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How can businesses contribute to the local community?

Corporate social responsibility is a big issue in the current climate, with consumers always expecting businesses to do more and help others while also providing the best products and services. People are placing an increasingly great importance on doing things to support the community and want to see that the companies they use are doing their bit. Fortunately, there are many things all firms can do to keep their customers happy and aid the local area.

Every firm, from the smallest market trader to the largest multinational corporation, can do something to help others and make a worthwhile contribution to their local community. Such an involvement can be anything from a donation of time, money or resources, or may constitute a wider contribution, such as setting up long-term projects or campaigning on and supporting a certain issue that is affecting people in the area.

Furthermore, the company may not have to get directly involved. This means businesses with lower staff levels or that are based at out-of-town business parks can still contribute to the local community. Even independent firms without large head offices, or companies with limited manpower, can do their bit for others without impacting upon their business.

All this means no company has reason to not do their part to help others and should make a concerted effort to giving something back to the community. This will not only support others but will also satisfy customers’ desire to use firms that have strong corporate social responsibility programmes and recognise the importance of helping good causes.

Things firms can do to support the local community

Businesses have a wide choice of options when it comes to helping their local community. These range from straightforward monetary donations to providing long-term support for ongoing projects or schemes.

One of the simplest ways to help others is by making a monetary donation. Firms could allocate a percentage of profits or a certain amount each month to their chosen community group or charity to provide financial support. This kind of help is very easy to offer and allows the beneficiary to spend the money in a way that is most suited to their needs. This is also the least time-consuming corporate social responsibility programme, so ideal for smaller firms with fewer employees.

Businesses may also hold fundraising events or sponsored challenges to raise funds. Such things could range from cake sales or fairs to more adventurous challenges like bungee jumping or treks. These activities are a great way to get employees involved in supporting the community and have the added benefit of being great PR or marketing opportunities too.

Wider schemes to impact the community could include sponsorship of urban developments or supporting local projects. These require more commitment in terms of time and money but give staff a real opportunity to help others in a hands-on way. Firms can sponsor nature areas, help schools build new playgrounds, run care schemes for elderly people or give their expertise for free to aid new buildings or regeneration initiatives.