HR & Management
6 reasons why your company should support a charity – and how to start
6 min read
24 March 2014
As well as helping to do good, supporting a charity can help your business in many ways. Here's why you need to find a charity to work with, and how to start.
Last year, Forresters produced a survey of 1,100 people from the UK, which reported that most consumers think businesses should support charities. When faced with a choice between two companies that offered products and services for the same price, 82 per cent said their decision would be affected by whether a company engaged with charities and its local community.
These figures are quite startling and point to the fact that a company, whether appealing to the consumer or B2B market, have to be seen to be supporting a charity.
Don’t worry, the charities aren’t totally oblivious to why you are doing this, instead they will try and help you as much as they can as reap the rewards.
So what are these benefits?
Defining the corporate identity
The charitable element of a company can be a cornerstone of its brand showing the world that they are ethical and trustworthy. It can also define a company as different from its competition, which not only aids the brand image but can be an important recruitment tool for attracting the top talent to your business.
Better public relations
Sharing the stories can benefit your company on many levels. Visitors to the company’s website can see what activities they are doing, coverage in the media can reinforce to current employees that they made a good job choice; it can demonstrate to clients, customers and business partners that the organisation and its leadership team are dedicated to charitable causes. In addition, in many business awards applications there is a question about the companies CSR practices.
Enhance employee relations
Many people want to volunteer or raise money, but can’t find time in their busy lives to do it—or may be scared to try an opportunity on their own. Participating in employer-sponsored activities allows employees the opportunity to do things where they don’t feel like they are taking time away from their work or families to help others, or trying to squeeze yet another item into their jam-packed schedules.
When raising money together employees are able to partner across divisions and work in team environments outside of their direct work groups. People from different departments or offices, who wouldn’t see each other during a typical workday, can serve a meal, volunteer in a classroom or help build a home, side-by-side. This promotes a greater sense of camaraderie and unity among employees as they work towards a shared mission and common goal.
Giving employees a chance to give back to their communities also helps to instill a sense of pride in themselves and their organisation. They are proud to work for a company that supports philanthropic programs, which can lead to increased loyalty and better retention.
Through being part of a charity you can belong to a powerful network of like-minded business owners that you meet with regularly for a joint cause.
Oh and of course there is the personal benefit from helping others.
Now that yo know why you need to do it, how do you go about finding and selecting the right charity for your company?
CONTINUE READING ON PAGE TWO…
We support two, a national and a local one, these are chosen at the start of every year by the whole team in a mini-election.
Here are some criteria that you should consider:
Look for charities that you believe in and to which you have some affinity. Not only will it be more fun, but also you’ll be happier giving your time and means. Also look at it from a personal perspective, the team are more likely to be enthused in their charitable activity if they can relate it to someone’s experiences.
Appoint one person to be in charge and then a committee, which will help spread the tasks related to finding and managing the charity or charities that you choose.
From a business standpoint, look for charities that will give you meaningful exposure to a large number of influential people.
If you are sponsoring a charitable event, try to choose one in which your target market would participate.
Also ensure to check that the charity you are choosing doesn’t promote a religious, political or social agenda that is questionable or controversial in any way and that in its history it has a good reputation.
If you’re looking for a charity to support, here is a useful website to research and find the right one for you.
Della Wolfe is co-owner of The Curve Group.