Fundraising may not add to a company’s margins, however a CSR initiative can benefit your business in a number of ways. Having a fundraising or corporate social responsibility initiative can actually improve financial performance, brand image and employee engagement.
There’s strength in numbers
Findings from Global Justice show that in terms of revenue 69 of the top 100 economies in the world are corporations, with companies like Apple, Shell and Walmart having more income than the likes of Russia or Saudi Arabia. Companies have such a huge amount of power and influence, that they could have a massive impact if they actively supported social and environmental causes.
Even on a smaller scale, with the right CSR strategy, a medium sized business employing less than 100 people can have far more influence than the same number of individuals fundraising for their own chosen charity. Companies have resources at their disposal to fundraise and raise awareness which are not available to most individuals. You can encourage philanthropic behaviour by offering opportunities like volunteer days on top of annual leave entitlement, or even offer to match donations made by employees.
Corporations are always looking for ways to reduce their costs and excess stock can be a big factor. It’s reported that the UK retail sector produces around 10 million tonnes of waste every year and this is valued at an estimated £17 billion. Many retailers create products that don’t meet the company’s quality control guidelines, which means they cannot be sold to the public. If businesses are looking for a cost-effective way to raise funds for a charity, they could do so by selling this stock that would otherwise go to waste.
There are a number of non-profits and businesses that are paving the way to reduce wastage, such as Gail's Bakery, who give food that would have otherwise gone to waste, to The Felix Project. The London-based charity collects surplus food from over 90 supermarkets and wholesalers, that would have been thrown out, and then distribute these items to charities across London, helping victims of food poverty.
Motivate your workforce
Corporate fundraising can improve employee engagement and motivation, with a staggering 88% of millennials stating that working for an organisation that helps make an impact on social and environmental issues makes their job more rewarding. Corporate fundraising is a fantastic way for companies to present themselves in a better light, as a company that is philanthropic and one employees would be proud to work for. The key is to make sure that employees feel involved on all levels, which can be a challenge when working for a large global organisation, but is a great way to unite various departments and offices.
Try to get your employees engaged in fundraising by asking which charities they would like to support and see if anyone is doing any personal fundraising.
Givergy ran a #GivingTuesday campaign across our 7 offices, encouraging team members to bring in food to be donated to a local food bank. This was a great way to bring the various global offices together and motivate employees to take part. Some offices chose to give to their nearest shelter, and others instead chose a cause they felt passionate about. It created a friendly, competitive atmosphere in the run up to Giving Tuesday, with offices sharing photos of their donations internally and also opened up topics of discussion, building relationships within the team in the process.
Position your company as one that cares
Making a commitment to a cause and actually generating funds will improve the way people perceive your company. Choosing a charity that is somehow related to your industry can be hugely beneficial in improving the public perception of your business.
A 2013 survey found that companies could potentially attract new customers as a direct result of supporting a charity, with the majority of people saying they would be more likely to purchase from a company they knew did work in the local community. Cosmetics retailer Lush sell a cream called the ‘charity pot’ with 100% of the price (minus VAT) going to the their own charity the SLush Fund. Knowing that a large portion of the price is going to a worthwhile cause is a great incentive for your customers to purchase from you.
Corporate fundraising done right can benefit all parties involved by energizing employees and helping non-profits. For the company it’s a great way to attract new customers, act as an incentive on purchases and build a better brand picture.
If you have unwanted gifts, merchandise or hospitality tickets, use them as part of your CSR strategy with these tips: