5 Common Mistakes When Promoting Your CSR Activities

Would you like more people to see and interact with your business’s great Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) activities? 84% of people are more likely to trust businesses that support local causes or vulnerable communities [ref]. It is therefore more important than ever for people to see your company’s heart and ethics.

Here are five common mistakes that you might be making when sharing and promoting your great community and charitable work. Don’t worry! There’s a solution to your woes at the end!

1. Not Explaining Your “Why”

Is there a reason why your company supports a specific charity or cause? With more and more companies getting involved with CSR activities, there is an increasing consumer scepticism of the motives behind ethical behaviour [ref]. Not letting your customers see the emotion behind your support risks them not engaging, and instead seeing your well intentioned actions as merely marketing led.

By sharing the reasons behind your company’s support for community and charity, you can help drop any faceless front, thereby creating a personal connection with your customers. Whether the reason is a personal or family connection, voted on by employees, or driven by a desire to help your local community. Don’t be shy in sharing your business’s personal giving story, and letting the “Why” take the focus. Customers will be more likely to respond and interact if they understand your motives better.

2. Showing Deeds In Isolation

Similarly, it can be difficult to show pure intentions and motives through a single social media post. In isolation, a post could appear disingenuous. That’s the last thing you want if your company and employees are regularly engaging in positive community or charity related activities.

This means that you instead need to work your CSR activities into your social media strategy. You should look to be posting relatively regularly about the various volunteering or giving you are doing. But it’s a fine balance between posting not enough and too often. Showing the full picture enables customers to see the good intent. Too often and customers will begin to ignore the posts.

This was one of the founding reasons behind Give Today‘s new directory: Local Champions. Consistent good deeds deserve a platform where they can be showcased together. You can share a link where your customers can support your favourite charities. In doing so they will see all of your recent CSR activities in one place. Your company’s page becomes a direct call to action for the public to follow in your footsteps. You can encourage, inspire and reward others who donate via your Local Champions page. Empowering people to enact change themselves builds a sense of community and involvement.

3. Not Engaging And Interacting With Your Employees

Employees can be a fantastic mouthpiece for your business. If they are proud of the company they work for and it’s underlying values, they will be more likely to share and discuss your business within their personal network.

You might be surprised at how keen your staff are to be actively involved in your CSR activities. Studies show that employees who have the opportunity to give in some way via their employer are more likely to be happier than those who do not [ref]. This giving could be in the form of money, items or volunteering time. Some great ideas for employee engagement with CSR include:

  • Across company involvement in the decision behind which causes to support;
  • Enroll your business for Payroll Giving;
  • Encourage staff to give items through your Local Champions page, with incentives for participating;
  • Organised company-wide fundraising events such as fun-runs or bake sales;
  • Public or internal acknowledgement of staff member’s charity based activities.

And these are just a starting point!

4. Just Relying On Your Social Media

Did you know that social media posts (Facebook, twitter etc) are unindexed by search engines unless they receive very high levels of interaction? In other words, your perfectly crafted post will disappear into the void of the Social Media servers. Even posting at the perfect time will only show your post to a select few supporters. A search engine looking for your business will never see the great posts you put out last week about your recent donations to a local charity, and all those hours your employees volunteered with a local shelter.

A blog is a great solution to this. Each blog post is indexed and searched by search engines. In addition, the blog itself categorises all your great community work together in one place. Worried that your blog articles could come across as self-congratulatory and disingenuous? Third party affirmation from the involved charities (quotes, images, social posts etc), or an external non-profit such as Give Today, can go a long way towards boosting the public’s belief in your company’s intentions.

5. Only Helping At Christmas

We certainly don’t mean to discourage giving at Christmas. The generosity of people at this time of year is truly fantastic. It provides vital help at a difficult time of year for many. Providing struggling families with food and gifts. Keeping those who are homeless warm during cold winter nights.

That being said, there is real benefit to be had in providing consistent and regular support throughout the year. The support doesn’t have to be large to make a difference, and supporting local charities regularly can help you form a closer and more personal partnership with them. During those quieter donation periods, when many people aren’t thinking of charity, your help could be invaluable in keeping key services running for those that need them most. As previously discussed, regular charitable interactions also helps people see that your actions are genuine and come from a place of wanting to enact change and wanting your business to be a force for good.

You can always check what physical items your local charities need right now by visiting their Give Today donation shop. If you’re looking to make a larger donation, please do get in touch with our team. We are always happy to look for better item pricing based on economies of scale, as well as help facilitate photos and quotes from charities.

The Solution!

It can seem complex, talking about all your great community work whilst still coming across as genuine. All the while building real relationships with both the charities and your customers. There is certainly a fine balance to be struck. Fundamentally, however, when actions come from a place of good and are engrained into your company’s story and culture, this will come across to those reading your posts.

Give Today have created a platform to further help you showcase your company’s efforts. You can encourage your customers or employees to follow in your footsteps and support the causes closest to your heart. The Local Champions directory can provide you with a page, filled with engaging and SEO optimised blog pieces about your company’s fantastic efforts. Your page also encourages readers to donate needed items to causes of your choice. What’s better is that you can reward those that give. You could offer to double donations (up to a certain value), or provide a discount on your services to people who donate via your page. The page is tailored to your company size and level of giving. Whether that is 1 employee or 500.

A page starts from just £50 per year. Your involvement with Give Today helps keep the item donation platform free for 60+ charities, big and small, across the UK. In our first year, 2020, Give Today facilitated the donation of over 7,000 much needed items to charities. We’re set to smash that number this year! Fill out the form below to be sent an obligation free pricing list and further information about your Local Champions page.

Interested in Becoming a Local Champion?

If you’re a business looking to help your local community and charities, get in contact today! Find our how you can make your community a better place, and be in with a chance of winning £1,000 for the charity of your choice.

Bryony Pigram

Bryony Pigram