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Yorkshire business trailblazers new CSR initiative

A Leeds based businessman is this month asking fellow Yorkshire business owners and managers if they could “help charities print money”, as he sets out to change the way CSR fundraising is approached, in memory of his late mother, and has set himself a target to raise £1million for charities across the country.

Stephen Dobson, managing director of Document XL has this week launched Charity-Wrap™, a fundraising idea he has been working on for some time, having been determined, following his mother’s death, to find a way for local charities to receive the ongoing financial support they so desperately need, all year round.

Charity-Wrap™ is a unique initiative which provides sustainable support for charities, enabling organisations to support their chosen cause, consistently, through doing nothing more than going about their business. The steady income for charities comes from Charity-Wrap™ donating 1p for each colour page the organisation produces to the organisation’s chosen charity.

Based on figures that the UK prints in excess of 23 million colour pages a day if Charity-Wrap™ captures even a fraction of these colour pages and donates a penny from each page this is a significant amount of extra revenue being driven to charities across the country.

Additionally, through partners, Charity-Wrap™ often provides a cheaper alternative to traditional printers due to its environmental credentials, and in such cases it is at the discretion of the business if they would then like to pass some, or all, of these savings on as a charitable donation.

Each quarter, Charity-Wrap™ will then donate to the charity and work with their supporter businesses to tell the stories of what the funding has achieved through their website and social media channels, to illustrate the CSR and charitable work of the organisation in real terms.

Mr Dobson said: “It’s unique and innovative, but it’s simple. I can’t believe no-one has thought of this before! There’s no easier way to fundraise – all you need to  do is keep printing as usual.

“For years I’ve been in the business of helping organisations save money in the office through Document XL, but recently I started to think about how some of this money could be channelled back into our communities, and how great would it be if I could facilitate this?

“Having lost my mother to cancer and experiencing her being cared for in a local Marie Curie hospice I have first-hand experience of the impact charities make within our local communities.

“I also know how much it takes to run these kind of centres, and how the fundraisers work tirelessly to find new ways of reaching out to corporate sponsors who could really help them. Many businesses are too busy to run charity events and collect sponsorship, and those who do have to limit it to a few times a year.

“With Charity-Wrap™ we are making it easy for people to support a cause close to their heart, with no extra effort required from them. That has got to be appealing to all companies who want to show a CSR commitment but struggle to commit time to it.”

Stephen added: “We know that people these days feel guilty about printing and try to be more sustainable wherever possible, but we also know in many businesses printing is here to stay. If Charity-Wrap™ can help organisations offset their need for printing, by supporting a charity whilst they do it, this is a great way to balance their CSR out.”

Leeds charities already supporting this initiative include Marie Curie, Candlelighters and Simon on the Streets.

Jo Shepeard from Candlelighters said: “We have worked with Document XL for some time now and when they approached us about their new Fundraising scheme (Charity-Wrap™) we were immediately attracted to the idea.

“It seems very simple and like most companies, we print lots of colour documents each month and so do our loyal fundraisers. We are confident that any of our supporters who get involved with Charity-Wrap™ will be able to continue to raise much needed funds to support children with cancer throughout Yorkshire, whilst at the same time they will benefit by printing their colour documents more cheaply.

“This is a Win, Win scenario for everyone involved and we are happy to be involved with this innovative idea.”

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Stephen Dobson, managing irector of Document XL (centre) with Katie Bowmer, TBD Associates of Rochdale (left) and Elaine McConnell, Springhill Hospice

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