How partnering with a charity can be good for your business

Small businesses have often been among the first to dig deep when their community needs support and growing numbers of business owners are now taking the next step and building relationships with charities into their business plan.

Supporting a charity can reflect well on your business’s brand, and also provide new opportunities for customer engagement.

Supporting a charity can reflect well on your business's brand, and also provide new opportunities for customer engagement. So it’s little wonder why so many small business owners are giving back.

In 2016, 70% of SMEs gave a total of $8.5 billion to charity, only slightly less than the $9 billion donated by large corporations, according to the Giving Australia 2016 report. On average, SMEs gave $5,800 each, mostly in the form of cash donations, however sponsorships and partnerships accounted for about 40%.

Wendy Scaife, director of the Australian Centre for Philanthropy and Non-profit Studies, who conducted the research, said the top reasons for giving are that it’s a good thing to do, demonstrates commitment to the local community and the personal and business values of the owner/manager.

That was certainly the case for Stacey Head, founder of ‘she wear’, which supplies footwear and accessories for women at work. “Giving to charity has always been important to me; I also believe it’s important to give back to the community,” she says.

Head has partnered with three charities close to her heart that she thought would also resonate with her customers – National Breast Cancer Foundation, the RSPCA and mental health organisation RUOK.


Plan your giving

Some companies choose to donate a fixed percentage of profits, while others give a flat dollar amount each year. Head donates $10 for every pair of she wear’s top selling ‘she achieves’ safety boots sold and lets customers choose which charity receives the donation.

“We support them financially and help them get their message across as well”, says Head.

The company’s giving program is featured on its website and customers receive a flyer with detailed information about their charity of choice with their purchase. She also actively promotes the charities on social media.

The Giving Australia research found that improved technology was strengthening giving administration and marketing. Innovations in online payroll systems are also making it easier for companies to encourage employee giving and volunteering.

Offering your staff the opportunity to volunteer helps build workplace morale and team bonding.Offering your staff the opportunity to volunteer helps build workplace morale and team bonding. It also provides team members with a sense of satisfaction that they are giving back to the community.

Before you begin a volunteering program, make sure you have a Group Accident insurance policy in place. This can cover your employees in the event of an accident outside the workplace in instances where workers’ compensation would not apply.

Group Accident insurance can also help your employees deal with the increasing costs associated with medical care, enabling you to deliver a comprehensive employee benefits package to your staff.

Contact your Steadfast insurance broker who can advise you further and arrange the appropriate level of cover for your business.

Meanwhile, Head admits that while it’s difficult to put a dollar value on the benefits of giving to charity, she said she receives positive feedback from customers on a regular basis. She believes charity partnerships and sponsorship of women’s conferences and events also helps position her brand in a positive light.

As Head points out, this is a win-win for the charities she supports, and also for her business.

  How to give to a charity:

  • Select charities that resonate with your personal values, the values of your company and your customers.
  • Plan a sustainable giving program.
  • Do your due diligence because your brand will be linked with organisations you support.
  • Leverage your owned social media channels to give charities and community organisations a voice.


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