Wednesday 28 September 2016 4:29 am

Fundraising is more beneficial to your business than you think

Fundraising in the workplace is an excellent way to engage staff, build relationships, generate positive PR and boost morale among colleagues. However, the benefits of a proper commitment to corporate fundraising can go further than this, and offer many institutional, HR and commercial benefits.

In every business I have run, I place great importance on the work we do to support charities. Not only is corporate support crucial for the third sector, but I have witnessed the benefits that can come from raising money or allowing colleagues to volunteer their time for a worthwhile cause.

Wider benefits

The first thing obvious to anyone involved in corporate fundraising is the impact it has on colleagues’ relationships with your brand. Staff who feel more engaged are often more trusting and confident, and it goes without saying that more engaged staff produce better results and are more likely to stay with the business.

But as well as encouraging more engagement and trust, the right kind of corporate fundraising can also develop important business skills among colleagues, including teamwork, creativity and a proactive attitude.

Corporate fundraising is also brilliant at bringing together parts of a business that may not have worked together before. It promotes a healthy competitive edge among colleagues – which I always like to see.

From a charity’s point of view, business involvement in fundraising is almost always good. A recent report by the Institute of Fundraising found that 95 per cent of charities view corporate fundraising as an area of growth.

This is not surprising when you look at the figures either – over £350m has been raised by corporate fundraising in the UK over the last three years. And what is more, each of those years has seen an increase of around 12 per cent in income from this source. As many charities have found, the money raised when a large company rolls into action can be phenomenal.

Finally, corporate fundraising can bring a very important sense of fun into business proceedings. People work better with a smile on their faces and challenges such as baking themed cakes or coming into the office in fancy dress certainly do this.

Do your bit

I am currently supporting BBC Children in Need and am always encouraging businesses to get involved in fundraising for the charity. Lloyds Banking Group’s partnership with Children in Need is an excellent example of a relationship which is beneficial to everyone involved – great for the charity, great for its staff, and ultimately great for the business.

Research by Lloyds has found that colleagues involved with its Charity of the Year feel significantly more engaged, with higher levels of confidence and trust in the bank’s brand. It is also noticeable that all these factors continue to grow year on year as the partnership continues.

I am currently working with Lloyds to launch the second edition of its Challenge 100 competition, challenging teams to be creative and raise as much money as possible from an initial £100 start.

Last year, the 40 teams taking part raised a staggering £236,900 for Children in Need. But on top of that, the competition improved teamwork, networking, project planning, budgeting and entrepreneurial skills among scores of colleagues. The winning team turned their £100 into £35,400 – showing that the business skills being developed are certainly working well.

Challenge 100 teams come from all over the country, and last year, many played on their local links to help drive their fundraising – there’s nothing like a bit of local loyalty to encourage others to dip into their pockets.

The competition helped people across the bank build relationships both internally and externally, all while having fun and raising money for a great cause.

I would actively encourage businesses to get involved in raising money for any charity they feel is appropriate. The benefits go far beyond the money raised, and it can really help your business thrive.