Opinion

What are the business benefits of charity fundraising?

4 min read

09 July 2019

Raising funds for charitable causes is not only good for your company's bottom line, but it's also a great motivator for staff. It's also the right thing for a successful business to do.

Many SMEs throughout the UK get involved in charity fundraising and there are good business reasons to do so.

For example, it can raise a company’s profile, build a positive relationship with customers and even stimulate employee motivation. However, this should never be the primary reasons why businesses do it.

Fundraise for goodwill, not just your bottom-line

Since establishing Pimlico Plumbers 40 years ago, the business has expanded with a workforce of 400 people completing more than 100,000 jobs annually.

Despite the continued growth, one of the things I’m most proud of is that it remains a family-run business. Most importantly, it continues to reflect our family-inspired ethos.

Why SMEs should raise funds for charity

Many members of our team happily give their time and effort to support some fantastic causes. Those with a cynical eye will say that charitable activities make a difference to your bottom line. However, I believe the true benefit to SMEs – certainly in our case – is the privilege of being able to make a positive contribution and to give something back.

That can range from helping out a good cause locally to supporting a national or global charity. What I’ve always found is that contributing to charity provides real motivation to both me and my staff and creates a happier working and personal life.

Happy people make a happy business. What you shouldn’t do is support a charity as part of a marketing strategy.

Some years ago, KFC suffered quite a backlash following it’s ‘Buckets for the Cure’ breast cancer campaign. The mega brand took to selling its fried chicken in pink buckets. Rightly or wrongly, many perceived it as using this devastating disease as a way of selling unhealthy food.

UK SMEs ‘giving back’ – the numbers

There are various statistics floating around. One is that UK SMEs devote 73 million hours a month on improving their local communities. A survey of 500 SME owners carried out in the London area last year for OnSide Youth Zones found 80% planned to increase their support for local charities.

Of that 27 % intended to focus efforts on fundraising activities, 28% on cash donations, 17% on volunteering and 9% by offering pro-bono services.

Those not involved at all cited lack of time, awareness and the risk of a chosen charity failing. Sadly, some admitted there weren’t any local charities which reflected their ‘priorities’.

Supporting charitable staff

I believe in helping someone because they deserve it. For example, one of our Pimlico engineers Rob Hardie has just completed the Leeds Castle Sprint Triathlon in aid of the Royal British Legion Industries. Furthermore, our veteran staff member Mario Rebellato volunteers at the local Evalina Children’s Hospital on a weekly basis.

Giving Pimlico a charitable heart

Pimlico itself is just as willing to make that same effort. Whether that’s working collaboratively with the First Step Trust, which provides work experience for those who are excluded from working life or helping a local school create an outdoor nature area.

We also support initiatives such as the ‘I Can Be’ programme, by hosting visits from local schools to prove to girls that gender doesn’t have to define their future career choice.

We are dedicated to making a real difference – not only to our customers but in the wider world in which we operate.

Even a small act of kindness can make a huge difference, so do as much good as you are able to and gratefully accept the resulting positivity as your reward.