People buy from businesses who share their principles.
Getting involved with fundraising activities can be helpful to a business in many ways - and help companies improve their employee wellbeing, brand reputation and even overall long-term sustainability.
It's increasingly important to address how your company values fit with your customers' values.
Research from Ipsos tells us that:
- People are looking for signals that any investment they're making is aligned with their own values
- Making socially responsible choices brings satisfaction and emotional comfort
60% of consumers say they tend to buy from brands that reflect their own ethics
Creating this 'shared value' is relevant to the discussion around Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR). Business strategists Porter and Kramer say that when companies start to use philanthropy well by helping charities, they can improve their competitiveness.
Partnering with charities that fit your company values (and fundraising on their behalf), can be a first step to managing business health across many impact areas:
- Social and Communities
- Employee wellbeing and Productivity
- Environmental and Brand Reputation
What does value-aligned fundraising look like, and how can it help?
If companies fail to address the social value of their activities as part of Environmental Social and Governance (ESG) commitments, they can risk losing contracts or limiting their growth. Understanding consumer behaviours is as much part of resilience, as developing robust supply chains.
Companies working in public-sector contracts benefit from partnering with charities who deliver social value - and the UK government actively encourages business to do more of this social impact work, if they're to be successful during tender processes.
Tackling social impact through charity partners demonstrates a corporate purpose that delivers:
- A sustainable outlook for investors and stakeholders
- Growth in confidence and trust across the whole business
- Transparent ESG Goals and credentials
Businesses exist within communities, not in isolation from them.
If company culture ignores it's community, businesses risk losing talent to competitors, alongside negatively impacting engagement and trust across employees. Workplace attitudes and wellbeing can be directly influenced by corporate giving.
"Companies that want to improve their culture should be organising charitable opportunities for their employees" - Entrepreneur.com
Activities engaging with employees that reflect their concerns and interests within local communities like volunteering, skills time and money are some of the straightforward and rewarding ways to start listening to the people that influence your culture.
Community Foundations or groups can connect businesses with charitable causes aligned to your culture - innovative projects can engage a workforce. Community Foundation for Surrey encourages individuals and companies to pool their donations into a network of 'Area funds' - allowing those that want to do good at a very local level, to see the impact of their generosity within their communities.
When company culture is positively nurtured, businesses gain a competitive edge when it comes to recruitment and talent retention. When cultural values and purpose connect well - employee engagement benefits, together with wellbeing, and ultimately productivity.
It's worth saying again that customers buy from value-aligned businesses.
Ignoring concerns or perceptions surrounding a product may damage your reputation, and ultimately financial outlook. As people choose to buy from others.
Acts of generosity through charity fundraising partnerships give companies a way to show they understand consumer issues and values.
Every industry will have its own barriers. Take the financial world as an example. Large retail banks are often seen as cold, corporate entities, whose main purpose is to reward shareholders. Add into the mix banking bailouts and fraud scandals and you have damaged reputations, and lower public trust.
Supporting social issues that relate to your industry is a good way to demonstrate culture to your stakeholders, and tackle perceptions. The partnership between Lloyds Banking Group and Mental Health UK has raised over £16mn raised since 2017 and supported 3,900 people. By offering training, support and advice Lloyds acknowledges the impact financial problems can have on mental health, and through customer and colleague fundraising, it's helped the charity set up a first nationwide debt advice service.
When companies act with generosity or altruism they show a willingness to look beyond the bottom line.
Trust and reputation in brands can grow, charities can benefit financially and strategically.
When a business aligns itself with a cause, or charity, the benefits can be multiple.
Culture, community and business stability all benefit.
Our Donation Station is designed to help companies align themselves better with charitable causes and reach their audiences through strong supporter relationships.
Ask us how we do this.
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Topics from this blog: Corporate Fundraising