Why business should be part of a community

Valuing community is key to Corporate Social Responsibility and achievable by partnering with a charity or community group.  Choosing the right partner is important as there are huge benefits to both parties.

What are the benefits to my business?

In a recent UK survey, 82% said they would choose to buy from or work for an organisation with links to a charity or community group.  Involvement helps define your corporate identity as ethical and trustworthy, providing competitive advantage in your marketplace.

How will be team benefit?

Businesses have found that charitable involvement helps them attract quality staff and who stay longer.  Giving back to society through the workplace reduces pressure on home life and can seem less daunting when you volunteer with colleagues.

Being involved in fundraising or supporting charities enhances pride in the workplace and provides a sense of belonging.  It offers great opportunities for team building, with departments and locations working together for a common outcome.

Often, volunteers learn new skills, taking on leadership roles, managing finances and budgets or getting involved in more practical aspects – decorating and building.  These can then be transferred back to the workplace, creating a better trained, more motivated workforce.

Charitable or community activity provides great PR opportunities, reaching new markets.  The London Marathon, currently sponsored by Virgin Money, previously by Gillette, Mars, ADT, Nutrasweet and Flora demonstrates that big brands understand the benefits of association with charitable fundraising.

How can we get involved?

There are many ways to be involved with charities and community groups.  The simplest is to donate a percentage of annual profits.  Staff can host internal events such as coffee mornings or quiz nights in aid of your chosen organisation.  Alternatively, they could get involved in organised events such as the MacMillan Coffee Morning or Cancer Research Race for Life.

Charities need expertise and practical help as well as money, John Lewis are working with Samaritans providing retail expertise to shops.

Who should I partner with?

This partnership should be approached as a business agreement, find an organisation you believe in, is relevant to your business and doesn’t promote a political agenda or pursue questionable or controversial practices.  

Being involved in a community group or charity makes business sense.  The difficult question is which one to partner with!

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