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Benefits of a business supporting a charity

30 November 2018

Being a business owner means that there are always a lot of things that you need to think about, so it’s no wonder than many don’t consider the effects of supporting a charity. There are many reasons why supporting a charity is not only an extremely rewarding thing to do, but also great for business. It can sometimes seem like a very daunting and time consuming task; however there are lots of easy ways to begin.

Choosing a Charity

The first, most obvious place to start is to choose a charity to support. When deciding, you may already have a charity that is close to your heart for more personal reasons, which is great because you will enjoy the fundraising even more. However, if you don’t, consider the partnership to be almost an extension of your business, use what your company stands for to determine a charity that aligns with those values as this will reinforce and show your target audience, that you are committed to those values, for example if your committed to the growth of young adults through their career, you may want to support a charity who support young disadvantaged children. You should also ensure that staffs have some say in which charity the organisation supports as this will mean staff are more likely to support any fundraising efforts or if you do a have a personal preference on what charity you want to support, explain your reasons to the staff.

Marketing and PR

A great reason to support a charity is the PR and marketing opportunities that come with it, whether it is an article in the local news paper about how your business has raised an amazing amount of money, or a blog on your website about how a group of staff have taken on a difficult challenge, there are always opportunities to turn fundraising initiates in to brilliant ways to get your business some positive exposure. In turn this will also give you a wider reach as not only will your own audience be reading, but also people who are supporters of the charity, whether that is another business or an individual. As well as this you can also use charitable giving to market your business by sponsoring something that a charity is doing in order to reach an audience you are trying to target. If you are a B2B business, you may want to think about sponsoring the drinks at a corporate dinner or ball, you are likely to be on marketing materials as well as being on any materials that will be used on the night. This will gain you direct exposure to the right people as well as giving you the opportunity to use this for other marketing streams such as a news piece on your website.

Staff Retention

Working with a charity can also result in higher levels of employee retention, this is due to staff feeling more pride towards the employer and feeling as though they are making a difference to the community or the wider world (depending which charity you choose to support). As well as this fundraising activities often involve some aspect of team building which will boost team moral and make your work force form friendships beyond a working relationship. This can be in the form of organising in the workplace fundraising activities or deciding to enter a team in a sporty fundraiser that your chosen charity is organising. This can be really important when retaining staff as more and more businesses are trying to offer added value to their employees.

You may also want to consider putting a member of staff in charge on organising any fundraising activities. This will not only mean you can concentrate on day-to-day tasks but will only make sure staff are really getting involved.

Networking

Another reason to support a charity is the networking opportunities that come with it. Many often forget about this one as it doesn’t seem like something a charity can provide. However, being connected to a charity can offer great chances to meet exactly the right people. Generally when a charity holds an event or function targeted at businesses it will be the ‘important’ people within the businesses as they are the decision makers and they are the ones that can support the charity in a big way. Therefore attending these events is a great way to open a conversation with someone you have been wanted to talk to for a while because you already have mutual grounds to talk about through your support of a charity.

What now?

Now that you understand the benefits of supporting a charity through your business it is time to create a plan and put it into action. When doing this, try and involve your staff as much as possible either in the decision of which charity you are going to support or the fundraising activities that you are going to take part in. It is important that you think about what you are trying to gain from this as well, if it is marketing, make sure you are doing something you can shout about, something you can use across different channels, or if you want to interact with the other businesses that are supporting the charity, make sure you are attending events and functions where those people are going to be.

If you are struggling for ideas, generally charities will have fundraisers that be dedicated to supporting businesses who are fundraising for them. So once you have chosen who you want to support get in touch and they will be able to give you some inspiration or may even be able to send you out a fundraising pack.

The last and most important is that you and your staff are having fun! Remember why you are fundraising and ask the charity for an idea of what the money can be used for. This will make you and your staff even more proud of all the hard work you are putting in and is a great way to measure your efforts!

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