At XL Displays, fundraising for charity has always been a big part of who we are. For the last two years we have partnered with Sue Ryder Thorpe Hall Hospice and we regularly organise and take part in various fundraising activities throughout the year to raise money and support this great cause. Thorpe Hall Hospice are part of the larger Sue Ryder group and provide end of life care for people with a wide range of terminal illnesses.
This year we have signed up two teams to the Peterborough Dragon Boat Festival as part of our fundraising efforts for Thorpe Hall Hospice in 2018. The event will take place on June 9th at Peterborough Rowing Club.
The dragon boat festival for 2018 is the biggest it has been for 10 years. Fifty teams will take part and battle it out, all fundraising money for Sue Ryder’s local hospice, Thorpe Hall Hospice.
We have taken this challenge on for three reasons. The first and most important reason is to raise as much money as we possibly can in support of our chosen charity, Sue Ryder Thorpe Hall Hospice. Secondly, we find these fundraising days invaluable for team building and boosting engagement, and thirdly, we love getting involved with our local community. Giving something back to our local community is extremely humbling and rewarding.
A collaboration between a charity and your business can enhance your brand and raise awareness for all parties involved; but there are several other benefits that working with a charity can have on your company.
If a business is going to be successful, it needs to employ a team of people who are able to work together in order to reach a common goal. This sounds rather simple, but it’s not always that straightforward.
Team building activities are essential for strengthening a good team. By partnering your business with a charity, it is likely you will be organising or taking part in different fundraising activities on order to raise money for them.
This could be anything from a fun run, a dress-down day, a cake sale or a food bank collection – all of which require a team to work together to maximise their efforts.
In addition, setting targets can be a great way to focus staff and they are more likely to communicate and work together to reach the desired target.
We’ve found that creating internal competitions, like a battle between departments, works exceptionally well when fundraising for charities.
A recent foodbank collection we hosted saw us donate our biggest food donation to date. The success of this collection was down to the internal competition and leader board we had created. Each team strived to be at the top of the leader board by donating the most amount of food. Collectively we were able to donate a huge 1429 items which weighed in at an impressive 524kg.
We have also taken part in an inflatable 5k run for Sue Ryder and are currently training for the Peterborough Dragon Boat Race in aid of Sue Ryder Thorpe Hall Hospice as well.
Despite none of our team being keen runners or rowers, we organise group training sessions which pull the team together and make a stronger bond between everyone, which translates over into the day-to-day running of our company.
Fundraising events can be great fun for everyone involved and often make a good day out for staff and their families too.
Giving to charity and raising money for a chosen cause is a sign of a solid moral compass. Consumers are more likely to recognise and appreciate your business if you give back to the community and go out of your way to help other people.
Use yourself as an example when thinking about something like this. People are more inclined to buy goods or employ a service from a company who uses some of their profits to help people in need. It humanises a business rather than appearing as a large corporate machine. You see a softer side which invests time, resources and money into helping a greater cause.
As well as enticing potential new clients, charity work can benefit you in terms of recruiting new staff.
It works in the same way as attracting customers. People invest in people. We find that highlighting our fundraising efforts has helped attract likeminded professionals who have noticed our events either on social media or the local paper and have approached us about these.
Staff are going to be more drawn to work for a company who demonstrate that they are not just all about making money, but also about giving something back to the community.
Improving the Community
Regardless of whether your business is online, face-to-face or both, every company has a local base and a community it is a part of.
Every business has corporate social responsibility (CSR), meaning you have to take into account your company’s social, economic and environmental impact. To target the social aspect of CSR, a great way to keep on top of it is to partner up with a charity.
Not only will it help the charity and fulfil part of your CSR, it will also help improve the area your company operates in.
If you or your staff are local to the area, you will eventually see improvements being made through the work the charity you have chosen to support does.
A few of our staff members have had personal connections to Sue Ryder Thorpe Hall Hospice, so supporting this amazing charity was an easy decision. It shows that you truly don’t know when you may need the help of such a charity which is why supporting a charity is so important.
The benefit of supporting a charity that is local to you is that you can stay in regular contact with them through face to face meetings, but also you can visit the charity headquarters so you can see how the charity operates and how your donations are used.
At XL Displays, we have organised trips for our team to Thorpe Hall Hospice, so they can meet the team and see where their donations go. It really helps with the investment from our staff.
Feel Good Factor
Donating to charity and helping other people undeniably makes you feel good about yourself.
It is a biological fact that when you donate or give money to charity, chemical reactions in your brain emit a sort of warm glow which boosts your self-esteem and increases your sense of purpose.
Knowing that you have raised money for a charity gives you a warm fuzzy feeling; essentially its one of the most important reasons as it gives you sense of pride you have helped make a difference.
Our chosen charity, Thorpe Hall Hospice, needs over £3 million each year to run and provide end of life care to its patients. They rely heavily on donations so they can keep their amazing work going by providing care and support to those in need. Some of our staff have a close connection to this charity, therefore we do whatever we can to help them out. It provides a sense of pride and achievement knowing we make a difference and contribute to the greater good of the charity, the people who need it and the greater community.
In the business world, nothing is ever free. Although when we donate to charity we do it for good of the charity, it also needs to be mutually beneficial to a business.
Maximise the PR on your fundraising efforts by contacting the local paper with a press release. Contact the local radio stations for press coverage in the lead up to your events, but also afterwards too to let people know how much you raised. Social media is an amazing platform for talking and promoting your efforts, and its free.
It’s essential you build a good working relationship with your chosen charity. Both parties need to work together to ensure the partnership offers maximum results for everyone. If you work together with a clear common goal, it is far more likely you will be successful in reaching your target.
Charities have a wealth of knowledge about fundraising. Use them, they can provide some great ideas for creating fun activities which will engage your staff and any potential donators.
Through our partnership with Sue Ryder Thorpe Hall Hospice, we ensure that we tag them in all social media posts about the work we do for them, and they often replicate such posts on their own social media. We always invite them to our office for a photo opportunity so we can hand over our donations in person. This is the perfect opportunity to ask along your local newspaper or magazine for extra coverage.
This working relationship means that both XL Displays and Sue Ryder Thorpe Hall Hospice are getting equal exposure to audiences who perhaps would have been otherwise unaware of each party. For Sue Ryder, this means they can increase donations. For us, it means we can be introduced to potential new clients which can translate to revenue.
In addition to increased brand exposure, charity work is a good basis for press releases. By writing up any achievements you have accomplished through your charity partnership and sending them out to relevant local media, there is a good chance of your story getting picked up and published. This once again increases brand awareness in your local community.
We regularly get recognised for our efforts in the local media, proving the point that helping out a charity can vastly improve your PR and company reach, and provide that all important warm fuzzy feeling.
At XL Displays, we are award winning specialists in providing cost-effective exhibition stands and portable display solutions. For more information about our pop up stands, fabric exhibition stands, branded Tablecloths or any other products, please contact us or call our sales team on 01733 511030.