What are the benefits of corporate charity partnerships?

In September 2021, ThirdSector reported on a study that revealed that four out of five corporate partners were expecting to increase their investment in charities in the medium term. Not only is this down to the need for corporates to align their values and invest in some of the biggest social and environmental issues facing society today, but it also bears witness to the true workplace benefits of corporate charity partnerships.

So why is partnering with a charity so beneficial?

  • Staff engagement and morale

It’s no surprise that engaged staff produce better results and feel happier, all of which leads to better workplace retention. Allowing teams the space to leave work behind for a little while and focus on doing something good leads to staff having a more positive view of their organisation. A productive and enthusiastic workforce is in turn a great model to attract new talent to an organisation.

57% of respondents to a 2019 Charities Aid Foundation survey agreed charitable giving in the workplace boosted morale. In organising charitable activities in the workplace, companies can promote a sense of pride and ownership in their employees, particularly when a charity partnership is long term, creating yearly traditions. Charitable activities can also join up parts of the workforce who wouldn’t usually work together, which again creates a more unified working environment.

  • Positive brand association

A philanthropic business model clearly makes companies look good to their existing customers and helps build a new customer base too. Having a CSR approach that exists in the margins of your business is no longer enough, social responsibility needs to be deeply embedded into an organisation. This is especially true when it comes to the millennial customer base, 70% of whom are more likely to spend more money on a brand that supports a cause.

Today, social media provides a fantastic platform for customer engagement, and corporate philanthropy is a terrific way to engage with younger customers who are particularly savvy in supporting and shouting about ethical brands.

  • Increased networking opportunities

Networking is an essential part of business growth, and what better way to do so than via a charity partnership? Working with a charity partner is a valuable tool in widening business networks. Charity dinners through to golf days provide opportunities to socialise with other businesses who could become potential new clients. Virtual events have widened the scope for even more efficient networking, allowing you to target who you want to talk to, all within a manageable time frame. Businesses you meet this way will also have the added bonus of a shared common goal – supporting a charity.

If you’re looking for a fantastic networking event, take a look at some of Rainbow Trust’s upcoming events here.

  • Developing important mutually beneficial business skills

Corporate charity partnerships provide ample opportunities to upskill the both charity and corporate employees. Whilst the traditional philanthropic model is based on corporates upskilling fundraisers (for example, via pro-bono training in skills such as marketing and legal support), there has been a shift towards the skills that charities can offer their corporate partners. This could be anything from helping teams foster a more creative, innovative, and proactive approach to challenges, through to specific cause related training, such as training an HR team how to deal with a grieving colleague or offering practical advice on becoming a more inclusive workforce.

Business models have changed significantly in recent years, with charitable giving forming an increasingly important role in business objectives. Alignment with a worthwhile cause is not only a more human approach to business and a way to engage with staff, it is also now a real requirement of most businesses in order to stay relevant and marketable to a customer base which increasingly bases its buying decisions on causes that are important to them. Gone are the days when corporate charitable giving was a box ticking exercise. Today, it is clear that there is real value in corporate charity partnerships – relationships that help both charity and corporate achieve their long-term goals.

To find out more about corporate charitable partnerships with Rainbow Trust click here.