Why giving to charity gives back to businesses

Andy Baxter, Head of HR Shared Services and Rewards

28th October 2016

Raising money for charity is a great way of improving brand awareness and increasing team morale, says Hermes’ Andy Baxter.

Last year 67% of adults living in the UK donated to charity, raising more than £9.6bn in the process, and 2016 looks set to be another fantastic year for fundraising.

Like many others, I am frequently asked to support friends or colleagues who are attempting to raise money by taking part in events for charity; be it a gruelling mountain climb, a tiring endurance race or even jumping out of a plane.

We try to lead by example by actively encouraging our employees to fundraise both individually and as part of a team, as well as providing additional support and assistance wherever we can.

As a result, we have felt a number of benefits on our business aside from just raising money for worthwhile causes.

Increased team morale

As our network covers the entire UK, ensuring our staff take pride in where they work is important.

One of the key things I have noticed is that when a company launches a fundraising campaign everyone draws together and offers support. It instills a great sense of team spirit as well as pride and shows that their employer cares for charitable causes and not just making money.

Improved brand awareness

The millennial generation are more inclined to search for employment within organisations that boast a strong set of ethical values, which incorporates fundraising and supporting charities.

As a generation they are also more likely to use a service if they know that the company actively donates to charitable causes. It can pro-actively boost your brand’s image, helping you to stand out among competitors and attract potential new talent.

How to help

How you choose to help charities can vary depending on the type of industry you work in and what you can offer.

At Hermes, we are in a very privileged position. Having invested heavily in creating an extensive transport network, we are able to help charities across the UK in a way other companies cannot.

Most recently we used our extensive logistics network to transport 25,000 teddies from Northampton to Kent in order for them to be shipped to deprived refugee children.

We have also become the logistics partner for Samara’s Aid Appeal, which sends vital clothing and medical care to war-torn countries in the Middle East, and have also used our network to help send thousands of boxes of books to schoolchildren in South Africa.

Choosing a designated charity is also a great way of encouraging staff to fundraise, while also illustrating the whole company is working towards the same goal.

At the start of 2016 we revealed Teenage Cancer Trust had become our chosen charity, and throughout the year, our staff have been working hard to raise vital funds for this excellent organisation. We have hosted raffles, taken part in a 105-mile bike ride and completed the Three Peaks Challenge. Since we started the partnership we have proudly raised a fantastic £9,605.

As well as raising vital funds, it is a great pleasure to see how our fundraising efforts have contributed to an increase in staff morale and workplace pride.

We will continue to raise money for a variety of worthwhile causes, ensuring we can help more people in need while promoting a sense of togetherness across our teams.