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Tara Daynes

Tara Daynes HR


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Blog: Charity partnerships – Benefitting from philanthropy


Corporate Social Responsibility isn’t a new thing. But certainly it has a new face these days (usually a pink, puffy, sweaty one from running sponsored marathons).

Now that we’re all credit-crunched, coughing up charity cash donations is happening less – but actually that is no bad thing.
Why? Well, for many reasons, not least that financial philanthropy is being replaced by more active initiatives, such as Charity Partnerships, that are mutually beneficial. So here are some of the many ways that you can improve your staff (and therefore business) performance through working with a charity!
Charity partnerships can involve activities such as cause-related marketing, fundraising events, sponsorship, volunteering etc. They can provide opportunities for teambuilding and skills development, resources, ideas and support, as well as improving ER, PR and profile-raising on both sides!
CSR activity can be a huge source of employee engagement, particularly if your employees are genuinely committed to the charities you support. Taking part in fun, non-work-related activities is a great way to keep your staff upbeat when times are tough.
Nothing says ‘team bonding’ like sharing a bath of baked beans in a good cause (and it’s a lot cheaper than some corporate ‘outward bound’ shenanigans.) It can also be a way of  empowering your staff, e.g. by involving them in choosing what causes to support, what activities to get involved with etc.  
If you want your business to improve its reputation in the local community, a bit of media coverage for your fundraising successes or events can go a long way (and your staff will no doubt be chuffed to bits to get their picture in the local paper!)
Time, effort and creativity
It can also help you to polish your organisational halo in the eyes of not just potential clients, but also potential staff – so contributing to recruitment and retention.
If you recruit staff who share your corporate values and your commitment to certain charitable partnerships, they are much more likely to be loyal and connected to the organisation at a deeper level.
Some charity partnerships can also make a big difference to the way you manage certain staff issues, such as sickness absence.
For example, charities that support particular areas of health and wellbeing or specific illnesses (such as mental health, heart disease or terminal illnesses) can provide huge amounts of specialist support and guidance on how to manage those issues within the workplace.
CSR is part of the Investors In People Wider Framework, so if you are looking to gain IiP accreditation beyond the core Standard, this is definitely an area worth investigating. But it needs to be strategic – tie in your CSR activities with what the business is trying to achieve, your corporate Values, company mission etc.
Partnering with an animal welfare charity if you are a burger chain might be a terrible idea – but then again, it could be a stroke of genius! Make sure there is a synergy between both parties.
In short, there is a huge amount of benefit to be had on both sides by developing a strategic alliance with an appropriate charity, and it doesn’t involve your organisation handing over fat cheques – just a bit of time, effort and creativity! And the warm fuzzy glow comes for free :o)

Tara Daynes is founder and director of Tara Daynes HR.

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Tara Daynes


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