We all know as individuals it’s a positive thing to give to charity and have experienced that feeling of sincerity having made a donation, or shown support in some way, but for companies the benefits can be far greater. Here we explore why fundraising at work can positively influence employee engagement levels, motivation, morale and in the long-term aid employee retention.
Engaging with charities demonstrates not only to the wider world that a business cares but shows its employees that it wants to make a positive impact on the community it serves. For staff who have busy lives and don’t always have the time outside of the ‘day job’ to participate in fundraising activities, being able to take part through work can be seen as a real benefit. Many people also want to volunteer, but don’t know how or don’t wish to do it alone, so the opportunity to do it with colleagues without impacting their family lives is welcomed.
Lynne Misner from local charity Small Acts of Kindness attributes their successful growth to the support from their corporate partners. The charity source and distribute gifts to some of the most vulnerable and isolated older people in the community. Commenting on their corporate partner relationships Lynne believes, “The mutual benefit that we all gain from this relationship has a value that far exceeds the £’s raised. Corporate volunteers tell us how rewarding the gift bag packing and delivering experience is and how fulfilling it is to know that they are making a difference. They are more aware of the community around them and gain huge satisfaction at being able to help with their employers’ support.”
Employee Retention and well-being
Doing something for the ‘greater good’ can undoubtedly help instill a sense of pride in individuals. Knowing that they are doing so with the full support of their employer can have a positive impact on their loyalty and morale. Employee happiness should never be underestimated - if we feel good about where we work and who we work for we are more likely to respect our employers and want to stay!
St Albans BID Manager, Helen Burridge says “It’s well documented that taking part in challenges and fundraising to do them is great for your mental health, great for your physical health if it’s a sporting challenge, and great for your CV too! You’ll show yourself and your colleagues that you’re motivated, ready to push yourself outside your comfort zone and prepared to ask difficult questions: collecting sponsorship is sometimes as much of a challenge as the activity itself.
If running 5k is not your thing (but it probably could be – go on, go find your trainers) Community Central matchmakes businesses and their employees with local charities in need of support. There are voluntary opportunities to be a trustee, help with the accounts, build a website or maybe do a bit of gardening. If you’re interested in donating your time to local charities, the impact will be huge.”
As well as aiding existing employee retention, philanthropic initiatives can also act as an important recruitment tool. Being socially aware and responsible demonstrates to potential employees that a business is ethical and trustworthy and has adopted a positive business culture.
Here at SA Law we are proud that over half of our employees have been with us for over 10 years. One of our colleagues in particular, Amanda Broome has shown us all the way; her generous and tenacious spirit over the years supporting numerous animal charities has recently resulted in the Ocado Foundation gifting her a van so that she can make deliveries of food donations to animal shelters up and down the country.
Whatever your motivation for getting involved, it’s important to involve staff from all levels in initiatives that they care about, to create long-term meaningful partnerships that benefit all parties.
We know that doing something with a shared purpose can unite people, so it’s no surprise that working on a project or taking part in a fundraising activity where there’s a common goal, promotes camaraderie. A cohesive team is likely to be more motivated and results in a positive productive work environment.
Tamora Burford from the Watford FC Education Trust agrees and says “we have found that employees are often excited and enthused about fundraising for the Trust and this has helped us to develop several long and meaningful partnerships with local companies who see this translated into an increasingly positive and engaged workforce.”
Feeling inspired and wondering what you could do and how your business could get involved? Why not join in SA Law’s Corporate Challenge. We are inviting local businesses to join us in the St Albans 5K or half marathon on Sunday 10th June to help us to raise valuable funds for The Ollie Foundation, a fantastic local charity which is devoted to stopping teenagers and young people from taking their own lives.