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5 surprising reasons why supporting charities benefits business… and a few words of warning

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According to Accenture Strategy’s global survey of almost 30,000 people, 50% of consumers will buy from a brand that supports causes they have in common. Even more significantly, other research found that if there’s a choice between two brands offering the same product, 82% of consumers will be swayed to buy from the one that is more philanthropic. It’s no surprise, then, that more and more companies are actively looking to support charitable initiatives.

However, the reasons to support these causes go far beyond the promise of financial gain, with the right CSR initiatives helping to boost employee morale, increase employee loyalty and even improve a company’s ability to acquire talent.

1) Attracting talent
There’s a very good reason why super-successful organisations such as Apple and Google make a point of showcasing their corporate-sponsored initiatives in their recruitment and culture packs. The majority of today’s employees (with millennials leading the charge) put social responsibility on a par with good salaries and pension schemes, and are determined to join organisations that care about their community and the wider world. So, if you want the best employees, you have to make sure you’re providing what they want: a company that gives back.

2) You retain employees
Once you’ve attracted the very best people, it’s all about retaining them, and the proof of your charitable support can go a long way. According to the 2016 Cone Communications Millennial Employee Engagement Study, 83% of employees say they’re more loyal to companies that help them contribute to important issues.

3) Employee morale
Fortune.com’s study of several hundred companies and more than 380,000 employees showed that people who believe their organisations give back to the community are 13 times more likely to look forward to coming to work, compared to employees who do not have that perception, so employee morale is another good by-product of giving back. It’s easy to see why, too. Who wouldn’t feel a boost of pride and positivity?

4) You up-skill employees
People also learn new skills when taking themselves out of the everyday work environment to support a charity.

Deloitte’s 2016 Impact Survey demonstrated that volunteering can play a significant role in building key leadership skills, a fact that can be particularly helpful when HR professionals are tasked with creating development programmes with limited resources, for example.

5) It can help to define your brand identity
Most company brand values are hidden away on a guidelines document that only your marketing teams get to see, so another big benefit to supporting charities is that it can demonstrate tangibly what you care about as a business.

One of Gett’s brand missions, for example, is to help improve the quality of the air we breathe. This is why it provides an electric-only option for customers, as well as matching their 20p donations to Gett Green, which pays for the installation of air-purification units in classrooms. All of this is clear proof of what it stands for and believes.

Some words of warning
There has recently been a backlash against brands paying lip service to charitable initiatives, with the suggestion that they’re only doing good because it pays to be ‘seen’ to be doing good.

With this in mind, there are three things to think about when choosing the initiatives your company supports. You have to make sure your charitable efforts relate directly to your brand’s values and that you support something that your employees can relate to. It’s important that you find charities or causes you can work closely with – being able to physically take part in the work they do is really important to both them and your employees. Finally, you should make sure partnerships are long-term relationships rather than one-offs, otherwise it can feel like the initiative is a PR opportunity rather than a legitimate cause that you care about.

To find out more about Gett’s social responsibility, visit https://www.gett.com/uk/about/

Image credits: Shutterstock

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