UK businesses are not doing anywhere near enough to support charitable causes, according to new research published this week.
A study conducted by the shopping and price comparison site Give as you Live, who surveyed 4,000 employed people in the UK, claims over half (53%) of UK workers haven’t taken part in any fundraising activities with their colleagues over the past year. Furthermore, a majority of organisations in the UK do not even have a named charity to support this year, with 40 percent of workers stating that their company has no official charity they’re supporting and a further 22 percent are unsure if their company supports charity or not.
44 percent, or just under half, of UK workers surveyed said that they felt their company should be doing more to support charities and their local community which shows, according to James Marsh, head of HR consulting at Symposium, that these employers are missing a huge opportunity. “There is an overwhelming body of research linking an organisation’s CSR to its employer brand and engagement levels in its workforce,” says Marsh, “Employees want to feel pride in the reputation of the organisations they work for and this can be a crucial factor in choosing where they apply to work.”
There also can be a significant impact in the loyalty of an organisation’s customers in addition to the engagement of its staff. In 2013, a study commissioned by financial services organisation Forresters revealed that nearly half of consumers are more likely to buy from companies that donate to good causes, whilst the Guardian newspaper published data produced by the Directory of Social Change that calculated UK business support for charities to be 0.4% of pre-tax profits.
Steff Lewis, head of corporate partnerships at Give as you Live, said, “Businesses are missing a trick by not encouraging fundraising among its employees. Corporate social responsibility initiatives go further than just increasing employee morale; being seen to give back to charity improves a company’s reputation in the face of its customers and future staff. There are so many fundraising options for businesses that needn’t put pressure on resources or people’s time.”
Both workers and consumers are now shopping for jobs and products alike with a more socially conscious mind-set, yet UK businesses have thus far in general been slow to respond, in spite of the now commonly accepted wisdom that the positive impact could greatly outweigh any cost.