Many businesses opt to support charity work through programmes such as fundraising or sponsorship. This can encourage positive change and raise their profile but additionally the skills and experience a business can contribute can make a huge difference to the chosen charity. To make this partnership work effectively there are a number of issues to consider.
Why support a charity?
It is commonplace for businesses to have a Corporate Social Responsibility or CSR programme, with charity partnerships and sponsorship being a core element. The advantages to the charity can be substantial, generating funds, raising its profile, gaining access to resources and expanding its network of contacts. Businesses can also benefit, by boosting credibility, enhancing brand reputation and gaining a greater understanding of social or environmental issues. The positive impact can be enormous.
Picking the right cause
You may choose to support a charity that tackles an issue of which you have personal experience, such as illness or bereavement. Charities that have a synergy with your business or that are based in your local area are also likely to be a natural fit. In all cases opt for one with core values that are in line with your own ethos for the most productive results.
Engage your staff
A successful charity partnership relies on commitment from your staff so engaging them at all stages can help to enhance this relationship. When considering a new sponsorship programme or charity project, inviting staff to make suggestions as to possible ventures to support may lead to some useful responses. Additionally, staff are more likely to want to volunteer if the cause is one about which they are passionate. Keep staff informed of the status of the charity partnership through internal communications such as emails or newsletters. Their time and energy is one of the greatest assets you can leverage and if they can see their contribution is making a difference, they will be more inclined to continue to do so. Employees want to feel engaged in their firm’s charitable work and the strength of a company’s CSR programme can be a powerful deciding factor for candidates when it comes to selecting a potential employer.
Be different in your approach
Fundraising is a vital part of supporting a charity but keep it fresh by looking for original ways in which to raise money. Innovative match-funding schemes will make your staff feel their efforts are valued as well as boosting their sponsorship pots. Raising the profile of your chosen charity can be just as important, so look for a quirky hook to get the public interested. For example, Malcolm the Monster from monster.travel has a social media profile detailing his many adventures, which raises awareness of the company’s charity programme.
The benefits of charitable programmes can be huge to both the charities themselves and the businesses that support them, with the right partnership able to achieve real positive change.