In an ideal world everyone would play an active part in giving back to society, and that’s not just at an individual level; it’s about businesses doing their bit too. Environmental, Social, Governance (ESG) policy refers to the measurable efforts taken by a company to improve society and contribute towards sustainable development. The social component includes many and various factors, from how a company interacts with their employees to product quality; it also includes the topics of philanthropy and community relations.
What are the opportunities for corporate philanthropy?
At Me2 Club we welcome businesses and individuals who want to help us tackle the social isolation and loneliness experienced by children with additional needs, and often find that our mission resonates with those who have been personally affected by exclusion.
Like all local charities, Me2 Club relies on support from our community and the businesses within it. If your business has been wanting to get involved with a local charity but wasn’t sure how to go about it, here are some suggestions:
Pennies from heaven
One way to contribute to a charity is direct donation through a charity’s website or a charity fundraising platform like Just Giving, whether this is attached to a specific campaign or an ad hoc donation. But corporate financial support can also take other forms which are just as impactful, and fundraising doesn’t always mean putting your hand in your own pocket.
- Payroll giving / give as you earn
Payroll giving enables employees to give to any UK charity straight from their salary. Donations are tax-efficient because they are taken before tax is applied, which means the charity receives more of the employees’ donations and it costs the donor less. Why not ask your employer if they offer a payroll giving scheme and, if not, recommend they start one.
- Match funding
This allows employees to boost their fundraising, since their employer matches the money they’ve raised. Some companies offer this on a pound-for-pound basis, while others will specify the capped amount they’re prepared to give. It’s a great way to increase employee engagement by showing support for the charities they care about.
Corporate foundations offer a unique interface between business and society, setting out a clear intent and consistent long-term commitment for delivering positive change. It’s a tax efficient and focussed way to make a real and lasting difference to the causes you care about, providing an effective way to channel, monitor and publicise the impact of your giving to targeted charities.
- Fundraising activities and events
There are hundreds of corporate fundraising opportunities which can bring a company, its’ staff and their stakeholders together. From auctions and sponsored dress-up days to bake sales and company sports days, the only limit to the fun and engaging way of raising funds is your imagination!
- Nominate a charity of the year
Charity of the year can last one or several years and allows a business to officially partner with the charity of their choice, working together to raise awareness and funds. As well as helping with ESG objectives this can boost staff morale, as employees recognise that their hard work is contributing to something beyond the four walls of their office.
“Boyes Turner are really pleased to be able to offer support to Me2Club as a local charity that supports children and young people with additional needs access mainstream activities. We’ve made donations to the Christmas Appeal, and attended the Easter and Summer Family party events as well, giving time to help the staff at the events. Me2Club gives the young people they support independence and the families some well needed respite. The volunteers are an inspiration as well and we know the demand the charity faces will only grow so we hope to continue to fundraise for the charity in the future.”
Julie Marsh, Partner
Boyes Tuner LLP
Time is a precious gift
Money is important but it’s not the be-all-and-end-all! Charities wouldn’t survive without the time they are freely given by their supporters. Here are just some of the ways a business can help by giving time:
Corporate-funded volunteering days allow employees to give their time to a charity whilst still being paid by their employer. At Me2Club, we don’t have the kind of physical space where people can come and physically work on refurbishing a building, so our “fundraising friends” help us fundraise at stalls and events and we have volunteers who support our teens to plan and run fundraising activities, getting involved with the wider community and developing important life skills in the process. We’d love to hear from you if you’d like to volunteer for Me2 Club.
- Be a trustee
Me2 Club have a fantastic board of trustees, ‘guardians of purpose’ who make sure that all our decisions put the needs of children and their families first. Our trustees are passionate about ensuring inclusion for all children and teenagers, have a wealth of experience and skills they want to share and are great at thinking strategically and seeing the bigger picture. If this sounds like you, we’re always looking for expressions of interest to join the board.
An investment in knowledge pays the best interest
While Me2 Club has profound subject matter knowledge in particular areas, that doesn’t mean we’re experts in everything! We’re always looking for friends who can volunteer their expertise in other specialist areas, whether that’s project management, marketing, social media, graphic design, impact reporting or data analysis. If you have skills you think could benefit Me2 Club we’re always eager to talk.
Everyone can make a difference
Corporate support of charities benefits everyone. Guardian Business reports that millennials and upwards want to work for an organisation that has values and a mission to help the world, doing social good and contributing back to the community. To them “who they work for represents who they are”.
There are so many ways you can partner with us to make a difference to the lives of children with additional needs and disabilities. To find out more about Me2Club’s aims and objectives we’d love you to visit our website, or you can follow our social channels for all our latest updates:
Visit our website: me2club.org.uk
Follow us on Twitter: @me2club
Like us on Facebook: @me2clubcharity
Follow us on Instagram: @me2club