Whether it’s something as small as lending a helping hand to a friend in need, or a monthly donation to a charity close to your heart – there’s no doubt about it, helping other feels good. With so many worthy causes in the world in need of help, it’s unsurprising that many of us get overwhelmed when it comes to doing our bit for charity. It’s even less surprising that most businesses don’t know where to begin where charitable giving as a business is concerned.
If you’re a business owner, you’re in a unique position to make a tangible difference to a cause that matters to you. We know, it may not seem like a critical business activity but hear us out – the benefits of being a socially responsible business in today’s climate are vast.
With the rise of Corporate Social Responsibility, or CSR for short, there’s an increased pressure on businesses to have a positive impact on the community. In fact, consumers actively expect this from businesses now and more often than not, will seek out businesses with morals and heart.
Our very own UrbanWorkSpace CEO, Gerald Manton, is a big believer in getting involved in charity work and is even Vice Chairman of the Solihull Round Table, a well-known community fundraising organisation in Birmingham. Having managed to grow their annual fireworks events from 10k visitors to a whopping 30k, and with an ambitious goal to raise £100k in 2018, Gerald’s involvement in the Round Table has garnered a lot of positive attention as a result.
In fact, socially responsible businesses are not only preferred by customers, but also attract collaboration from other businesses. Investors are more likely to support a business that has a good reputation and rapport with their community, bonus points if you’ve got some great PR stories on the go as a result.
If you’re not already convinced that your business needs a CSR initiative for 2018, here are some of the main benefits to giving back as a business:
It’s great for PR
While CSR is most definitely not all about becoming a PR exercise, PR has a big part to play in raising awareness about all the great stuff you’re doing as a business. Getting some press coverage not only inspires employees and bolsters them to do more, but it also lets your community know that your business cares.
While donating and sponsoring is a wonderful way to show your support, more hands on activities like volunteering your team to help build a community centre or getting involved in sponsored sporting activities make for a more compelling story to tell through the press.
Your employees will love it
Studies have shown that employees working for a business with a CSR initiative are more engaged at work. Plus, if you ever decide to grow your team – your efforts definitely won’t go unnoticed and will likely do you a lot of favours where attraction is concerned.
Not only will CSR strengthen your company’s values, but its activities make for excellent team bonding too. Gerald Manton has experienced this first hand with his Round Table work and has come out of it as part of a close-knit community that works better together.
There are tax benefits
Did you know there’s less at stake financially when you give to charity as a business? If you’re a limited company, you get to pay less corporation tax when you donate to charities. Luckily this also goes for time, if you and your team take a day out to help the homeless, or for a charity sponsored marathon – you get to deduct the cost of this as a business expense.
As Gerald puts it: “It really doesn’t matter your motivations or reasons for doing charity work, what matters is that you’re helping your local community and making a difference to the lives of others.”
Ultimately, it doesn’t have to be a grand gesture to make a difference and you’ll be glad to know that you don’t actually need to part with huge sums of money either. You can start off with a fun activity like a company bake sale or a sponsored mud run (not for the faint hearted!) and then build your way up to larger events and days out of the office helping those in need. At the end of the day, however you choose to get involved, whether you do a little or a lot -it truly is the taking part that counts.