How to fundraise through corporate social responsibility
Posted on: October 28, 2021
Make the best out of your corporate relationships by following our easy tips
Having a great partner to work with makes a real difference. For charities, corporate social responsibility (CSR) means building a relationship with the right business partner increases fundraising potential.
CSR can also give charities an increasing pool of volunteers and a partner willing to support marketing and comms. There are myriad benefits to CSR programmes. In the present article, though, we show charities how to successfully plan and raise funds through CSR programmes.
Understand your partner’s needs
Before thinking about ways to increase fundraising efforts, consider the aims of your corporate partner. Put yourself in their shoes. Forbes Magazine says that businesses pursue CSR because they are expected to. Firms are “obligated to pursue achievable and good long-term goals for its people and the world at large”.
For charities, it’s important to understand what that perspective looks like. Oonagh Turnbull, who runs Boots UK’s CSR programme says she gets cold calls from potential charity partners. “Lots are very professional,” Turnbull says. “But many could do much more research about us and our CSR – and would get a better reception if their approaches were properly targeted.”
The Giving Machine puts things more bluntly: “The focus of CSR is to boost shareholder trust and increase long-term profits in a sustainable and ethical way by taking ownership of corporate decisions and improving them.”
Do your homework and think about what the business wants from a CSR relationship. Once the strategy is established, consider how fundraising events align with the company’s ambitions and brand.
Fundraise from company employees
One of the best ways that charities can fundraise through their corporate partner is payroll giving. Payroll giving is a tax advantageous way of giving directly from wages.
The programme is set up from the side of the business partner. Donations are made through the PAYE system. From a tax perspective, donations are made from wages before National Insurance payments are deducted. Employees get tax relief from being generous.
Charities are using digital to take advantage of the huge fundraising potential that comes with payroll giving. Barnardo’s, Crisis, The Royal British Legion, RNIB, and WaterAid have come together to launch Good Giving. The joint venture will use digital software to increase donation opportunities. The aim is to raise £150 million from payroll givers.
Summarising the advantage of payroll giving, Richard Packman from Good Giving says: “Giving through payroll is the most tax-efficient way for employees of any company to donate to any charity of their choice.”