It’s never been more important for businesses to think about the social and environmental impact they have through their activities. Donating to charity is a great way that businesses can give back to the community. We thought we’d explore this topic in a bit more depth, to understand exactly why businesses donate to charity, and the benefits for customers too!
Why do businesses support charities?
To have a positive impact
Long-standing commitments to donate to charity can have a significant impact. Whether it’s a percentage of sales value, a fixed monetary amount or a more significant chunk of a business’s profits, donating to charity as a business has a huge potential for good. Since our foundation in 2016, Y.O.U Underwear has donated over 15,000 pairs of underwear to Smalls for All, which is making a difference to the lives of women and children in Africa and the UK (supporting over 5,000 girls with 3 pairs of underwear each; wear, wash and dry!).
To improve customer engagement
As the growing trends in sustainability related search terms are showing, consumers are becoming increasingly conscious of the ethical and sustainable credentials of the companies they shop with. Integrity is fast becoming a necessity, rather than a choice, in order for brands to establish meaningful connections with customers.
Thinkwithgoogle.com has analysed data to suggest that consumers are becoming more educated on these issues, which correlates to the significant growth in in sustainability related searches across the UK in the past few years.
“There’s a growing awareness amongst consumers of the need for change, in particular around making better shopping choices. I’ve realised that a business’s story is as crucial as its products. It’s so important to have a broader purpose, and to communicate this to customers - people care why you do what you do, as much as what you do!” – Sarah Jordan.
Not only does donating to charity help to increase trust in a brand, it also makes a great story! We were so proud to be invited onto Steph’s Packed Lunch on Tuesday 16th March, to share the story of our ethical undies and show how we give back. Everyone at Channel 4 was so lovely and it was a great chance to share Y.O.U Underwear’s mission with the world!
To help with recruitment and retention
Giving back is also great from an internal perspective – it helps all associates of the business to feel motivated and connected to a broader purpose!
Are donations the only thing that’s important?
Donating to charity is one way that businesses can act as a force for good, but it’s by no means the only thing that’s important. A broader commitment to ethics and sustainability is essential! Indeed, some business may make token efforts in the form of donations as a form of greenwashing, so it’s important for any business to integrate their donations within their commitment to being a business for good more broadly.
In addition to our support of Smalls for All, The Ajuma Foundation and Future Dreams, Y.O.U Underwear has a range of policies and commitments in place to ensure a positive social and environmental impact more broadly. This includes our use of GOTS Certified Organic Cotton, as well as our partnership with one of India’s leading ethical and sustainable manufacturers. You can read more about our positive environmental and social impact across 2020 in our Impact Report.
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It’s good to know that a broader commitment to ethics is really important for businesses. My husband is the CEO of a tech company downtown. He said he wants to support an education-based charity so he can invest in the community. https://www.storydogs.org.au/donate