Have you chosen your charity of the year yet for 2015?

If so, you’ll be keen to do all you can to give them as much support as possible throughout the year.

And if you haven’t chosen to support a charity, there are lots of good reasons, both commercial and altruistic, why your business should.

Your business can get involved on lots of different levels, maximising benefits to both the charity and your business. It’s best to choose a charity with which your business has an affinity, so that the support you give is seen by customers in your marketplace.

So, how can you get involved?

Staff respond well to a challenge – it’s great for team bonding, and if you raise money at the same time, it delivers a feel good factor that lasts long after the event. So for example, a physical challenge such as running a half marathon for your more adventurous members of staff, or a themed evening event such as a charity dinner with guest speaker.

Such events are great for raising public profile, create the perfect opportunity for lots of positive PR and the chance to network and meet more prospective customers and business contacts.

Companies that actively support charities are shown to enjoy higher levels of staff loyalty and improved staff retention. Involvement in activities outside of their core duties enhances their skills in leadership and team development whilst instilling a stronger sense of belonging – to the company and the cause.

And a charitable event shouldn’t just be a one hit wonder, consider ways in which your business can capitalise on the association throughout the year:

  • Promote the charity in your communications – in your office, when sending mail, perhaps add a link to the charity in each staff member’s email signature to help increase awareness and drive traffic to their website.
  • If your charity holds their own event, let staff attend to offer support and assistance – and ask to be recognised for your efforts so your business gains more positive exposure.
  • Can you offer a special discount or promotion to anyone associated with the charity?
  • Can your chosen charity directly sell your products or services?
  • Can you donate staff time as well as money, so staff have time away from the office working for the charity? It’s great for motivation, developing new skills and attracting high calibre candidates to your company as you’ll be seen as a good employer.
  • Sponsor one or more of your charity’s events.
  • Perhaps you can provide professional support in your field of expertise, e.g. if you are an accountancy firm, provide accounting services or offer training to help their staff.

There are lots of ways to get involved. It’s worth putting together a charity committee to brainstorm ideas and involve members from junior up to senior level to help integration and communication throughout the business.

It’s good too, to host a headline event once a year – it’s great for getting everyone on board, maximising the publicity opportunities, and of course raising much needed funds.

We’re full of ideas for events here at Rhodes, including providing the perfect venue, guest speakers, team challenges or specific themes. So, if you’re stuck for ideas don’t let that stop you – talk to us, we can help make things happen!

And if you’re not sure which charity to choose, just search on a subject you care about, and look for organisations that would align well with your company. One thing we know for sure, once you’ve chosen, and put a plan into action, you won’t regret it!