Businesses are not solely good for their owners. A healthy, stable business provides jobs for its employees, tax revenue for the government, and often valuable, important products and services to their customers – whether businesses or individual consumers. In a social context, businesses can do even more good, supporting communities and charities local to their operations. In these instances, businesses can actually help charities raise money, raise awareness and change lives, for the good of all parties concerned. There is now an increasing expectation on businesses to behave in a socially responsible way, and many are actively choosing to make whatever contribution they can. But in what ways can businesses help charitable organizations do good?
Perhaps the most straightforward way in which businesses can help charities in their local area is to raise funds or give money directly. For example, where an optical store donates to local and national charity. Fundraising is always important to charities, who invariably depend on donations to continue to do the good work they do. Companies are in the fortunate position of already having resources, or having the infrastructure to raise money on behalf of a charity of their choosing. Some companies choose to send straight donations, whereas others will look to raise funds from their staff or from their customers for a separate donation. This is all extremely helpful for charities, giving them access to the funds they need to keep the lights on and continue on their mission.
Aside from simply raising money, businesses can also provide strong support networks for charities, including access to staff and infrastructure for furthering their goals. For example, many large professional services firms provide work on a pro bono basis, which can be immensely useful to charities. Additionally, businesses can support the administrative requirements of charities across individual campaigns, and can be generally a good asset for the often smaller charities they assist. In this sense, businesses have a real, active role to play in supporting communities, and the charities that do such great, consistent work within them.
There is another main way in which businesses can help, in the form of PR and awareness. For many charities, their main aim is to raise awareness of their causes, and to build up a public profile surrounding the issues they tackle. Businesses can help with this. When businesses assist charities, they often do so with the support of a marketing and PR team, who will take the business and the charity message to a wider audience. While this isn’t always considered a direct form of support from the business community, because of the element of self-interest, it can be massively useful in driving secondary donations and raising the profile of the cause or campaign concerned.
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Businesses of all sizes contribute extensively to communities across the country and the wider world. Through their contributions on a social and financial level, companies are working with charities and individuals to change the way we approach tackling societal problems. Whatever the charity, businesses can make a significant difference to how it functions and achieves its aims.