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Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) is now a major part of any charity marketing strategy. And although the topic frequently garners big headlines, it doesn’t just apply to big charities getting funding and support from the big companies.

If you’re a support organisation, one of the best ways of helping your local charities is to identify and ‘match’ them with local companies who might be willing to provide CSR. If local companies don’t have a CSR programme – or are unaware of what CSR is… then why not educate them?

CSR for everyone

In its simplest form, CSR is about commercial businesses ‘giving something back’ by building relationships with specific third sector organisations, donating time, resources and money to charities and voluntary organisations – many of which are increasingly chosen by the staff themselves.

And it’s growing. Research published by the Corporate Responsibility Group in January 2009 revealed that 84% of members (mainly senior managers in private companies) considered CSR a business priority in their organisations, compared with 72% in 2006.

Even more importantly, the proportion of organisations with dedicated CSR budgets had also risen by 9% to 83% over the two-year period.

However, the real beauty of the CSR model is that it works well irrespective of size. Increasingly, companies of even modest sizes are coming around to the fact that they need some kind of CSR programme, and of course many of them want to make a difference in their local community. They just need a way of formalising it. Which is where you can help them...

  1. Do your research. Identify all the local companies who might be willing to take part in a programme. Look at their web sites. Do they already have some form of CSR?
  2. Look for a good fit between potential donors and charities. For example, a local sports shop could be matched with a youth football team.
  3. Remember the commercial angle. In the current climate more people than ever need help. But so do businesses. By matching relevant businesses with relevant charities you increase the chance of new business coming their way…

Being persuasive means more than £

Do it yourself?