For many companies that are navigating the world of CSR for the first time, the gains can be tremendous but the learning curve is correspondingly high. One of the main challenges will be to find a charity partner that will support your giving objectives and work with you successfully over the longer term for mutual gains. So how can you get this right?
It is essential that a company chooses a cause that makes sense to its business and the passion of its stakeholders and the right charity partner who can deliver clearly defined aims. When done correctly, there will be profound bottom-line benefits and maximum societal benefit. Here are some tips to getting it right.
Pick the Ideal Charity
Look at a charity that matches your aims, size and outlook. If you are a small business, you might want to work with a local charity that has particular meaning or resonance to the communities you serve. A national brand may wish to partner with a national charity with a broader scope. Think about your own values – for example, a family-focused charity for a family-run SME. Your industry is also a factor – many energy companies choose charities which provide energy help to customers, and water companies may choose charities which provide clean water access in developing countries.
Look for Transparency
Business today demands transparency, and this is particularly necessary in the third sector, which has come under fire in recent years for contentious issues such as director pay. Be very clear that your chosen CSR charity partner commits to transparency in the same way that you do, and look for a charity that is clear about its approach to operating in an open and honest way.
Make sure you are clear on how any charity of interest will allocate received funds to maximise impact. You need to be sure that your efforts will attain their maximum value and that you can confidently report on successes to your stakeholders. The right charity will be able to clearly explain and evidence their approach. For example, child sponsorship charities are now far clearer on how sponsorship money is spent so that donors know exactly what proportion of donations will go to advertising, marketing and administration costs rather than the end sponsor.
Synergy and Connection
It is also vital that your chosen charity has a connection and synergy that resonates with your organisation and your employees. This ensures that your people will be motivated and engaged to support it with their time and energy, and this will maximise the funds raised and the final value that is unlocked from the partnership.
Seek to approach your CSR charity partner selection in a strategic, measured way – much in the way that you would any other supplier or partner – and involve a panel of internal people to help make the right decision. Of course, it will be a final blend of heart and mind, but with the knowledge that this decision will be crucial to your CSR strategy – and your overall business strategy – and therefore it cannot be taken lightly or without care and due diligence.
Next, ensure you are set up for maximum success. Give as you Live offer a free internal fundraising Hub, a one-stop shop for internal fundraising. In one place you will be able to clearly demonstrate who you are supporting, why your business finds supporting this charity important and further information about the charity and its mission. The Hub will display a Live total of the funds raised, all of your employees will be able to access direct donations, fundraising pages and ways to raise funds online. This platform will boost employee engagement and act as a great display of your business’ charitable involvement.
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