We had the first meeting of Jacksons new charity committee last week. Over the last couple of years we have, as a firm, held events and raised funds for a number of charities all of which have been very worthy causes and none of which we are abandoning! It is felt that if we want everyone at Jacksons to engage with our charitable activities they should not only be involved in the decision as to which charities we support, but also as to the activities we engage in. We have therefore formed a charity committee with representatives from across the firm. The first job of this committee is to choose the principal charity we will support in 2017 and so opinion is being gauged to form a shortlist for a firm vote.
Attending the committee meeting this week made me reflect again on corporate social responsibility. The principal reason why business should support charity is of course a moral one in that we should all do whatever we can to assist those in need. However, in our modern complex world there are good business as well as moral reasons for becoming involved in charity groups.
Through our involvement, for example with the Butterwick as a corporate partner we have found that we have been able to network with other like- minded companies and to get to know them in an atmosphere conducive to forming meaningful relationships. We have made valuable contacts and passed and gained business as a result of these. Further, we have had the opportunity to entertain our clients and referrers at events which we know will be well organised and enjoyable.
Whilst it should not be the first thing a business thinks of when supporting a charity it is also useful for us to be able to evidence our corporate social responsibility credentials when tendering. On such occasions we have to evidence our ability to do the work in question as you would expect but also on many occasions our environmental policies and our corporate social responsibility programmes.
Our relationship with well-known local charities has also helped us to raise our profile and brand awareness with the help of the charities corporate team. Through a charities brochure, our social media and the use of LinkedIn and Twitter, we are able to associate our name with a trustworthy local and successful charity raising our profile in a positive light.
Finally, our association as a firm with local charity has been good for staff morale. It has enabled us to do something which the firm as a whole can be proud of and to create a feel good factor. Many of the Jacksons team have a family member, friend or close associate who has been looked after at the Butterwick Hospice for example and after the love and care they have received it is a matter of pride with some gratitude that that care and nurture in difficult times can in a small part be repaid by our efforts. Some firms engage in team building exercises by building rafts or romping across the moors but how much more satisfying is it to work together to raise funds for a good cause.
You may think, whilst reading this, that I think businesses only get involved with charities for their own benefit. This is of course not true, businesses get involved with charities because they care passionately about the cause they are supporting but in these days when businesses need to justify every penny they spend I am saying that being involved with a charity not only makes perfect emotional sense it also makes good business sense.