The ex-England internationals are among a whole host of sporting heroes and big businesses getting behind GiveToLocal in our bid to assist local clubs and small businesses.
And today’s #InspiredToGive launch is underpinned by a commitment to help community sport organisations achieve an additional £10m in funding every year.
“I loved my time in grassroots and non-league football,” said former England, Tottenham and Newcastle forward Les Ferdinand.
“It brings together so many people from different backgrounds and they’re working towards a common goal.
“The sense of community underpins everything that’s so positive about grassroots sport and this campaign is a fantastic example of that.”
GiveToLocal has been working alongside grassroots football clubs and regional FAs for several months, connecting sport with local business.
And 32,000 registered teams across the UK already benefit from the organisation’s unique approach to funding support.
Now the GiveToLocal team has brought forward plans to extend its groundbreaking service to eight more sports.
And there is a fresh focus on supporting local businesses affected by the coronavirus crisis.
“What we do isn’t just about supporting our sports clubs,” explained GiveToLocal Chief Executive, Neil Gardiner.
“It is about supporting our local communities by bringing clubs, local people and local businesses together.
“That’s at the heart of the #InspiredToGive campaign.
“As a result of the COVID-19 outbreak we have invested in our incentivised giving platform and made it even more inclusive.
“It is now possible for supporters of the clubs we work with to invite businesses to join the GiveToLocal community.
“Those businesses can use the platform to sell vouchers for future products and services and secure valuable cash during a period of enforced closure.”
From today cricket, basketball, volleyball, hockey, swimming, netball and both codes of rugby – in addition to local businesses - can benefit from the #InspiredToGive initiative.
“If there is one positive to come out of the coronavirus crisis it is seeing communities come together to support each other,” said GiveToLocal supporter and former England Test bowler Steve Harmison.
“I grew up playing grassroots sport in a town where local clubs and businesses are at the heart of the community.
“Now is the time to support sport, business and the people who make a difference to our everyday lives.”
GiveToLocal has secured the support of payment and banking partners, including GoCardless, to ensure community clubs receive vital funds quickly and efficiently.
And GiveToLocal has also partnered with sport retailer Kitlocker to offer clubs and teams the chance to tap into exclusive offers and competitions by taking part in a substantial campaign aimed at raising awareness and galvanising communities.
In addition, North East Times, one of the UK’s leading business-focused magazines, has agreed to support the #InspiredToGive campaign.
“When we are talking about perfect partnerships - from a commercial and social perspective - it always made sense to partner with GiveToLocal,” said Pat Phelan, Chief Customer Officer at GoCardless.
“There’s no one in our organisation who hasn’t looked at what we’re trying to achieve with GiveToLocal and who hasn’t been really inspired by it.
“I am incredibly proud to be in a situation where we can support people involved in grassroots sport and in the local business community.”
Neil added: “We have been bowled over by the support we’ve received from the world of sport and our business partners.
“Now it’s time for us to support those grassroots sport clubs and small businesses that make such a vital contribution to their local communities.
“We could have decided to simply step back and wait for this crisis to pass.
“But the whole team at GiveToLocal has been completely committed to doing what we can do to support people through these difficult times.
“We want to help to protect the clubs and businesses that we all care about.”
Clubs and businesses are encouraged to register their interest in GiveToLocal by filling out a simple online form.
Staff are standing by to contact clubs and businesses and begin the process of embedding them into the ever-growing GiveToLocal community.