‘Doing good’ is good business

By Erin Bourne, Commtractor and corporate social responsibility expert

2020 will be a year to remember for many reasons… It has been tough on many people and businesses but may provide an opportunity to engage with your community in a positive sense by demonstrating a commitment to genuinely ‘doing good’ and thinking about those who may be doing it tough.

Connecting with Purpose

As part of your holiday communications campaigns or 2021 strategy you could consider supporting causes, for purpose organisations or events that need help all while demonstrating something unique and real about your people and your business.

This may come in the form of partnering with not-for-profit or for purpose organisations that need help in delivering on their mission. You could offer expertise, time or resources – think broader than donating money.  You will be simultaneously building your reputation as a socially conscious organisation and helping to deliver on something that makes a positive impact.

The benefits to this approach are many. An opportunity for your whole team, your clients (and potential clients) and the wider community to get engaged creates unity and connection, builds culture and makes a difference to your chosen cause. It is also an opportunity to show that creating social value and exceeding community expectations is part of the way you do business.

Partnership is key

The more unique and creative the partnership, the better. Checking in with not-for-profits around what they genuinely need and what is helpful is key. It is not the time to foist yourselves or your organisation on this sector. They too have had a tough year and they are not looking to spend energy or resources on activities that do not further their own mission. Like any good partnership time is needed upfront to build a relationship. The partnership needs to be mutually respectful and beneficial and something that potential clients and customers can relate to and get behind.

Purpose washing is a term that summarises a disingenuous approach to this area and not for profits, consumers and communities can see through a lack lustre approach to genuine partnership and engagement.

Causes that count

There are an overwhelming number of great causes looking for support in many sectors and they can be scaled from local (food banks, men’s sheds, women’s refuges and beach clean-ups) to international (furthering human rights, addressing climate change and ending poverty) – the list is endless.

Steps for Success

  1. Make sure your initiative is based on genuine connection and a real desire to make a difference.
  2. Involve your employees, suppliers, clients and communities where possible.
  3. Invest time upfront to build a genuine partnership and create mutually beneficial plans and activities.
  4. Consider a longer-term view, three to five years is ideal.
  5. Incorporate the partnership fully into your marketing and communications.

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