18 Oct 2017

Nationwide Building Society encourages community fundraising activity

Nationwide Building Society cyclists

On 15 June 2017, over 100 employees from Nationwide Building Society participated in a one-day charity cycling challenge starting at Nationwide House, in Swindon and riding into and around the Cotswolds. MyDonate was the event’s commission-free fundraising platform of choice and the money raised online was then match-funded by Nationwide.

The inaugural cycling challenge, known as ‘The Tour De Cotswolds’, offered cyclists of all ages and abilities the opportunity to ride one of three different route lengths - 35, 60 or 100 miles.

Over £13,000 was raised and split equally between two of Nationwide’s charity partners - Macmillian Cancer Support and Shelter and a third local charity, chosen by the cyclists – Alzheimer’s Wiltshire. An overall event page was set up for the cycling challenge, but MyDonate’s flexibility also meant each fundraiser could create an individual page where they could let donors know what their personal target was and which of the three charities they’d be cycling in aid of.

One of the riders, Kathryn Tiffin, who chose to fundraise for Alzheimer’s Wiltshire – the leading support and research charity for people with dementia, their families and carers - said: “The Tour De Cotswolds was something I was anxious to take part in. Although a keen ‘Sunday’ cyclist, I’d never ridden over 22 miles in one day. The driving force to take part in the 35 miles was not just the possibility of proving to myself I could do it but, more importantly, to fundraise for a charity extremely close to my heart. When I hit 46 miles I was thinking of all the incredible people this money would help and I was so proud to see my name next to the Alzheimer’s logo, on my personal MyDonate fundraising page.”

Employees who chose to fundraise for Macmillan Cancer Support,which exists to improve the lives of people affected by cancer across the UK, wanted to make a difference to the charity and personally challenge themselves.

Paul Ballard said: “Having taken part in a previous 500-mile charity bike ride at Nationwide, I immediately signed up for the Tour de Cotswold when the opening day for entries arrived. The ability to spend a day exercising with colleagues both familiar and unfamiliar to support such a wonderful cause is absolutely excellent and proves what an amazing organisation Nationwide is. The day itself was thoroughly enjoyable; the course was excellent, it was well signposted, the food station was well-stocked; the weather was good and the company even better. To top it all off we raised a significant amount of money for charity and many people gained the personal achievement of riding their first ‘100 miler’. As a running fanatic and very occasional cyclist the legs were a bit sore the next day but the pain was worth it!”

Shelter, which helps millions of people every year struggling with bad housing or homelessness, is a charity that reflects the history of Nationwide, which was originally established to help families buy their own homes.

Nationwide has a history of giving: it has always placed citizenship at the heart of its business. The Society believes its employees should have a real say in how they support the communities in which they live and work, and encourages everyone working for the Society to take two days per year to volunteer for a cause that matters to them.

Nationwide employee, Paul Winchcombe, who organised the event and who is also a keen cyclist said: “Nationwide encourages and supports its employees to do the right thing, so it was important we chose a transparent fundraising platform. I would never use another fundraising platform now I know MyDonate doesn’t charge commission. There is now greater awareness of charges on donations, particularly on disaster relief. Personally, when I am fundraising, I want to make sure that as much money as possible goes to the charity concerned and is not lost to commission.

“I watched all of the groups set off, albeit some with a look of trepidation, but seeing the sense of achievement on everyone’s faces at the finish line was a very proud moment. It was made all the more worthwhile, knowing that our fundraising would go further to our chosen charities and fulfilling our company ethos of building a better society. People chose to ride because they wanted to make a difference, and MyDonate’s ability to set up individual pages meant that each fundraiser felt they were personally contributing.”

With fewer charitable grants and a challenging economic climate, charities welcome support from corporates – either in the form of partnerships or group fundraising activities, such The Tour De Cotswolds.



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