By Paul Rhodes, founder and creator of health, wellbeing and fundraising platform, WellGiving.
In 1889, industrialist Andrew Carnegie called upon the wealthy to use their fortunes to improve society. In doing so, he sparked a wave of charitable giving, becoming a leading philanthropist in the United States and British Empire, giving away much of his fortune to good causes.
Today, companies continue to recognise the immense benefits that charitable fundraising brings not only to their businesses, but also to their employees, customers and society as a whole.
With charities reeling from the effects of the cost-of-living crisis, and many remote and hybrid employees feeling more disconnected than ever from their teams, corporate fundraising has taken on an even greater degree of importance when it comes to social responsibility.
As we continue to place more emphasis on the social responsibilities of corporations, it has become essential for businesses to consider charitable giving as a way to benefit both their companies and communities.
Employees want to feel proud of the company and team they are a part of, and as such want to engage in initiatives that recognise social responsibility. This is especially true of millennial and generation Z workers, who want to see businesses connect with activism and demonstrate a real social impact.
Working towards a collective goal through fundraising for a charity can go a long way to improve both motivation and engagement, while building positive working relationships between individuals, teams and departments that may not have otherwise had a chance to connect with each other.
Additionally, by bringing employees to the forefront of fundraising efforts, allowing them to select the charities they want to fundraise for, and providing them with the resources and space to do so, businesses can get their staff invested and engaged with the entire process.
Attracting and retaining talent
The societal shift towards a strong commitment to corporate social responsibility means if businesses wish to attract the very best talent, they must demonstrate their commitment to creating a positive impact.
Building involvement and engagement through regular fundraising activities not only helps to attract the top talent, but also to retain it. The sense of pride that is instilled in employees working for a corporation with a clear commitment to philanthropic programmes does not just increase morale, it also boosts loyalty to an organisation, leading to far better retention rates.
It is not only employees who want to see businesses commit to charitable giving, but consumers, too. Growing numbers of consumers want to see businesses operate in a socially conscious way, and demonstrating your business’ commitment to charitable fundraising will in turn draw in audiences who share the same values.
Sponsoring charitable events or organising fundraising events will inevitably boost public awareness and public opinion of your organisation, while also positioning your business as a valuable part of the community. Consumers want to see corporations living by the values they espouse, and charitable giving does just this.
Businesses that are aligned with charitable giving and fundraising events will naturally attract public relations opportunities, which in turn raise an organisations’ profile both locally and nationally with positive media coverage.
The PR generated from these stories benefits businesses both internally and externally. It feeds into attracting and retaining employees, expands the reach of your business to new customers and clients, and demonstrates to stakeholders and business partners a proactive approach to corporate social responsibility.
Putting your money where your mouth is
It has never been more important for businesses both large and small to demonstrate their commitment to positive social change through charitable giving. Given the current climate of uncertainty, corporations can make real positive change through these commitments, and what’s more, they can benefit themselves in the process by bringing teams together, boosting morale and generating public awareness.