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Charity support can be so much more than fundraising

Over the last year, we’ve been working with local charity Woking & Sam Beare Hospices and are proud to be one of their Business Supporters for 2019/2020.  We’d love to see more businesses support charities, but what does this mean and why should you consider reaching out to your community?

What’s involved in supporting a charity?

Every charity has some generic needs, such as fundraising, and specific requirements where businesses have different ways of getting involved.  Our support of the hospices has included:

  • Engaging in fundraising activities, from fire walking to bike riding, dragon boat racing to running the London Marathon, there really is something for everyone whether individually or as a team.
  • Sharing our expertise with the charity’s team and encouraging our local business contacts to impart their knowledge on subjects as diverse as time management, Office 365, customer service, marketing and employee communications.
  • Attending the charity’s regular business breakfast and introducing additional guests who can learn more about the charity’s work.
  • Showing off our ‘best’ dance moves at the charity’s annual ball.

Why invest in charity support and corporate social responsibility in general?

Supporting a charity falls under the wider umbrella of corporate social responsibility (CSR), which encompasses ethical business and people practices, sustainability and environmental impact, and community outreach.  The latter, of course, doesn’t have to mean working with a charity (although we highly recommend it).  Volunteering in community organisations, sponsoring local projects or mentoring budding entrepreneurs are just a few ways companies can contribute to their communities.

While there’s no doubt that activities like this require a certain time and financial commitment, the act of getting involved and building stronger links with local people is incredibly valuable.  Connecting with your community not only benefits the people you reach out to, it can have a very positive effect on your business, including:

  • Learning from charities and other community organisations – for instance, Woking & Sam Beare Hospices has a fantastic, knowledgeable team with expertise that’s different to our own. We’re constantly learning new things from them, and vice versa.
  • Meeting other business supporters through charity events – although we’re obviously there to raise money, these events are a great way to build relationships.
  • Helping to galvanise other business relationships – as an example, business owners who attend the regular Henchards lunch see our charity support as a collective effort, something that brings us all closer together, at the same time raising awareness of what the hospice does.
  • As an opportunity to provide unique and meaningful opportunities to members of your team – as an example one of clients has given their team an extra day out of work to contribute to their local community. This adds value to team members, your employer brand as well as the charity or cause they support.

We’ll continue to support the hospices next year – bad dancing and all!  If you think a local charity might benefit from your (and your team’s) time and talent, why not make 2020 the year you reach out and get involved?  To explore other practical ways to build a better business and strengthen your business relationships, chat to Henchards.

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