In a world where businesses are waking up to the importance of effective social responsibility and international companies are regularly teaming up with A-list celebrities to create impactful global campaigns, it is easy for smaller businesses to feel overwhelmed.
But effective Social Good should not just be left to the corporate giants. Studies have shown that in order to build a team of dedicated, loyal staff, companies should invest in a long-term strategy and you don’t have to be a mega corporation to make a positive impact in the community. Social good should be a priority for any business, regardless of the size.
Here are some tips on easy ways to incorporate Social Good into your business model without the need to enlist the help of an A-lister!
1. Keep it on brand
Consider your company’s mission, products, services and stakeholders. What do you already do to give back and how can you level this up? The best Social Good strategies align with a company’s pre-existing message and services. For example, Monzo, the popular banking app launched a feature which prevented users struggling with gambling addictions to carry out transactions with bookmakers.
They already had the technology to track spending and help users save money by restricting access to certain ‘pots’, they considered how they could use this to help their customers and the new feature was born. Over 25,000 customers signed up to the feature in the first 4 months and gambling transactions went down by 70%.
This campaign made sense as it played into their mission statement that ‘Monzo makes money work for everyone’ and their aim to give their customers greater control over their finances. You don’t need to be a big company like Monzo to consider the services your company already offers and how these can be used to help users or address a problem in the community.
2. Team up
Once you have identified the cause your company intends to address, do some research into the organisations that are already working in this field. They will know a lot more about this issue than you do and a successful charity/corporate partnership is an ideal opportunity for businesses to tap into the networks and information charities already possess to make a greater impact, and for charities to gain from additional publicity and access to a wider audience.
An example of this is Barratt Developments’ partnership with St Mungo’s charity to tackle homelessness in Scotland. The collaboration was launched by a donation to the charity which would secure funding for two Housing Management and Letting Officers for a year. These officers would work with 50 families and individuals at risk of homelessness to move them into a property they could call home.
3. Offer employees volunteering opportunities
Allowing your employees a certain number of days of paid leave to undertake volunteering opportunities is a great way to boost employee morale, help them develop professional and leadership skills and foster loyalty to the company.
A 2013 study showed that 42% of employees reported that an organisation’s participation in charitable activities influence their decision to work there and it has been shown that 85% of employees who volunteer feel more positive about their employer overall.
Employee volunteering schemes are truly beneficial for all involved: they help the company to attract new staff (especially the younger generations) and reach more clients and align to stakeholder goals while the employee may feel better appreciated as they have the chance to develop skills outside of work and give back to a cause they believe in.
4. Think small
By far the most effective Social Good strategies are those that include long-term goals, however if this is too much for your company at the moment, you can still make an impact on a smaller scale.
- Consider making socially responsible switches, for example swap out incandescent office lights for energy saving LED bulbs and move to a green energy provider.
- Make recycling a priority in your company and have clearly labeled recycling bins scattered throughout your space. Consider going paperless or otherwise reduce your paper use and recycle old ink cartridges through schemes like recycle4charity.com which donate £1 to your chosen charity for every bag of empties sent back to them.
- Sign up for Work for Good, a brilliant fundraising platform which helps small businesses donate to charity through sales.
You can further encourage a mentality of giving in your company by matching donations that your employees give to their chosen charities each year.
Social Good is an integral part of business today, but it doesn’t need to be complicated and overwhelming. How will your company get involved?
Written by Betty Henderson