Does CSR really add value to my business?

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I hate the term CSR, it means something different to every person you speak to from donating some cash to a major charity to full blown founding your own charity. Many companies will splash CSR all over their website and never really embrace it or gain the value it can bring.

CSR when down well, doesn’t have to be massively expensive, will build staff engagement and demonstrate your businesses BEST values to clients, prospects and partners.

So here are some ideas to get you started:

Local endurance events: In every town/city across the globe there are always regular Run/Walk, Cycles, Triathlons, Mud-Run, Dragon Boat Race etc. It’s a great opportunity to get involved with local businesses and potential clients/prospects. You can engage your staff and team built asking everyone to take part and matching their donations. Promote your participation, take photos on the day and have fun. Healthy staff also have far less days off with sickness so it’s a win/win for everyone.

Fund Days: Not every office is as fun as ours 😊 but there are plenty of opportunity to bring fun into the office for good causes. So a few of our favourites: Slipper Day, Christmas Jumper Day, Wear a Hat Day. You could host a coffee morning selling cakes, you could setup a dress down day and raffle once a month and get staff to participate.

Events: Why not engage local businesses in a common cause and get your name/brand out there. Some great ideas include hosting a Golf Day, Quiz Night, a charity lunch/dinner or ball. If you work with some partners, it can ease off the costs and share the work load. It’s a great opportunity to gain exposure for your brand and meet new contacts.

Volunteering: No one says no to free help! 😊 I have 101 jobs id love people to come and do for free for me… (email me) however lets stick to good causes, so find some local charities and drop them an email letting them know your open to doing some voluntary work.  Tidy up a community garden, Litter pick on the beach, Plant trees in fields, Redecorate a community hall OR buy a chip lunch for a community centre. This is great for the cause, its great for team building and its great way to demonstrate your businesses BEST values.

Internalise: CSR isn’t just external, your staff welfare is hugely important also. Businesses can usually call on a lot of leverage with other local businesses, so can usually ask for cheeky freebies and finding things that will help your staff offers huge loyalty. Here are a few ideas: contact your local gym and see if you can negotiate a discount for staff or free lessons at lunch time, stock the kitchen with free cereal, milk and fruit for breakfast costs next to nothing but staff will love it, treat the staff to some R&R bring in a yoga/meditation teacher or masseuse for a lunch hour and get your staff engaged. Finally, Dominos offers a huge number of deals specially during the day, surprise your staff with a pizza delivery pop them in the kitchen and direct the hungry hordes.

CSR doesn’t have to be expensive, and can deliver massive rewards when done well. You don’t have to do everything, you don’t have to do it all the time – but implement one idea every so often and see how it improves your business.

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