It is 10am, and in a world where virtual conversations are still mandatory due to the global pandemic, Michael Hodgetts is happy to discuss all things Charities Buying Group (CBG) via video call from his home in Isleworth. The common ground is of course longing for days of normality – of theatre performances and booking plane tickets.
In true WFH fashion, the video call gives a glimpse into the founder’s home life. By the assortment of music motifs, symbols, and guitars in the background, it’s safe to assume that one of Michael’s greatest passions is music.
Step into Parliament
“There was a time when I said I’d like to be working in Westminster, wasn’t quite Westminster as I thought, but it was still Westminster.”
The Charities Buying Group has been involved in parliament and government throughout its entirety, through relationships with MP’s and being commended by Parliament in 2004.
The relationship with Parliament began when Sir Bob Russel, a former MP for Colchester, generated an interest in the business model created by the Charities Buying Group. By delving into the bills (such as gas and electricity) and reassessing expenditure, his constituency office was able to reduce their running cost by around 40%.
“And based on that, we were able to promote the service in the House of Commons to all the MPs, and the motion was put forward and gained over 40 signatures,” explains Michael.
This exposure and new relationships meant that the Charities Buying Group was recommended by MPs to charities throughout the UK.
“We spent a lot of time in the House to spread the message to other charities to come and talk to us.”
The now and pending
Almost three decades later, Michael’s enthusiasm for helping charities and not-for-profit organisations hasn’t faltered. Throughout his career, the founder has received a certificate of appreciation for services to healthcare and fellowships (by the Royal Society of Arts and Chartered Institute of Purchasing and Supply) for his work in helping charities. He was also awarded the status of Chartered Procurement and Supply Professional by CIPS in 2020.
With plans to further spread the message to charities throughout the UK, and across the Atlantic to the USA, Michael Hodgetts explains that the Charities Buying Group mission “isn’t about selling, it’s about giving good advice”.