Charities play a vital role in our society and can often highlight a section of society often overlooked by Government funding. Depending on their mission statement, charities can provide much needed financial support, provide information, and raise awareness.
The Charity Commission found that 40% of the public have said they or a close family member or friend have benefited from or used the services of a charity. Just like businesses, charities come in all shapes and sizes, however, often, in order for a charity to get its plight to reach a wider audience it needs the backing of a big business.
Businesses raising awareness
Gillette – Football beyond borders
The shaving giant Gillette has partnered with Football Beyond Borders in a bid to help increase the number of young people who have access to grass roots initiatives. Football Beyond Borders has a number of important initiatives including helping those from disadvantaged backgrounds to partner up with mentors and role models.
Coach – UK Youth
The fashion giant Coach has partnered its charitable Coach Foundation with UK Youth. As part of Coach’s philanthropic initiative, Dream It Real, they endeavour to provide funding across major UK cities, including London, Edinburgh, and Birmingham to help give young people the opportunity to make their dreams a reality.
Okdo – The Washing Machine Project
Okdo is a global company whose main focus is making IoT more accessible through their Raspberry Pi mini computer kits. Their support of The Washing Machine Project is helping people gain access to washing machines and alleviate the burden of hand-washing clothes for everyone, everywhere.
The American biopharmaceutical company’s Gilead Foundation is helping to develop antiviral drugs used in the treatment of HIV, Hepatitis B, Hepatitis C, and influenza. Their aim is make access to these drugs more accessible and have already donated $200 million USD to support community health projects.
Why do businesses give to charity?
For many businesses, giving to charity isn’t only good for optics, it actually helps increase employee productivity and work quality. In fact, one study showed that happiness can make you 12% more productive – and giving to charity makes people happy.
Charitable endeavours makes a business look good. And given that that millennials are becoming increasingly discerning with where they spend their money, it makes good business sense for companies to start giving back.
Corporate philanthropy helps encourage and increase audience engagement and can help shine a light on causes your business is passionate about. However, a word of caution, there can be backlash if a company is seen to be backing a charity for uncharitable reasons, a la M&S during the LGBT sandwich scandal.
Ultimately, corporate charitable giving will only improve a company’s reputation if the engagement is authentic and they’re championing a long-term and long-lasting change.