Corporate Social Responsibility is increasingly less about making donations to charity, and more about developing real relationships with organisations that matter to your business and your staff. Communicating to the public, your potential customers, the fact that you are an integral part of their community can pay dividends for your business.
Supporting your staff to give up a little time each week to help out in the community can bring real benefits. Staff can get the opportunity to learn new skills, meet new people and promote your business as a good corporate citizen.
- Reading in schools - many primary schools use volunteer helpers to assist children learning and practising their reading skills
- Supporting older people - a range of local projects, for example lunch clubs and transport schemes, rely on volunteer support to keep going
- Supporting young entrepreneurs - Schools and Youth Organisations often need business expertise to develop schemes such as Young Enterprise
- Community Action projects - many voluntary groups have ideas to make a real difference but lack the manpower to put these ideas into action, a group of staff can help decorate a community centre or renovate a garden in a day
- Pro Bono work - if you have a particular professional expertise such as law, personnel or accountancy, you could consider donating professional time to support a local charity which might be struggling to access the best advice
- Work Experience placements - encourage young people to follow a particular career by offering work experience placements to school students
- Staff fundraising for local causes - a fundraising campaign can be immense fun and promote staff morale, as well as making a real difference to a crucial local service
- Supporting local projects - hundreds of groups struggle to maintain their day-to-day budgets and depend on donations and grants to keep going, has your company got a donations budget, however small - you could be their lifeline
- Setting up a local endowment fund - if you and your colleagues are passionate about a particular issue, you could set up your own fund to support it, and even have the fund managed and administered for you
- Sponsorship - the Council and voluntary groups communicate every day with a huge range of people throughout the district - these people could be your customers - many companies use a proportion of their marketing budgets to support sponsorship initiatives such as publications, awards or competitions, roundabouts and even litter bins
If you are interested in talking through any of the suggestions above, or would like details of organisations with which you could develop a relationship, please contact Andrew Nicholls, Economic Development Officer, on 0118 9746018.
GWE Corporate Social Responsibility research
A report prepared by GWE Research which shows the findings of a detailed survey investigation of small to medium sized businesses based in Berkshire: The report shows:
- Awareness and attitudes towards CSR and contribution
- Current SME participation in related activities
- Barriers faced by SME’s in contributing more
- Support required to help SME’s overcome barriers