As Supporter Engagement Co-Ordinator at LOROS Hospice, I have the pleasure of working with all of the wonderful businesses that choose to support our work as a charity. For those who aren’t already aware of us, LOROS is Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland’s adult hospice that provides palliative care to those with terminal illness. We provide care to over two and a half thousand patients and their families each year, often at the most difficult time of their life.
To run our hospice as we do, we rely on the generosity of the general public, the business community and anyone else looking to get involved with us. Each year, we have to source and fundraise around £6million in voluntary income which, as you can imagine, has been very challenging in the past 12 months.
I’ve been invited here by Welcomm, a regular and passionate fundraising partner of ours, to discuss some of the ways businesses can get involved with a charity that means something to them. Before I begin however, i’d like to highlight an important point: Charity work should never be seen as a burden or as a hindrance to the work you already do.
As a corporate fundraiser, I completely understand how busy businesses across the country are at the moment, how under-resourced everyone is, and how challenging the last 12 months have been. Charity work doesn’t have to add to that – it is an absolute bonus that can bring so much to your staff. I encourage you to see charitable work as a two-way street that can really benefit your business.
If your business is looking for instant ideas to help partner with a local charity, use the links below to quickly navigate through the video.
As a fundraiser, we love nothing more than when someone brings an idea to us they are genuinely enthusiastic and excited about.
You might not always have a fully-formed idea from Day One – but that doesn’t matter! Bring your enthusiasm and excitement to us, and we can nurture it. Keeping your energy high will help build the excitement amongst your teams, ensuring they get the most out of the occasion.
We all love a bake sale – who doesn’t? However, the weird and wonderful ideas are the ones that get the most traction, and therefore end up raising the highest amount for your charity.
If you’re going to do a bake off, make it bonkers – just like Welcomm did! If you’re going to do something, do it big. Don’t place a limit on your ideas, and really use your imagination when planning an event. Your charity partner of choice will have seen and heard every kind of idea, and they will have the skills and know-how to make it happen!
Always be ambitious with your plans and ideas – but be realistic as well! When you’re setting a fundraising target, think about what it might mean to your chosen charity, and how it will come across to the people that are going to support you.
There’s nothing worse than someone going to donate to your fundraiser, only to find a huge fundraising goal that they know you won’t achieve. Setting out-of-reach goals can not only be demotivating to the staff you’re trying to involve, it can also put off donators.
Similarly, don’t make it too low! If you set a target of £100, and reach it within the first week, how do you keep the momentum? Set a target that really means something to the charity, and will have a visible effect.
Don’t always feel that getting involved with a charity has to cost you something. You can add just as much value as fundraising by being an ambassador for your charity, and by spreading the word about the great work they do.
You could also volunteer some time, get your staff out to a charity to see what they really do, and learn how they can actually help. Charities fully appreciate that not everyone can give financially at the minute, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t offer value to us.
In our case, volunteering is at the heart of our organisation, and is something that the Hospice genuinely couldn’t run without, so please think about the other ways your business can support outside of fundraisers.
Most importantly, the last tip on my list of advice for businesses looking to support a charity – enjoy it!
As I mentioned earlier, try to see charity partnership as something that can add to your business and to your staff, don’t see it as a burden. The phrase ‘CSR’ (Corporate Social Responsibility) is often used negatively, as if it is a burden…
I suggest the opposite – see it as an opportunity. A charitable partnership can be a chance to try something completely different as a business, and to give your staff something new to engage with outside of their day-to-day work.