Whilst the main object of a business’s drive is profit, (let’s face it no business survives without making a profit), a huge portion of businesses now more than ever are realising their social responsibility and the benefits of giving back.
As a small business you are part of a community and by supporting local charities you can make a positive impact whilst benefiting your business, employees and those less fortunate.
At first glance when a business donates or raises funds for charity it may appear the only one gaining from the efforts is the charity itself, but this is simply not true. Yes, the main objective is and should be to raise funds for a worthy cause but there are so many positive effects and reasons for a business to give back. Why not support a charity and your business at the same time?
1. Great positive publicity
Every company has a budget and time set aside for marketing. Use some of this time and money to raise funds whilst getting your company publicity. By linking your events, promotions, products, and services to a charity you will reach a much wider audience and raise funds for a good cause. Publicity for you and the charity. Win-win. Campaigns linked to charities are more memorable to the consumer and create ongoing follow-up engagement. Facebook, LinkedIn and Instagram are all wonderful places to promote your fundraising, the charity and your business at the same time. Are you just bragging? No! If you don’t let others know what you’re doing and how much you’ve raised you are not raising awareness for the charity, showing appreciation to those who helped your cause or encouraging future donators.
2. Employee benefits
Studies show that engaging employees in fundraising activities improves their ability to work as a team, boosts morale, enhances mental well-being, and increases employee work satisfaction. 93% of employees who take part in charity events are happy with their employers and 87% are less likely to resign. By supporting a local charity you are making a direct improvement on the area in which your employees live. When employees are positive about the business they work for they are more productive which in turn means more profit for the business.
3. Stronger client relationships
82% of consumers take social responsibility into consideration when choosing a product or service. Consumers like to know that the money they are spending in some way benefits either a cause that they care about or the community in which they work or live. Linking your company with a local charity promotes loyalty from your consumers they want to keep making a difference.
4. Sets apart from other local competitors
Let’s take the scenario that you, the consumer, want to purchase a new product – business A and business B both sell the product at competitive prices – you are aware that business A raises/donates £xxx to local causes each year but you have no such information about business B – which would you chose? Studies show 63% of consumers would choose business A, why? Because by supporting a business that gives back to a charity they feel they are in turn supporting the charity themselves.
5. Build your reputation
New clients look for a company with a good positive reputation, linking your company to local charities promotes a trustworthy image and demonstrates your company is about more than just the profit, it’s a company that cares and is assuming social responsibility. 85% of consumers have a positive impression of a company that donates to a charity.
When considering giving back
Choose a charity that resonates with your business, your customers, you, and your employees. It will seem like much less effort when fundraising if the charity you are fundraising for is something that matters to you and your employees. Employees will be more enthusiastic and willing to engage if they care about the charity.
Set realistic goals for the size of your company. Don’t aim to raise an unrealistic amount or donate too much profit, if you don’t succeed you feel deflated or if your company makes a hard loss you won’t be able to continue the positive work. Remember any amount raised is a win for the charity.
Be savvy in how you fundraise. There is no point in putting on a lavish event that takes enormous amounts of time and effort to only raise a small amount. Think about what campaign will create the best outcome for both your business and the charity.
Some ideas to get you started:
· Link company events to donations for a cause. Collect donations at company celebrations or summer get-togethers.
· Can your company help a charity with deliveries and promotional materials?
· Pro-bono services – does your company already provide a service that a charity could benefit from?
· Donation jar in office or on checkout to collect loose change
· Referral donations – let current clients know you will donate £x for every successful referral
· Staff volunteer days – you could pay your staff one day a year to volunteer for a charity of their choice
· Donate a portion of profits in a set period or for a certain product sold in that period e.g. for every xxxx sold in March we will donate £x to the charity
· Support/sponsor a charity event by purchasing or supplying items/food/prizes/supplies e.g. hot drink cups with your logo on
Statistic Resources: Case_for_Employee_EngagementV3.pdf (hubspot.net) Infographic: Small Business Charitable Giving – Big Impact on Local Communities | SCORE 63% of consumers prefer to purchase from purpose-driven brands, study finds | Marketing Dive