‘International Day of Charity’ will be observed this year today, Tuesday 5th September. It’s a day dedicated to raising awareness and providing a platform for all things charity-related. Originally declared an awareness day back in 2012 by the United Nations, it has since developed into a successful campaign which spans the globe and reaches millions of individuals.
All sectors and industries are encouraged to take part, in a bid to increase solidarity, social responsibility, visibility and public support for charity. For businesses, there are numerous ways to get involved, no matter who you are or how much time you have. Employers and employees nowadays take corporate social responsibility (CSR) policies very seriously and put a lot of value on the success and results of such strategies. In light of the awareness day, we look at the benefits of an effective CSR strategy and how you can make yours even more fruitful.
1. Staff engagement
Getting employees involved directly with the corporate partnership can open lots of doors. It helps them understand the benefits of the corporate relationship, see results first-hand and is a great way to further align your corporate values with your employees. It also helps staff to feel as though the business and those higher up really care about the bottom line. Bespoke hospitality provider Bennett Hay teamed up with Benefacto, the social enterprise that engages professional people in meaningful volunteering settings across the capital city.
Linz Darlington, founder and CEO of Benefacto has seen an improvement in employee engagement for those who decide to take part: “By allowing staff the opportunity to volunteer in the community, as part of their day to day working life, many of our corporate clients managed to developed a meaningful programme that’s also boosted their employee engagement.
2. Long term thinking
A strong CSR strategy drives the overall growth of your business. Instead of focusing on solely financial, shorter term goals, the strategy has the ability to strengthen a company’s longer term interests, often looking beyond the business itself into environmental or societal benefits. Change management consultants Advanced Workplace Associates, for example, have hosted ‘Workplace Week’ for six years in a row now. The week includes an annual dinner and convention that aims to raise money for BBC’s Children in Need. This year the week begins on the 13th November. AWA’s industry image has strengthened as a result of their commitment to the charity and they have raised a substantial amount for Children in Need over the years.
3. Develop your employees
As an SME, design and build firm, Active believe that creating opportunities and providing employees with a sense of direction can give them invaluable skills that they may not learn through their day-to-day job roles. Their CSR strategy emphasises the importance of contributing to the local community, and as such they have been involved with a number of charity and community projects over the years. This year they were nominated for the Pride of Reading as a result of helping a local family in need.
Angela Love, director at Active says;
“At Active, we believe that creating an environment where everyone is valued, trusted, rewarded and empowered can go great lengths to combatting Creating opportunities for advancement as well as natural career path s. Not everyone is driven by money or career paths; identify each individual driver and tailor their role to support their desires.”
Get involved with International Day of Charity this year via Facebook or Twitter by sharing your stories and examples. Follow the events live through the hashtag #charityday and #charitydayun