds to support their work.
Each charity receives six minutes to present their case on how they would spend the £4,000-£5,000 usually pledged to each cause, along with another six minutes to answer questions.
After a short break, the invited audience returns to the room for a fun and fast-paced session in which they shout out their pledges, which are added up by a master of ceremonies on a white board so everyone can see the totals grow.
Jane Harris from, The Funding Network Oxford, said: “This is such an amazing and inspiring event, which gives the audience the chance to meet people on the frontlines, elbow-deep in innovative social change, and also for charities to receive money which can make a real difference to them.
“In these rather despairing times, it is thrilling to watch as a large amount of money – usually £20,000 – is given by ordinary people, to such deserving charities.
“People from businesses, the university, and groups like the Rotary Club are generous donors. But we also thank the many individuals who come along and pledge £50 or £100, and to the groups and friends of colleagues who ‘pool’ their funds.”
Last year’s Oxford Gives event was attended by 100 people and saw the charities COIN, My Life My Choice, Arts at The Old Fire Station and Aspire Oxford, each taking between £4,000 and £5,800.
Arts at the Old Fire Station, a social enterprise offering performances, exhibitions and support for emerging artists and the homeless, received £5,087.
Director Jeremy Spafford said: “The Funding Network is a special organisation. It brings people who want to give money together with groups that change the world for the better in a friendly event.
“We were lucky enough to be included last year and raised over £5,000 to help us offer practical workplace experience to homeless people in our arts centre and help them move on to further training and employment.”
This year’s Oxford Gives will take place on Thursday May 22, at 6.30pm, at the Old Fire Station in Oxford. Charities wishing to be included can apply until Friday with the ‘winning’ four expected to be announced next month.
Charities must have an annual turnover of less than £500,000.
Audience members are also being sought for this year’s event. There is a minimum pledge of £50 but people are welcome to go along individually or as groups and just find out more about the causes.
A £5 entrance fee includes drinks and canapes.