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Missing piece in charity jigsaw
A leading Yorkshire businessmen and philanthropist has devised a new way of giving charities a fundraising boost in difficult economic conditions.
Thomas Black, former joint chairman of the Keighley-based Peter Black Holdings – a major supplier of a range of products and services to leading UK retailers – has already impressed charities with his unique round-robin jigsaw idea.
Mr Black, who lives in Ilkley, already has a successful track record in charitable work, raising more than £1 million in seven years.
So far, national and international charities including Greenpeace, the Alzheimer’s Society and One To One – which helps children caught up in Middle Eastern conflict – have shown an interest in the scheme.
Mr Black said: “Like the most effective ideas, this one is very simple in both its conception and execution.
“It all stemmed from getting an old wooden jigsaw out of the attic last Christmas and remembering how much pleasure jigsaws can bring to old and young alike. “It struck me that if a charity created a jigsaw specific to itself, then asked its main supporters to complete it and make a donation before passing it on to their friends, who would then pass it on their friends and so on, then the potential for making money was huge.
“These are difficult times for charities, as the country struggles to come to terms with the economic crisis, and the beauty of this idea is it costs next to nothing in administrative terms.
“I have the kind of restless mind that enjoys thinking up original ideas for raising money for charity.” Greenpeace has already put jigsaws to good use, sending about 70 to wealthy individuals who had not responded to more traditional commun-ications. It has since heard back from seven people, estimated to have a net worth of at least £10 million each.
The jigsaws have also been sent to thank some of the highest donors to the cause, as an encouraging step in securing further support.
Charities interested in the idea should contact Mr Black at Black Family Investments, Sabella House, Crosshills, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or Sarah Watson at Wentworth Wooden Puzzles via her email@example.com e-mail address.