Social network out to revolutionise the way businesses engage with local communities

July 25, 2014
By, an innovative new social network aimed at connecting community projects with companies, was launched in Bristol last night with the ambition to revolutionise corporate social responsibility.

The business has been developed by local entrepreneur Nick Davies and is the first digital platform to be created for the largely unstructured corporate giving sector within the UK, which is worth an estimated £800m.

The new social network was officially launched at The Engine Shed with local charities and the business community being urged to get involved.’s purpose is to provide a platform for community groups and charities to promote projects where corporate support is required but that might otherwise fall under the radar of larger businesses. 

It offers a mapped database of local projects with information on the team, goals, supporters and what help is needed.

The website’s technology enables businesses interested in increasing CSR activity to quickly identify and follow the projects that are most relevant to them and in the right geographic area. has been in development for 18 months and the website has been live for the past five months to enable testing and development with a number of founder companies and projects.

Local businesses that have already pledged their support include chartered accountants Mazars, who are currently working on a project with Bristol Zoo’s sister wildlife attraction, The Wild Place Project to create an outdoor learning space, BDO, BaNES Council and Friska.

The network has also captured the interest of national and international organisations with Marks & Spencer and Starbucks among the first companies to sign up to the scheme.

Nick Davies, founder and CEO, neighbourly says: “Businesses, both locally and nationally, are very aware of the need to demonstrate a robust CSR policy but translating that into actual activity and identifying the right projects to engage with can be complicated and time-consuming.  At the same time we know that there are a huge number of relatively small, unknown charities and community projects out there desperate for support.  We developed in response to that – it provides a simple, yet effective means of bringing the two parties together.  We’ve been excited by the response so far and now, with the development phase of the project at an end, we want to raise awareness of the network with local community groups and charities and also encourage the business community to get on board.”

Representatives from founder members Starbucks and Marks & Spencer attended the launch to speak about their involvement with and the role CSR plays within their organisations.

Andy Thomas, B&NES Council further explained: “Local partners in Bath & North East Somerset have recently completed the 7th year of our joint employer-led volunteering scheme, designed to benefit our local communities. Activities ranged from painting play areas to cooking for a local charity. Anything that helps bring together local projects with local volunteers is very much welcomed. That’s why “InVOLve”- as our employee volunteering initiative is now called- has its own page on the neighbourly website. Involve will be working closely with neighbourly as the site develops and looks forward to helping new local projects as a result”

Carmel McQuaid, head of responsible business at Marks and Spencer, told the launch: “ is a perfect way for us to elevate our level of community involvement.  It provides us with an easier and clearer way of understanding what a project is doing at a local level – and offering it some practical assistance. It gives us a chance of saying ‘yes’ more often.” is free for use by community projects whilst companies pay an annual subscription to access the site’s search tools, dashboard and analytics packages.  A percentage of profits from company subscriptions will go back into the neighbourly foundation when it is launched later this year.

The site is designed to be shared so that local individuals who support the project can follow its progress.

Pictured: Staff from Mazars hard at work at Bristol Zoo’s Wild Place. From second left:  Audit director Jonathan Marchant, assistant financial planner Roxanne Simmonds and marketing administrator Lucy Smith with, far left, Jane Halstead of Neighbourly, and, far right, the Wild Place’s operations manager Gayle La Croix

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