Why marketers should be charitable this Christmas

Christmas is a time for giving to those who need it most, says Paul Cash, CEO, Rooster Punk

Christmas is a gluttonous time. But, instead of focusing on personal enjoyment, why not do something good for others? I truly believe marketers have the skills to solve the biggest problems facing business, society and the planet.

Many businesses are inherently short sighted, often putting profit before purpose. But, when you think about it, business is the backbone of society. It’s not just there to serve us in creating products and services; business has a real role to play in making our lives easier and more fulfilling. And, although CSR has climbed up the corporate agenda over the years, it’s become a box-ticking exercise for many. There’s a real opportunity for companies to help drive higher standards of living and solve wider world issues like poverty and youth unemployment.

Take the Techfugees movement as an example of business being a force for good. The initiative – founded by Mike Butcher, editor of TechCrunch – brought London’s top technologists together to tackle the recent European refugee crisis. Almost overnight, Butcher herded tech’s superstars to a conference, ran a hackathon where the best brains donated their skills to come up with innovative ideas, and crowdsourced generous donations to provide refugees in the Calais camp with free WiFi.

It’s humbling to see an industry providing aid to the plight of fleeing refugees. But what’s interesting is that no NGO or government has come up with these types of solutions for the worst humanitarian crisis of our time. After food, water and shelter, technology is the resource humans need most to maintain relationships.

Technology alone won’t resolve the refugee crisis, but there’s something to be said for industries pulling together in a time of need.

This year, Rooster Punk donated its skills to create collateral and the website for the UK launch of the charity Mellon Educate. We also joined the charity on a school building blitz in South Africa last month, where 240 volunteers collectively raised £850,000 and gave up 11,250 hours to help impoverished African children get the education they deserve.

So why not do something remarkable this Christmas by donating your skills, time or even money to a worthy cause?