Who we work with

We are proud to work with a range of funders, donors, and sponsors who support our work

We collaborate with a number of organisations to raise the profile of community businesses and provide direct support to them. As a membership body, we work closely with community businesses, individuals and organisations who value our work, ensuring we effectively represent community businesses and provide the support they most need to set up and thrive.

We are always looking to collaborate with partners and supporters. If you’re interested in working with us please get in touch.

Plunkett is a membership organisation and becoming a member means you are joining a growing number of like-minded people and organisations all working together to help communities set up and run community businesses as a way of overcoming a range of challenges facing rural communities today.


We have a specific membership strand for rural community businesses to offer enhanced support and to help maintain a long term relationship so that we can be on hand to help whenever they might need it. Our members also benefit from access to information and publications before anyone else and our members are routinely invited to shape Plunkett’s views and work to gain national platform and influence. We also encourage individuals and organisations who share our values to become members and support our work.

We work with a number of project funders who help us deliver core areas of our support service for community businesses. Typically, we apply for grants from these bodies to deliver activities which meet both the needs of our members, and those of the funders, mostly of whom have charitable objects of which we have similar concern.

Some of our current and longer term funders include: Esmée Fairbairn FoundationPower to Change Trust, Dulverton Trust and National Lottery Community Fund.

Each year, we apply for grants from a number of Trusts and Foundations to support the core costs of running our organisation. These funds are not specifically budgeted against activities, but are critical to ensuring Plunkett is sufficiently resourced. Current and long-term donors include CHK Charities, and PF Charitable Trust.

Increasingly, Plunkett has sought to work with corporate bodies who share our values, and want to work in partnership with Plunkett and our members on key issues. Sponsorship enables us to extend our support and carry out added value activities such as our Annual Rural Community Business Awards campaign that is only made possible through long-term supporters such as Hastoe Housing Association and our network of membership suppliers. If you would like to find out more about supporting Plunkett and the work we do through a sponsorship agreement please contact us, we’d be delighted to hear from you.

The success of our current strategy depends on Plunkett collaborating with national, regional and local organisations to reach more communities and make the best use of shared skills and resources.

At a national level, we work closely with infrastructure organisations who share our concern for supporting community businesses including LocalityCo-operatives UK, Social Enterprise UK, ACRE  (and the ACRE Network) and NALC. In Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland we work with organisations such as Community Shares Scotland, Cwmpas and Co-operative Alternatives to ensure our services are relevant in different nations and as far as possible complement, rather than duplicate, other services. We also sometimes subcontract our services to local organisations where they are better placed to deliver locally, or have more relevant skills. We are always open to working in partnership and if you have an idea on collaborating, please do get in touch.

Plunkett is a proud member of a number of alliances where our remit is to represent both rural and community business perspectives. We always seek to represent the voice of our members to influence and campaign for positive change on their behalf. Working alongside other national and regional partners, we proud members of The Rural Coalition (England), The Community Wealth Fund, Community Enterprise Growth Plan, the Rural Services Network, The Communities Partnership Board (England), National Rural Mental Health Forum (Scotland), the Government’s Loneliness Action Group, led by the Red Cross.

We also actively bring together organisations of interest on specific issues or geographically focused panels, such as Plunkett’s Community Businesses in Places of Worship Alliance.

Community businesses are amazingly diverse – from bookshops, breweries and bakeries to farms, woodlands and pubs. Plunkett UK believes that community businesses can bring a wealth of positive benefits to any community. We actively engage with a wide variety of supporters and stakeholders, including corporate partners, who can help us achieve our mission for creating innovative, impactful and inclusive spaces. Our relationships with corporate organisations may take the form of sponsorship, sharing our knowledge and learnings, or bespoke consultancy work. Engaging with a range of stakeholders means we can create environments in which community businesses can thrive.

As a charity we rely on voluntary and corporate support from a variety of sources, including individuals, companies, charitable trusts and statutory funders – we undertake to consider each partnership on its own merits. As with all of our partners, and as part of our due diligence, we consider the impact of our supporter’s activities on bringing about positive change to rural communities. We pride ourselves on being able to share the experiences of the community business network to benefit the wider community business sector and improve the wellbeing of the UK’s rural communities, both now and for decades to come.

If you are interested in finding out more about how we work with corporate organisations, or are seeking a partnership opportunity, please contact harriet.english@plunkett.co.uk