Since I started Magenta, I put charity at the heart of this business. For over 20 years, we’ve been involved in numerous charitable efforts – which you can read about here – but that’s not all. I also advise other businesses, whether they’re clients, acquaintances or rivals, on how to increase their charitable giving.
I’ve had countless such conversations over the years, so I thought it was about time to put some of the advice I’ve given down in writing. Here are four simple steps that can be taken no matter the scale of your business.
The fact that you are giving is more important than the amount that you can give. Once you have the ball rolling, you can gradually scale up your charitable efforts as your business grows or as you find more room in your budget.
Also, charitable giving doesn’t just mean giving money. Giving your time and your effort to a cause are equally valuable, and simply raising awareness for a cause can also have a positive impact with relatively little expense. If you don’t feel you’re able to make enough of an impact on your own, why not reach out to your clients and business partners in your mailing list?
I believe most people are charitable at heart. Many of Magenta’s charitable efforts were born from conversations with my staff, and everyone knows that my door is always open for ideas on new ways that we can give as a business. People of all levels of the company have been involved in charitable efforts, whether through financial contributions, sponsored events or their labour.
Make sure charity is something that’s discussed openly throughout your company. Not only will you find a lot of people willing to help, you’ll also build a sense of community and develop common goals amongst your staff. If charity is something you’ve never managed to get off the ground, it might be because you’re not talking about it.
Many business owners I talk to want to give more, but struggle with the logistics and bureaucracy that substantial charitable efforts can involve, or don’t feel that their donation makes enough of an impact. This is where industry charities or local charities come in handy. You can donate to them directly and they’ll take care of the rest, with many holding sponsored events that your company can take part in.
Industry charities and local charities allow you to see the impact of your donations and feel more personally involved than larger charities, where your donation can often feel like a drop in the ocean.
Developing a Corporate Social Responsibility policy involves investigating all the ways – large and small, directly and indirectly – that you can reduce the negative impacts your company has on the world, or increase its positive impacts. You can then set a policy that outlines all the initiatives you have in place, helping you stick to your goals and improve relationships with other companies seeking ethical partners.
Charitable giving is just one part of CSR. There’s also environmental impact, local impact, staff well-being, energy efficiency and supply chain ethics. Magenta was one of the first security companies to implement a CSR policy, and we continue to improve it to this day. I’ve helped many other companies develop their own policy, so please get in touch with me if you want any advice.
I’m also happy to give advice about any other aspect of charitable giving. I believe it is the responsibility of every profitable business to help make the world a better place. If you agree, you can reach me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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