A few days ago I posted the following question to a LinkedIn group. I think the replies make interesting reading.
The question: “From the perspective of a SME how would you want to work with a charity? What would your measures of a successful relationship be?”
“I would work with a charity for two reasons: number one - I feel good if I know I helped someone and number two - I feel good if other people recognize that I did something good”
“I think that moving forward SME's need to straddle both working with charities for shared strategic goals (geographical location, community, social issue and/or stakeholders), but also maintaining close relationships with charities close to the hearts of people within the SME (due to personal situations/experiences).”
“Making a difference is key here and should be at the forefront of the relationship. But the relationships need a clear measurable ways of how each can and will make a difference together.”
“If SME's are committed to this, a one-off feel good event, whilst laudable may not be enough. So an SME and charity relationship needs measurable strategic and personal targets so that the relationship can begin to share successes and aspirations for 'making a difference'. This should help enhance and support the success of the charity in the future and create a 'deeper' longer lasting feel good factor and more genuine commitment to 'making a difference' across the SME.”
“giving less or giving more? and does it matter? donations are not just about getting more business and generating more business is not just about making more money...there is much more in this world apart from money and fame...giving for free large or small from the bottom of your heart is all that matters”
“…I really do like the idea sustainable difference and shared goals you can measure (in line with D'Arcy's question), without this giving for free is still an amazing thing little or small!”
“Hopefully where possible SME's can make long term relationships with charities. I am certain would be the way forward for both the benefit of the SME's (maybe not for more business/money, maybe good for staff...), but ultimately to the benefit of the charity and their ability to make a difference (and bigger measurable difference) in the future.”
“We would like to embed the social caring into our Brand awareness so that the element of putting something back into society is pre-structured. Part of this process is to engage the charity social media and develop positive perceptions and recognition while another part is to introduce our clients & customers to the automatic positive benefits of the shared goals we and our causes have.”
“Charity work should be connected to what our core business is, because that's where we can help most. For example, If I had a bakery I would cooperate with an NGO that works with young people at risk of social exclusion, training them to be bakers so they can have a perspective in the future. I think this is the best way to embed charity work in our company culture, and also a way to differentiate ourselves from other companies.”
“I agree ( with the statement above ), it must stem from a fundamental belief that the business and consumers share and be demonstrable so that the cause is creating a magnetism between the two who happily become attracted. Then D'Arcy's question gets answered because the measure becomes the volume of co-operation between consumers, customers friends acquaintances and strangers who are attracted to engage with the business for common the focussed "good". Otherwise known as a fan club.”
I would be very interested to hear your thoughts on this. Please post a comment on my blog.