Building a Socially Responsible Business (Choosing a Charity/NFP)
My last blog was an introduction to Building a socially responsible business and in it I promised that I’d expand on the subject a little more.
I’ve talked about charitable or philanthropic social responsibility. About making the decision to partner with a charity and what you can do to support your chosen charity (or nfp).
There are a few more things I’d like to focus on:
1. How to chose a charity/nfp
What should your decision making process look like? What needs to be considered to make sure that the partnership is as productive and effective as it can be.
Where to find the perfect charity partner for your business
2. The benefits to your business
How your business can benefit from building a partnership with a charity or not-for-profit organisation and how you can maximise the opportunities.
3. The benefits to you and your team
The personal advantages that you and your team can get out of a partnership with the right organisation.
I will talk more about each of these points in separate blogs so make sure you keep your eye out for the whole series.
4. Finding the right charity/nfp
There are around 170,000 registered charities in England and Wales. In addition to these there are hundreds of not-for-profit organisations of all sizes from constituted organisations run entirely by volunteers to large Community Interest Companies (CIC’s).
So how do you go about choosing the right one as a partner for your business?
Think about what is important to you. What are your company, or personal, values? In choosing a charity or nfp make sure that their values are aligned with your own.
For example if one of your values is environmental then you might chose an environmental charity.
If you like to work closely with and support your ,local community then a small, local charity that works with your local community might be a good choice.
Believe in it
Know why you are supporting this charity/nfp. You may have selected it because of your business or personal values or it may be because you, your family or a member of your team (or their family) have personal experience with this organisation.
Personal Interest or Attraction
This is a bit more of a personal decision and involves something that is an interest to you, for example animals or an emergency service like Wales Air Ambulance or Mountain Rescue.
Each organisation will have a ‘cause’. This should be easy enough to find and if it’s a registered charity it will; be listed on under the charity details.
Local or National
When we think about certain ‘causes’ like animal welfare or breast cancer for example there are certain large charities that will immediately spring to mind. Although these are great charities to support they may not be the best ‘fit’ for your business, particularly if your business is small.
If your business operates in the local area (or a particular area) and you have no desire, need or capacity to grow outside of this area there it makes sense to support a charity/nfp that operates in this area.
If your business operates on a national level then I recommend choosing a national charity/nfp but consider the size of your business, the level of your donation/support and select one that you can make a real difference to.
What and where is the reach for your chosen charity/NFP? Not just in location and demographics but how does it reach its supporters.
How many social media followers are there, are they the same groups and markets as your own target customers.
Range of opportunities
We talked a little bit on the first blog about opportunities and things you can do to support your chosen charity/nfp. The important thing is that your partnership will offer you the type of opportunities that you want. Choosing a charity/nfp isn’t just about making donations, it’s about developing long-term mutually beneficial partnerships, therefore, you need the opportunities to support them/ be involved that are right for you and your team.
Where to start in finding the right charity/NFP for you and your business
You may already have an organisation in mind. This might be a charity yourself or a member of your family have had experience of, or a particular cause you feel passionate about.
You should get in touch with the charity and get a point of contact.
Customers, local businesses, local community or just people that you know will all have experiences with different charities and voluntary organisations.
Local Council for Voluntary Services
Each county in the UK has local voluntary services group who should be able to help. If you’re not sure of yours try one of the National Organisations who may be able to help you find them:
NCVO (National Council for Voluntary Organisations)
WCVA (Wales Council for Voluntary Action)
SCVO (Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations)
NICVA (Northern Ireland Council for Voluntary Action)
Websites like Charity Choice have a whole list of charities which you can search by location or cause – everything from Aged to Visually impaired.
Providing your organisation is a registered charity then you will find details on the Charity Commission website.
You can search for your charity by name or you should be able to find their Registered Charity Number on their website or other communication (this is a legal requirement).
Details for your chosen charity which can be found on the Charity Commission website include: Trustees, contact details, governance and financial history.
If you would like help in finding, contacting or liaising with a charity or would like some support in building a successful partnership I’d be happy to help. You can contact me on firstname.lastname@example.org
See our Corporate page for more details.
The next blogs in this series will be out soon!
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This blog is from part of a presentation Tracey did recently for Women Working Together. If you’d like to hear Tracey talk more about Social Responsibility or would like to have a chat about the best steps for your business please get in touch with her on email@example.com.