Milton Keynes Businesses Empowered to Make a Difference at ‘Giving for Growth’ Event

On Thursday 16th May, MK Community Foundation hosted its “Giving for Growth” campaign launch event at the South Central Institute of Technology.

The event brought together local businesses to explore sustainable and impactful giving strategies, emphasising the MK Community Foundation’s role in enabling businesses to give back with purpose, and to where it’s needed most in Milton Keynes.

The morning featured a range of insightful sessions designed to equip businesses with the knowledge and tools to start making a meaningful social impact:

Presentation: Why Giving Back is Vital for Business Today?

Bryan Wright, Strategy & Legacy Director at Yellowyoyo, discussed how society’s trust in businesses has grown in recent times, with an increasing number of stakeholders expecting businesses to have an authentic response to societal issues.


Fireside Chat: The Impact of Working Through MK Community Foundation

Lucy Cook (ICAEW), James Plunket (SOFEA), and Precious Lwanga MRICS (Trustee at MK Community Foundation) shared real-life examples of how business donations through the Community Foundation enable local charities to thrive.

Lucy highlighted ICAEW’s positive experience of setting up their fund, while James shared how funding from the Foundation gave SOFEA the necessary boost as a new charity in Milton Keynes.


“I certainly enjoyed this event, it provided real clarity on the pivotal work carried out by MK Community Foundation.”

Q&A Session: CSR vs. ESG

Anne Walton (MHA) and Steve Hutchings (Vice President at MK Community Foundation) explored CSR and ESG distinctions, stakeholder engagement strategies, and the potential ROI of a robust giving strategy.


Presentation: Giving Through MK Community Foundation

Philanthropy Director, Ranjit Singh, outlined how businesses can use the Foundation’s expertise to support the communities where their employees live and work.


Ranjit highlighted the Community Foundation’s three key roles:


  • Comprehensive research through initiatives like Vital Signs, assessing the city’s health across 12 key areas.
  • Commissioned research, such as the Open University study, identifying voluntary sector needs.

Giving Experts:

  • Deep connection to the voluntary sector built over 37 years, with knowledge of 1,500 local charities.
  • Highlighted that 37% of local charities operate with less than £10k annually, driven by volunteers.
  • Assists businesses in making a real impact with their charitable giving.


  • Supports charities working across a wide range of issues, recently funding Adoption Plus to run a therapeutic support group for fathers.

Key Issues and Insights:

  • Donations are down 25% across the UK, with a higher decrease in Milton Keynes.
  • Charities need 25% more funding to continue services, especially with the city’s population expected to grow to 400,000 by 2050.

Giving Options:

  • Business Membership: Annual donations support targeted community projects.
  • Flowthrough Funds: Donations are aligned with company values, fully distributed to local charities within a financial year.
  • Endowment Funds: Long-term investments supporting sustainable charity funding in perpetuity.
  • Hybrid Funds: A mix of flowthrough and endowment funds

Ranjit concluded by focusing on the strategic importance and lasting impact of giving through MK Community Foundation, encouraging businesses to embed charitable giving into their core strategies.

“We are extremely excited to be launching this campaign which provides a compelling reason for businesses to support local causes and why it’s important not only to do the right thing but how a giving strategy can actually increase the value of your company!” – Ranjit Singh

As Milton Keynes continues to expand, with its population expected to reach 400,000 by 2050, the role of local businesses in supporting community growth becomes increasingly crucial.

The MK Community Foundation is committed to encouraging business to give through them and improve lives across the city, and into the future.

For businesses interested in learning more, you can book a free consultation with the Philanthropy Team here, or by calling 01908 690276.