Amplifying our reach - the power of networking

By Demelza Desforges - MIN Ambassador, 21st June 2023.

Amplifying our reach - the power of networking 

In today's connected world, networking has become an invaluable tool for success. While often associated with professional growth, networking holds just as much importance in the third sector, for organisations such as ours, striving to make a positive impact in society. In this blog post, we will explore the significance of networking for small charities like Mums In Need, in order to see how it can help pave the way to sustainable growth, increased visibility, and enhanced support for our mission.

Like many other small charities, Mums In Need face the challenge of providing a supportive service to an ever growing number of families within a difficult political and economic landscape. The barriers of limited resources and tight budgets can be daunting, even more so when we are helping people to survive and to get through extremely tough situations. Between austerity and a global pandemic, within the landscape of a society still too often based on a patriarchal model, we have seen huge funding cuts in women’s services. Gender inequality is still something we have to fight everyday. Bridging these inequalities and filling these voids is where networking can play a huge role; in finding people, organisations and businesses who can, and want to further our cause. Networking helps us discover opportunities and propels us forward into a brighter future. 

Support networks and collaborative partnerships

By connecting with others who share a passion for making a difference we can cultivate relationships that go beyond financial support.  We can have a greater impact when we partner up and pool our resources. Actively engaging in community events and participating in forums allows us to connect with like-minded people. These people become our cheerleaders or invaluable sources of advice, support and expertise. Sharing our knowledge as well as our challenges with others boosts our resilience and effectiveness. Forging collaborative partnerships strengthens the support available to our communities. When we create alliances with other charities, businesses and community projects, we can collectively address complex social issues. Collaborative partnerships can lead to joint projects and shared campaigns. 

Cross-promotion allows us all to tap into new audiences. Working together we can achieve more than we could alone. 

It helps us all amplify our reach so we can all work towards more thriving communities. Ultimately this brings greater positive change. Last summer Mums In Need teamed up with Bloom to offer gardening sessions to mums and children during the summer holidays. This venture had a really positive impact; bringing joy, calm and relaxation to many and improving people’s mental health and wellbeing.  We are delighted to be joining forces again this summer, to bring our families more positive benefits from horticultural therapy.

Funding Opportunities

One of the most tangible benefits of networking is the access it can provide to potential funding sources. Networking events, conferences and meetings can bring small charities like ours face-to-face with philanthropists, donors, and grant-giving organisations who can champion our cause and contribute to the charity’s growth. These connections open doors to financial support, sponsorships and fundraising opportunities. Through meaningful conversations and by sharing the work we do and its impact we can inspire others with our mission and gain crucial financial support needed to expand our services and make more impact in the lives of those who need it.

Last year we were lucky enough to be chosen as the Soroptimists Charity of the year and this has recently been renewed for another year. During one of the Soroptimist events we were invited to attend, we had the pleasure of hearing Master Cutler Dame Julie Kenny talk to us about Wentworth Woodhouse and the Cutlers of Hallamshire. On this day she made us aware of The Cutlers Combined Charitable Trust. On her advice,  we applied for this. Mums In Need were extremely grateful to be awarded a £1000 donation to use towards providing wellbeing sessions for the Mums who use our service. On Tuesday the 13th of June 2023 we attended the Award Presentation where we got the opportunity to meet lots of other really great charities and hear them talk about the amazing work they also do throughout our wonderful city of Sheffield and the surrounding areas. We are so grateful so thank you to the Cutlers Combined Charitable Trust for your generation donation.

Networking introduces us to influential individuals, policy makers and advocates who can help amplify our message and extend our reach. By engaging with online communities and making the most of social media we can connect with leaders, media professionals and influencers. We gain access to platforms and audiences we may have never otherwise reached. Building these relationships can lead to media coverage and social campaigns that increase visibility and generate further support for our mission by attracting a wider audience. In November 2022 we held an event at Lush which helped us tremendously with awareness and much needed funds.

Learning opportunities and best practice

Engaging with peers in the third-sector or within the field of domestic abuse and coercive control provides invaluable insights and inspiration which allows us to adopt successful strategies and adapt these to our own context. By learning from one another, exchanging ideas and sharing best practice we  can refine strategies, improve operations and maximise impact.  Networking helps us to identify workshops, webinars and presentations which foster continuous learning and professional development. This strengthens our capacity to provide even better services to our Mums. By continuously learning we can keep providing more targeted, trauma informed and specialist support.

Public awareness and engagement

Through the power of connections we can keep on amplifying our charity’s mission and continue to raise awareness about the damaging effects of coercive control. This helps us to gather supporters who can champion the cause and keep on spreading the word about the amazing, yet vital work Mums in need is doing in our local communities.  

For small charities like Mums In Need, networking is a catalyst for growth, it helps overcome challenges and limitations. By building a support network we can amplify our voices and extend the reach of our work far beyond the original scope we first imagined.  It plays a vital role in our growth and success. 

By actively engaging in networking activities Mums In Need can enhance its capacity to fulfil our mission and create a positive impact in our communities. 

By connecting, learning and collaborating we are able to achieve our goals and keep on making a lasting difference in the lives of many. It allows us to connect with others by forming partnerships and collaborations. We build supportive networks of helpers and followers. Here at Mums In Need we embrace the power of networking. We actively seek opportunities to connect and collaborate and we would love to hear from you so if you want to link up then please just drop us a message or follow us on our social media platforms. You can also come and chat to us at Sharrow Festival on the 1st of July where we will be holding a stand to raise awareness and gather donations to continue our work. If you want to help us make a meaningful impact in our communities, if you want to create a lasting difference in the lives of Mums and children, if you want to contribute towards confronting coercive control with us, then please just get in touch at Let's embrace the transformative power of networking to create a bright future together. 

Thanks to your help, Mums In Need can continue to grow.