A piece by Terry John, Sales Executive at whatCharity.com

Although we are still in the eye of the Covid-19 storm and while whatCharity.com has been working hard to link businesses with charities in dire need, it is inevitable that people’s thoughts are now turning to what will happen in the future.

One thing is for sure, there will be new links between businesses and charitable or community organisations that have been forged during this crisis. There will be a new vision and realisation about how people are affected by the hardships that everyone has endured, albeit in a variety of circumstances.

There will be a new emphasis on how businesses can and should share their success and expertise with the charitable sector. It will be like when people of the baby-boomer generation asked, “what did you do in the war Dad?” and it will be expected that successful businesses, especially those that survived the crisis relatively untouched, will be able to answer positively, explaining how they demonstrated their social value.

Who will be asking such questions?

Well, customers certainly. Now more than ever, they’ll want to know that they are purchasing from a business that ‘did its bit’ when it was most needed. By demonstrating how your business helped, either by donations of money, products or services or by encouraging and enabling staff to volunteer to fill gaps in community services you can allow your customers to share a sense of “helper’s high”.

Then there are shareholders. More and more shareholders, whether they be individuals or Pension Schemes, will be expecting to see that the business they are investing in is “doing the right thing”. Why? Well, simply because if you are doing the right thing then so are they by extension! However, investors and shareholders like to see their money being used wisely, which means selecting the right charity partners for the most impactful results.

What about suppliers? Well, of course they also want to be seen to be trading with and supporting reputable and socially responsible businesses. The ‘goodness’ filters down and actually spreads all the way through a supply chain increasing customer and employee goodwill from top to bottom. The Social Value Act allows the government to favour certain suppliers over others if the company can prove that they deliver a level of social value. Plus, commercial companies are implementing stricter due diligence policies; organisations increasingly want to work with partners with ethical ways of working.

Finally, there is a huge movement towards improving Health & Wellbeing in the workplace these days and one of the aims of such initiatives is to both attract, retain and engage the best talent. Recruitment and training of the right people can be very expensive for a business and it makes sense to become a more attractive place to work by being able to demonstrate just how socially responsible you are.

So, those are the questions – but what about some answers?

whatCharity is very aware that while ‘giving is good,’ it should be a symbiotic relationship that brings mutual benefits to both the business and the charity. Only in that way can assistance be truly effective for both parties and lay the foundations for a long term and burgeoning relationship that maximises continuing benefits for all. We are seeing a decrease in purely philanthropic activities and a move towards more strategic decision-making.

With connections to 60,000 plus UK charities and 167,000 registered charities on the site, whatCharity can assist your business in finding the right partner or partners that makes the most of a relationship for both parties. We match businesses with the most suitable charities, provide due-diligence and co-create partnership schemes, with the information we provide, companies can make transparent and democratic decisions. We also provide standardised social impact reporting tool for the charity to report on the impact for the partner company. Working towards more strategic charity partnerships enhances your brand in the eyes of stakeholders and consumers alike and improves your chances of attracting further business and investment or funding.

If your business has a desire to donate, whether it be funding, expertise or services then we can help you spread your message, raise your profile and link you with the right charity and help to nurture that relationship.

We’re all about making things better for both parties, so if you want to find out how to take advantage of our services to improve your business then contact me at terry@whatcharity.com.