This week we had a business show in my local town, Cheltenham, Gloucestershire. The organiser asked me to chair the ‘Purpose Beyond Profit Forum', focusing in on sustainability and corporate social responsibility (CSR) in the county.
With a panel of 11 people all from local businesses, charities and consultancies we discussed how the county could further benefit from good social responsibility programmes. There were 3 key takeaways:
- Create a culture of 2 way skills exchange between charities and businesses.
- With business and charity partnerships, align your visions genuinely. This is key to authentic partnerships that consumers can believe in
- Bring the personal into the environmental debate. People can understand a charity partnership, but switch off when organisations start talking about Climate Change and Carbon - it's inaccessible. Bring it to an individual level of impact as much as possible.
It’s seems mad to me that a successful local business chooses to support a national charity with £millions when there are smaller local organisations doing hugely important work (that may even directly impact the employees of said local businesses!)
If you want to start giving back to your community, find the local charities and ask them what they need help with. You will be surprised what opportunities, to live your purpose, are waiting on your doorstep.