All charities, from the established to the fledgling, need support. Yet, despite the good and valuable work they do helping their communities, many charities struggle to raise sufficient funds to continue helping those people who are most in need.
From losing financial support to failing to get grants, many charities face a constant battle to raise the vital funds they need. Which is where businesses have an important role to play.
So why don’t businesses get involved? In fact, supporting local projects allows your business to make a significant difference to the community and has tangible benefits for both you and the charity.
Here are five ways your business can benefit from helping charities.
It can boost your retention rates
Pick charitable projects that are close to your employees’ hearts and you’ll soon find you have a fully committed team of volunteers willing to support your company’s charitable efforts.
Working with charities – and getting your employees involved – is a no-brainer. The UK is the most charitable nation in Europe and 33 per cent of people already volunteering in their spare time, so if you haven’t yet set up some form of charity work, do it now.
Businesses struggle if staff turnover is high – it causes significant problems. Supporting charities is one way to manage employee churn – it gives your workers some meaningful and valuable to devote their efforts to, and encourages them to stay with you.
It enhances your image
Supporting charities can boost your reputation in your local community. Most charities operate on a local level, regularly running events in their areas. Getting involved and supporting such projects helps people connect you not only with doing business but helping people, too.
After all, most consumers favour companies that work with charities. A study by Foresters found 89 per cent of consumers think businesses should support charities and their local communities. What’s more, 82 per cent said that when offered a choice between identical products or services, their purchasing decision would be affected by whether a company engaged with charities and its local community.
It helps you forge links and connections
Working with charities sees you learn more about what’s going on in your area. It gets you to street level and gives you a unique insight into what’s really going on, whatever the cause of the charity’s support.
Crucially, this kind of experience will see you meet people, organisations and companies you might not otherwise connect with. These could be other charities, local ‘heroes’, suppliers, other business, investors, all sorts. Who knows what might spring from these exciting new relationships?
It can improve morale
At some point or another, all companies suffer from low morale. If low morale is allowed to set in then it can significant negative effects on a business: low productivity, staff absence and internal arguments to name just a few.
But by working with charities, you can work towards improving staff morale, increasing employee involvement and making the office a generally better and happier place to be.
According to a Deloitte study on volunteering, younger employees are “twice as likely to rate their corporate culture as very positive” if their company was involved in workplace volunteer activities.
It helps you stand out from the crowd
Want to be different? Then work with charities. While your competitors might be ruthlessly focused on making profit, you can appeal to consumers as a friendlier, better-intentioned brand by showcasing the work you do with local charities.
You don’t need to shout from the rooftops about it, but some form of promotion of your charitable efforts – perhaps in the form of a press release, some blog posts or social media updates – is a valuable way of showing customers that you are about a lot more than just making money.
Do you have an ideas for how businesses can benefit from supporting charities? Share them with us.