The International Day of Charity is observed annually on 5 September. Declared by the United Nations General Assembly in 2012, the purpose of the day is to raise awareness and provide a common platform for charity related activities all over the world for individuals, charitable, philanthropic and volunteer organizations for their own purposes on the local, national, regional and international level. The reason the date was chosen is because it is the anniversary of the death of Mother Teresa of Calcutta.
Charities play a crucial role in helping our society wherever public spending is lacking and they need support from the public now more than ever. The Charities Aid Foundation (CAF) urges British businesses to take the lead in promoting philanthropy and charitable actions within their structures.
Some choose to give money, others prefer to volunteer, charities launch campaigns, businesses match funds and give their staff the chance to volunteer – there are a whole host of activities supporting good causes available, something for everyone.
Fun for a good cause
At 10Eighty we have something of a tradition of supporting the annual JP Morgan Fun Run. Dave ran in the London Marathon for Cancer Research UK and at our third birthday party we asked our guests to take a selfie for the charity KidsOut.
Last year The Charities Aid Foundation have published a report entitled ‘Why We Give’. They surveyed over 700 people to gain a better understanding of the reasons why people support charities. One of the key findings was that 49% of people think that society is too cynical about those who give, and nearly two thirds of respondents believe that those who give to charity need to be more vocal about the reasons why they give. Most people pointed to their personal values, morality and ethics as their main motivation for giving, with three quarters giving because of a personal belief in a specific cause and 71% motivated to give because of their faith.
Good employers create great communities and corporate social responsibility is core to creating a sustainable and successful business and part of engaging employees. A 2011 survey found that 49% of UK employees said they were more likely to stay with an employer that encourages its workforce to donate time or raise money for charity within working hours. Three quarters of UK workforce want their employer to balance commercial success with good CSR strategies, including supporting charities (75%).
Commitment to community
More than half (52%) of UK employees believe that their employer should do more to encourage charitable giving during working hours and 51% felt companies have a duty to commit to charitable acts and CSR. Μore than one in 10 (15%) of employees would take a significant pay cut to work for a company that has the right attitude towards charities/CSR.
Engagement isn’t just a question of philanthropy or charity but about the interface between corporate CSR initiatives and workforce enthusiasm. Employers can build morale, loyalty and engagement whilst giving back to the community by helping employees donate to charity. Fundraising is a great way to get employees involved with CSR strategy, collecting money for the charities close to their hearts and demonstrating the organisation’s commitment to the community.
CSR helps to build an emotional commitment to the organisation and goodwill at a time when employees and customers are concerned with accountability, sustainability and transparency. Staff surveys have shown increased levels of pride and engagement as a result of CSR, while employees say it is an important part of the company’s identity. Clients feel strongly about CSR, too, it’s good for business.