Friday 17th May 2013 is Give & Gain Day. It’s a national day of employee volunteering in the UK, organised by Business in the Community (BITC), which encourages employees to donate a day to local communities and charitable projects.
Recently, we reported on OfficingToday about the value of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) and why business centres should make CSR their business. We focused on Avanta, which regularly makes headlines for its generous programme of charitable donations and fundraising, including its support of The Story of Christmas Appeal.
Charities aren’t the only ones to benefit from national and global movements like these. As businesses well know, there are plenty of benefits to come from CSR – and it goes well beyond that ‘warm fuzzy feeling’ too. As we found with Avanta, it can generate some excellent PR opportunities that can indeed lead to improved revenue. And while this might not be the sole purpose behind the company’s CSR agenda (and nor should it be), it clearly plays a part in it.
With Give & Gain Day fast approaching, this could be an ideal opportunity to get involved in worthy causes – and to practice a little CSR for your own business.
Why should your business centre take part?
If you’re wondering why you should let your employees out of the office for the day, there are more than a few positive ways in which your business centre can benefit from Give & Gain Day 2013:
- Team bonding: Research from BITC shows that 98% of volunteers from Give & Gain Day 2012 felt it helped with team building, and 80% felt more committed to their employer afterwards.
- Employee skills: 87% of participants from 2012 felt that their communications skills had improved, and most felt that their leadership and decision-making skills had received a boost too.
- Great PR: Give & Gain Day is a national and widely-recognised movement. Use it as a marketing tool by taking videos of your team’s experiences, and join the international conversation on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
- It really helps: Of course, this is a day that makes a real difference. BITC reports that 339 community groups and thousands of people were helped during Give & Gain Day 2012.
If you can’t afford to let your employees out for the day on Friday 17th May, there are plenty of other initiatives you could take part in. Any bit of fundraising or charitable giving helps – and you could get your clients involved too. Cake bakes, sponsored events, fancy dress, the list goes on. Why not start your team-building as you mean to go on by getting the team together to thrash out some ideas?
Ultimately, the link between CSR and profit margins isn’t a direct one. But research suggests the two are definitely linked – for instance, a recent EIU study found that 74% of respondents believe CSR can help increase profits. Like we said, profit isn’t – and shouldn’t be – the main reason for taking part in charitable activities. But if it encourages your business to get out there and make a difference, then that’s reason enough.
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And if you’re still not sure, bear this in mind – 96% of employees that took part in last year’s Give & Gain Day want to volunteer again. So if you’ve got team building or employee loyalty on your agenda, CSR could be just the ticket – and it could pay dividends for your business, in more ways than one.