As a business, it’s very important to give back. There are many ways you can support charities and projects through your business which can be beneficial to your business as well as knowing you are helping others.
Who do you want to support?
Consider carefully the type of charity you want to support and the best way to get the most out of the relationship between you and the charity. What kind of charity would be best aligned with your business?
- For example – an optician might support the RNIB
- A wealth and retirement planning company might support AGE UK
If you are a UK wide company or a business serving customers internationally you will want to think carefully about a charity which has that coverage.
If you are based in a local geographical area, getting involved with a local charity or project gives you the opportunity to give something back into your local community. It also raises your profile in the area.
We have chosen a few local charities to support and these include – Level Trust, Keech Hospice Care, DLDD Trust ( Don’t Let Dunstable Die) and Mary Seacole Housing Association. We have organised quiz nights, bingo nights, cheese and wine evening, pancake races and coffee mornings. We also support events as much as possible by attending or sponsoring or both. Our staff are also encouraged to engage and support our chosen charities.
Building your business into the community
Community life as we used to know it is dwindling and businesses whatever their size can make a big difference to a charity or projects by getting involved.
Your business is part of the community and being part of a community is vital for any business. We live in a world which seems so materialistic at times. With so many small shops and business closing all the time it feels as if the community spirit has begun to close too. Through supporting local events, projects and charities, you will understand the needs of the community and be able to find ways to meet them.
It’s hard to buy that kind of market research anywhere, but almost impossible for many businesses. Customers are more likely to support businesses they feel are engaged and understand the needs of others.
It can be difficult to sustain a business but being involved with a charity is one way to ensure that your business thrives in your community as you are helping and doing something to build a community!
You could either give ad-hoc support to several or one charity or choose one charity per year and any fundraising or support goes to that charity and then change it annually.
The amount of time will depend on how much you have!
Being involved provides you with additional marketing opportunities.
Examples of how your business can support charities or local projects and how to maximise the publicity.
Take part or organise an event
For example – a race, abseil, skydive or organise a quiz, race night or party this will provide you with additional marketing and PR opportunities. Plus, brand awareness of your company.
Publicity for you and the charity
Include your charitable involvement in newsletters, brochures, signs, displays and adverts, press releases and inform local radio.
Mention it on your website, profile the charity and the reason for your support add their logo (you must get permission first) and a link to their website. Ask them to reciprocate.
Add to your social media sites and use this as a way of spreading the word about the cause.
Getting involved in high profile causes might attract additional media attention. You might want the charity to add your company name to a project you support or sponsor if the donation is significant.
Ask the charity to add your details in their literature. You can make offers to the charity staff and their users if this is applicable with your business.
Donate a percentage of sales or raffle prizes.
Donating a percentage of sales to a charity often works well – maybe certain months of the year. For example, if you are in health and beauty you might want to donate during Breast Cancer awareness month. Or if you have a business aimed at men you could choose Prostrate Cancer. Consider donating to charities that have an audience aligned with your business. Create a club of people who support the charity and your business. Donating raffle or auction prizes.
Organise an annual event.
Create seasonal offers
Create special packages at key times of the year Christmas, Easter that either you sell, or the charity sell on your behalf with profits all or part donated.
Work with charities to find out what support they need.
Charities want to grow their support as much as you do so brainstorm ways with them you can support each other. They expect to give support to businesses in return for their support.