The Taylor Bennett Foundation has been around since 2007, and is widely regarded as being at the forefront of taking action on the lack of ethnic diversity in the PR industry – in other words, we get results.
In the world of non-profits we’re considered a small charity, with an annual turnover of less than £300,000 a year. Much of our funding comes from our generous PR agency sponsors but that only covers about half the cost of running the organisation, our training and mentoring programmes, and supporting our alumni. We have to fundraise for the rest. To expand our programmes and increase the number of young people we help, we have to fundraise even more.
So when Stephen Waddington offered to brainstorm ideas for fundraising in his influencer session at #PRFest, my colleague Anne jumped at the chance to ask if the Foundation could be the focus of that work.
As you’d expect with a room full of creative comms people, lots of ideas came out of that session. Some we have used successfully in the past, some we have previously discarded as non runners, but one idea in particular struck us as something we’d not yet had a bash at and so, we’re giving it a go.
We’re aiming to raise £50,000 by the end of the year with our Just Giving campaign which will enable us to continue to run four training programmes next year, expand beyond London and launch a profile raising campaign in BAME communities to promote PR as a viable career choice.
Everyone I talk to about the Foundation tells me what great work we do, that the industry needs us, that the graduates need us and that we are making a difference not only to the diversity in communications, but importantly offering opportunities to young people who would otherwise not have access to PR as a career.
We have honed our programmes so that they get fantastic results. Over 70% of our alumni work in communications. Over 700 graduates have attended our assessment days and had detailed feedback to help with their job searches.
We have the skills, knowledge, passion and experience to deliver brilliant teaching, mentoring and work experience to BAME graduates, but none of it is possible without the funding.
So we are asking you, the PR industry, to demonstrate your commitment to improving diversity in the industry by digging deep and giving to our fundraising appeal. Your donation will make a real difference to a young person’s life.
You can donate to the Taylor Bennett 10th Anniversary Fundraising Appeal here.
This blog has also been published on #PRfest