4 Easy Ways Your Small Business Can Work With Charities
How your small business can improve its corporate social responsibility – and the company as a result
Corporate social responsibility (CSR) initiatives are an increasingly powerful tool for businesses and charities alike. By partnering with charities that match the concerns and motivations of their staff and audience, businesses are able to actively encourage charitable giving within the workforce as well as resonate with their core customer base. In turn, CSR is another great way for charities to increase fundraising drives and reach more supporters.
But since the economic downturn, CSR has taken a backseat for many businesses, with most, if not all, viewing it as an expensive, time consuming luxury they can ill afford. The reason why many businesses don’t engage the workforce in charitable efforts is because of a lack of resources. It is assumed that charitable fundraising and support is time intensive, but in the digital age, charitable initiatives need not put pressure on people’s time and should be seen as a way to increase employee commitment and morale.
So, what can small and medium-sized enterprises do to raise money for charity and how can this benefit the company? Here are some easy ways for small businesses to raise money for charity:
- Incorporate it into your business spend: There are various services which allow businesses and individuals to make every purchase, from hotel bookings to stationary supplies, raise money for charity. One example is Give as you Live.
- Utilise your office waste: Some companies enable businesses to recycle waste in order to raise finance for charity. For instance, you can recycle toner and ink cartridges for charity with Recycle4Charity.
- Donate your time in small chunks: Although a full charity day can be a great way to build upon your company’s culture and help boost team morale some firm’s don’t have the resource while they are trying to grow. There are now charities that enable time poor organisations to give up small amounts of time, for instance Hands on London allows users to choose events at random – many of which only last a few hours – and Microvolunteering allows people to donate time either online, on your smartphones, or offline in small increments of time.
- Selling goods for good: Giving old clothes and possessions to charity is something many British people do but you can also do so with your old business equipment /merchandise. One way to do this is to use ebay for charity or eSolidar and divert all or a percentage of the profits to charity.
These are all easy to implement schemes that do not require much time or effort to set up and support long term.
CSR brings many benefits to businesses, including increased employee engagement. By creating an environment which is open to CSR initiative ideas from employees, people’s personal passions for charitable causes will not only motivate them at work, but promote collaboration, with everyone able to join in with fundraising drives and get more involved with the business.
Corporate social responsibility (CSR) initiatives also go further than just increasing employee morale; being seen to give back to charity improves a company’s reputation in the face of its customers and future staff. There are so many fundraising options for businesses that needn’t put pressure on resources or people’s time.
It can also deliver increased sales. Research in the retail sector found that charity support and giving can bring benefits to the bottom line for any retailer. Almost half (49%) of UK consumers said in a survey that they would spend more money with a retailer if they supported charity. The same survey went on to say that the majority (86%) of British consumers said that supporting a charity would give one retailer the edge over another.
The best advice for businesses to start reaping those benefits is to roll out two or three schemes that give employees different options to support charities they care about. The more choice you can give employees and customers, the better.
This article was written by Greg Hallett, Managing Director of Everyclick.