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From football to food – 3 funding news announcements


Here’s news of three recent funding-related announcements, from a new foundation focusing on education and the climate, to support for increasing accessibility to football, and Nisa MADL’s latest fundraising achievement.

Personio Foundation founders

HR software firm sets up foundation focusing on education & climate action

Personio, a HR software company for small and mid-sized businesses, has announced the creation of Personio Foundation, which will offer financial and business support to NGOs and social enterprises. The Personio Foundation will focus on education and climate action.

It is based on a commitment made when Personio was created to set aside 1% of the company’s equity for good causes. This 1% stake is currently worth $63 million and will continue to grow until an IPO. An additional $3 million in cash donations from Personio’s founders, investors and the company itself will drive immediate progress.

The founders of Personio – Hanno Renner (CEO), Roman Schumacher (CPO), Arseniy Vershinin (CTO) and Jonas Rieke (COO) – will be closely involved in strategy and are advised by Nicola Crosta, founder of Impact46, former United Nations official and an expert in foundation management.

Hanno Renner, Co-founder of Personio and Chairman of the Foundation, said: 

“The Covid-19 crisis has significantly increased educational inequality around the world and we are the last generation that can change the course of climate change. Personio Foundation will help to drive change in these vital areas that require immediate action and are close to the hearts of employees and founders.


“We want to live up to our core value of ‘Social Responsibility’ that has been an important part of our business since day one. We are grateful that the hard work of the entire team at Personio, the trust of our customers and the continued support of our investors has put us in the position to launch Personio Foundation.”

Based in Europe but open to worldwide applications including from the UK, Personio Foundation will offer financial and non-financial support via two flagship programmes. Grantees in the Impact Portfolio will receive unrestricted financial grants and collaborative mentoring. The Impact Accelerator addresses a key challenge for the sector by providing knowledge and HR advice to help social purpose organisations grow their biggest asset – their people.

The first group of grantees will be directly sourced and selected by the Foundation’s team. Applications will be assessed based on ten criteria covering the robustness of each organisation and its potential impact. Later in 2022, a global call for proposals will launch through the Foundation’s website and social media.

The launch of Personio Foundation is the latest in a number of initiatives by Personio to give back to society, which has included the launch of Personio.org to offer improved access to its HR services for organisations such as NGOs, universities and public sector employers.

Sported & Barclays announce community fund to make football more accessible

Sported and Barclays are working together to launch and deliver a new community fund that will provide small grants to groups making football more accessible at the grassroots level over the next three years.

From January 2022, The Barclays Community Football Fund will be offering grants and support resources to grassroots groups to help reduce inequalities in the participation of football. Barclays has partnered with Sported to make these small grants available for groups wishing to start offering football, those keen to expand their existing provision to new audiences or those already delivering football to under-represented groups.

The programme’s engagement will focus on including girls and young people from lower socio-economic and under-represented groups: culturally diverse communities, people with disabilities, and people from the LGBTQ+ community. The aim of the project is to encourage participation in football at every level. Through the Fund 5,550 community groups across the UK will receive grants and support to develop inclusive football. More than 150,000 young people will be engaged in inclusive football activities.

The fund will primarily support young people in deprived or under-represented areas through local organisations.

Tom Corbett, Group Head of Sponsorship and Media, Barclays said: 

“We are delighted to announce this new fund which will support communities through football. Barclays has done much to support the elite game and the accessibility of football through schools. Through this partnership with Sported we can create greater and more equal access to football through community groups and help to provide more opportunities for all. Football is about so much more than fitness and fun; it brings communities together and creates positive environments for young people to thrive.”

Nicola Walker, CEO of Sported added: 

“We know that there is a huge difference between the number of boys and girls who are currently benefitting from the game of football and this project seeks to address that.  Sadly, there are also other groups who are also under-represented at football groups – culturally diverse communities, people with disabilities, people from the LGBTQ+ community and those from lower socio-economic groups – and Sported’s aim is to tackle these existing inequalities so that every young person has the same opportunity to fulfil their potential. To have the opportunity to work with Barclays in communities to tackle this issue is a privilege.”

Community support via Nisa’s charity reaches £14m milestone

The total raised for good causes to date via Nisa’s Making a Difference Locally charity reached the £14m mark in December.

The milestone amount has been raised for communities across the UK since the charity’s formation in 2008, with almost £1m raised during the last 12 months alone.

Nisa retailers have supported local causes with more than 15,000 donations to date, with recipients ranging from foodbanks, hospices and refuges to youth sports teams and community groups.

Making a Difference Locally (MADL) raises funds in Nisa partner stores from sales of all Co-op and Heritage own-label products, a percentage of which goes into a virtual fund for retailers to donate locally, and additional funds can also be raised via in-store collecting tins and clothing banks.

Nisa’s Head of Charity, Kate Carroll, said:

“We are delighted that our retailers and their customers have helped to raise more than £14m over the last 13 years for thousands of very deserving charities and good causes across the UK.


“MADL collecting tins and the newly launched clothing banks have been a huge success in partner stores this year and have helped to further boost funds raised for local causes, which we expect to continue through the festive season especially.”

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