Our Common Good is a philanthropic initiative that empowers and unites communities by finding local solutions to national societal problems. This Named Fund is held within Oxfordshire Community Foundation (OCF).
We live in a divided society
Inequality and social deprivation in our communities is undermining social cohesion.
Our societal problems are beyond the capacity of the state alone; the public sector must act as both enabler and provider, working in partnership with the private and not for profit sectors.
Failures to address society’s problems are often not down to a lack of money or expertise but to poor coordination and collaboration between the agencies involved.
Local people know what is needed and want to be empowered to fulfil their potential.
Philanthropists and social entrepreneurs have a key role to play in helping to find solutions to societal problems and to empower the most vulnerable in our society.
The not for profit sector has no shortage of brilliant ideas, but many never achieve sufficient reach.
Systemic problems are rarely solved working in isolation – collaboration between charities and other agencies is a prerequisite for lasting change – and we need more of it.
We believe that local knowledge and proximity to problems generates better outcomes.
Lack of core funding is a key factor inhibiting the ability of charities to develop the necessary capacity and capabilities.
Encouraging the growth of philanthropic giving, money, time and treasure, requires innovative ideas, compelling cases for investment and more rigorous evaluation.
Tackling Digital Poverty
Digital poverty has been exacerbated by the COVID-19 crisis. Having provided matched seed funding, Our Common Good is working with OCF to develop a plan for Getting Oxfordshire Online. This will include refurbishing and distributing equipment (laptops, tablets) to those that need it; providing IT training; and, perhaps most importantly, making data and web access more affordable.
So that every child is ready to start school
Growing Minds is a school readiness project, convened and managed by OCF. Uniting the voluntary, public and private sectors with donors, it aims to tackle educational inequality from the earliest age, using proven solutions in innovative ways. Focusing on two communities initially, more than 800 children and their siblings will be helped over the seven-year life of the project. An early donation from Our Common Good was used to develop the concept and fund start-up costs.
Empowering people to to make their own choices
Community Larders are community-based membership schemes which help to empower people in need with food and advice in a place where they feel they belong. Our Common Good’s ambition is to launch 100 directly managed Community Larders within and beyond Oxfordshire by 2021, and to develop a franchise model to speed national expansion. The community larder model was started by SOFEA, a local social enterprise.