Why giving back to a local cause is good for your business

Social responsibility is not a new term. Most organisations have an understanding of it, and some embrace it wholeheartedly, mostly by choosing to give back to a cause that has emotional resonance or perhaps a personal connection.

As a small perinatal mental health charity in Cheshire East, Smile Group’s resources may be limited, but our passion is overflowing. We often assume that businesses on our doorstep are aware of us, and our Ops Director, Ruth, has certainly thrown herself with great momentum into the local business network, developing great relationships and creating partnerships with like-minded people who are passionate about what we do.

We know it’s a long game. And sometimes, understandably, businesses will choose to work with recognised names which are front and centre in their field of awareness. It would be an understatement to say that the funding market in the third sector is volatile. It’s tough for small social enterprises and charities to steady the choppy waters of sustainability and that requires the development of integrated funding plans that don’t put our eggs in one basket.

As the end of the calendar year approaches (how does it come round so quickly?), we would like to invite local organisations and businesses to consider partnering with Smile as a local charity for 2023. We provide a blend of tailored support services for families facing perinatal mental health challenges, from weekly peer support groups across four sites, to 1-1 talk therapy, home visits and family sessions. If you’re worried about over-committing, then any contribution is welcome – some of our partners choose to contribute a percentage of profits on any sales to us, which is another option, as well as regular giving or skills exchanges.

Rather than simply being a ‘good thing to do’ (and it certainly does create a glow beyond the simple warmth of enabling the provision of compassionate support), here are 10 top reasons to give back:

  1. CSR initiatives (eg choosing a Charity of the Year) have great employee benefits by supporting retention, given an active involvement with a grassroots causes
  2. People recognise that business is more than profit – it’s about connection and fulfilment and giving back supports this
  3. There are ways to develop partnerships beyond a simple commercial relationship (though these are much appreciated). It can also be about developing skills and learning about social issues
  4. At least 1 in 5 mums are affected by emotional challenges in the perinatal period and around 1 in 10 men. It’s likely someone (even you) may be affected by this issue in your workplace
  5. We know reputation is important in business and that contributing to society can go a long way when it comes to the way your business is perceived
  6. Small charities don’t always have the greatest leverage against the bigger names and you can be assured that every penny transparently goes back into service provision where it matters most
  7. Giving back is good for you – it enhances a sense of wellbeing that can bring teams together
  8. Working across sectors means that communities are less fragmented and can move towards a more cohesive whole
  9. It can actually be good for your bottom line in terms of tax efficiencies
  10. It’s mutually beneficial, working in partnership helps us to grow together (socially, economically and from a health perspective) and build strong relationships

So as we throw ourselves merrily into the season of giving, perhaps take a moment to reflect on how you might give back in a way that is meaningful for you, your teams and your organisation.

For more information about becoming a partner with Smile Group, please contact ruth@smilegroup.org.uk. Visit www.smilegroup.org.uk to find out more about how we support local families.

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