For any company looking for evidence to invest in a social sustainability program, Deloitte’s annual report contains research that cannot be ignored. We pick out 3 key messages you need to know.
The infographic speaks for itself, but here are some of the key points:
- 61% of Australians donate to charitable causes
- Young people give frequently, with a third of those aged 25-29 donating every month
- There's a 1:3:7 ratio of giving to environmental, animal and human causes respectively
- 1 in 3 people who donate monthly give more than $500
- Trust in the charitable organisation is the main influencer of whether to give
It's encouraging to see such Australian generosity, and helps explain why we're the 3rd most generous nation in the world according to the recent World Giving Index. However, flip the findings and there are some clear improvement opportunities which could result in massive societal and environmental benefits.
How charities can boost donations
Based on this research, let's have a look at what we can do, together, to increase giving. We'd all love to see Australia become the world's most generous nation in the next World Giving Index survey.
As trust is cited as a primary motivator to give - and the majority of donations are based on rational decisions - how can charities appear more trustworthy to potential donors? Some ideas:
- Greater transparency of costs
- Better reporting on the actual change their work does
- Build more long-term, personal relationships with donors
- Use social media to form an honest, open and responsive brand persona
Increase average donation amount
It is wonderful to see such a high donation amount from 1/3 of givers, but how could this increase even further?
- Form closer bonds with regular and generous donors. It's a tactic that's proven to be effective, but can be time consuming for the charity and repeated asks leads to donor fatigue so requires solid analytics and qualitative research.
- Reduce fees - some fundraising platforms charge charities over 6% for credit card donations (compare to our fees). That's $360 a year in fees for those giving $500 a month!
- Correlate donation to impact through clear communication of what each dollar means to the recipient
Connect the human story to environmental causes
This study highlights how human and animal causes combined receive 10x the funding of environmental ones. Could these approaches help re-balance this?
- Humans and animals live on the same planet. Much of today's disease and conflict is due to environmental pressure such as access to clean water, fertile land and clean air. Improving those three factors directly reduces human and animal suffering
- Think local. Global issues such as climate change can seem like an insurmountable challenge, on a scale a single person cannot comprehend. Focusing on smaller, tangible and local issues can make the problem more relevant and approachable
- Collaboration between connected causes can have more impact than when they act alone. For example, an environmental organisation may work to reduce deforestation together with a healthcare charity which vaccinates the local population while educators help them switch from logging to sustainable cash crops
Encourage older supporters to give
This report claims those in their mid to late 20s give most, yet this is not the most affluent segment of Australian society. How can we get Gen X and Baby Boomers to open their wallets?
- Segment your marketing so your message resonates with specific age groups. Your reference to Jay Z lyrics will be lost on your older supporters, whereas that Monty Python quote is likely to confuse teenagers
- Use web analytics and survey data to ascertain which marketing channels deliver the best results for target generations. For example, FaceBook might not be the best way to reach those in their 50's, instead targeted emails or printed mailers might get a better return. Test and learn
- Explore influencer marketing as a way to find shortcuts to your target demographic
Support Give Now Week (28th November to 4th December)
During Give Now Week people are encouraged to focus their attention on the many ways we can all make a difference, particularly in the lead up to Christmas. Whether through donations or volunteering, this week is about reflecting on your generosity and acting accordingly.
What else? Over to you!
This is not a complete list by any means, what have we missed? We'd love to hear your ideas and responses by dropping us a message below.
Measuring the impact of your corporate social responsibility program goes far beyond just counting dollars.
A successful CSR strategy engages employees, clients and communities in the pursuit of shared goals. We all have an 'imprint' that motivates us to give, but we often need the support and tools to do so. Key to this idea is integrating a culture of giving within the day to day of your workplace.
So how can you make CSR matter in your company?
1. Think about how you’ll give
As well as aligning your partnerships with like-minded organisations, you’ll need to consider budget and the amount of time you have to commit to CSR activities- consider the type of giving your company can afford to delve into.
One option is to bring the company together and organise a day of activities. GroupM took this approach with their Power of One event, which saw the company generate over $130 000 of value in a day for UnLtd charities.
Others, like recruiters 2discover, schedule in several days a year for staff to volunteer at an organisation of their choice. As CSR expert Jonathan Champ explains, some people prefer to contribute donations rather than time, so having fundraisers or giving staff the option to sacrifice a small portion of their salary each week can encourage involvement.
2. Make it a priority
55% of global consumers are willing to pay extra for a product or service committed to making a positive social impact, so making CSR a priority by integrating it into your business model can ultimately have a huge impact on your bottom line.
Building partnerships with organisations who share your company values will ensure you're both working towards shared objectives. This will allow you to integrate your CSR strategy your company values, making it a part of workplace culture.
For example, Sparke Helmore’s Diversity Program, including the Six Degrees women’s network aims to encourage, motivate, and support Sparke Helmore’s women and women in their client community. This example highlights the importance of aligning your businesses strategy with your community programs to ensure maximum impact.
3. Provide support and leadership
Effective governance and leadership are key if companies are to instil a culture of giving in their workplace.
Managing Director of 2discover, Catherine Eyre, leads by example. She is on the board of The Australian Network on Disability and runs workshops to help disadvantaged Australians find work. She also supports her staff’s efforts by taking a keen interest in the volunteering they are involved in out of work, and has begun to record the activities people in the organisation are doing. People are important, she explains. "It's about asking your staff - What do you want to do? Who do you want to help?"
4. Evaluate impact
Measuring outcomes will allow you to evaluate the impact of a campaign and use your findings to support storytelling and growth. Benojo’s platform makes it easy for all parties involved to track the success of a giving campaign by integrating administration, implementation and reporting all in the one place. Using these figures, companies are able to share the success of their giving via case studies, press releases and internal updates, creating a shared sense of achievement and motivation to give.
Contact us for tips on making CSR matter in your company.
Here are four ways your business can employ technology to improve your giving program.
Is your business engaging with the local community in which it operates? If it isn’t, it is missing out on many benefits, not just for those around you but for the bottom line of your business. In this article, we look at the many benefits of your agency becoming involved in community programs and how to get started.
What are the most successful companies doing to ensure their CSR programs are effective on all levels?
Here we have rounded up a few that Australian businesses were recently recognised for their giving efforts.
In this blog we explore the importance of storytelling and some tips for crafting stories around your corporate giving.
Their annual Foodbank Hunger Report offers a snapshot of what they describe as ‘the largely hidden problem of food insecurity in Australia’. Here are some of the key findings from the 2016 report.
When it comes claiming our expenses over tax time, we immediately think of all the travel and stationery deductions we can claim, but what about charity-donation deductions?
The not-for-profit sector (NFP) is a fundamental part of Australian society that has recently undergone rapid growth and expansion. Working across all facets of the NFP sector, from causes to corporates and individuals, Benojo have noticed growing trends that have been backed by findings from the Cause Report by JBWere. We’ve used this report as a strategic tool for informing our personal growth, taking a holistic view of the NFP sector.
The present state of NFP sector
The NFP sector has grown significantly over the past 20 years with Australia now having one organisation for every 422nd person in the population.
This growth has been partially achieved through strong funding for the sector averaging 8.4% pa over the past 20 years. Corporate support for the NFP sector has grown much faster than other forms of funding, yet individual giving still comprises 50% of the total.
Despite the rapid growth of the NFP sector, the concentration of income and assets remains with the top 10% of organistaions. This often means that smaller causes are ignored, forgotten or simply unrealised.
We wanted to equal the playing field, making it easy for all types of causes to find a donor. We created a platform that links causes and for-profits making it free for causes to use, so even the smallest dog shelter can stand alongside Barnardos Australia.
This approach enables individuals to explore the diversity of causes and find something they truly care about (no matter how niche), tailoring giving to the individual and dismantling the hierarchy of causes.
Recently, there has been a focus on how to “operate profitable business activity that will also generate the social returns.” This means there has been a proliferation of social enterprises such as Crepes for Change and Who Gives a Crap?
From a business perspective, it is essential that businesses recognise the link between purpose and profitability. With 55% of Millennials willing to pay extra for products from companies with a positive social impact, businesses are being forced to implement an efficient CSR program if they are to compete with social enterprises and B Corps for a market share (in which Millennials influence 74% of buying decisions).
This recognition has led a growing part of funding for the NFP sector coming from business. When you combine donations ($863 million in 2013) and sponsorships ($1381 million in 2013) from the business sector, it represents 26% of the fundraising total.
In order to maintain and increase this kind of relationship, the report suggests it is important to understand agents of the NFP sector in terms of structure, assets, funding and size. This kind of knowledge can help donors in their search for a cause partner and ensure businesses align themselves with the right cause to prevent giving waste.
Where is it all heading?
Despite the rapid growth of the NFP sector, we need to identify and refine emerging trends to ensure its sustainable growth. The report details several trends that need to be nurtured in order for this to happen.
Using measuring tools as well as a scale against which giving activities can be measured will allow businesses and causes alike to evaluate their impact and processes, allowing them to innovate for future campaigns etc.
The rapid growth of the NFP sector has resulted in a proliferation of information about giving activity that needs to be shared. Sharing findings and results with the media will drive conversation well as creating case studies that corporates and causes can share during the Grow & Tell phase of Benojo’s Index.
Better corporate partnerships
The growth in shared value discussions and analysis inside for-profit organisation will naturally lead to more meaningful partnerships with NFP organisations. For-profits need to evaluate their company culture and resources so they can partner with causes that are likely to create shared value and thus more efficient social impact as per the Make it Matter stage of Benojo’s Index.
By the same token, NFPs need to better value the knowledge they bring to the relationship with for-profits and develop an understanding of how they are helping for-profit organisations in order to circumvent a power imbalance.
Although the rate of volunteers increases 4.1% annually, the age of the volunteer workforce rises. Organisations are experiencing difficulty in attracting younger supporters.
NFPs should look to for-profit organisations to provide a skilled volunteer force comprised of employee volunteers. Benojo helps corporates to manage their employee volunteers through a simple platform that allows hours to be tracked and programs evaluated, ensuring employees can find a cause that matters to them.
Overall the NFP sector needs to continue to evolve faster than it has in the past in order to sustain maximum impact.
The complete Cause Report can be found here for further advice, statistics and trends that are shaping the way we give.
A place to collaborate, donate and volunteer, Benojo is a social impact platform that connects the giving space.
Contact us to learn more about our work and how we could help you.
With an estimated 600,000 not-for-profits operating in Australia finding the right corporate partner to support your cause can be hard work. We look at four key factors to consider in seeking corporate support for your charity.
An ethical alignment
Shared values are essential to a strong corporate/charity relationship. It’s a notion supported by research on the makings of successful sponsorships conducted by The University of Queensland Business School in conjunction with the Australian Red Cross.The 2014 study found that the best partnerships had high similarity and a high-fit.
The 2014 study found that the best partnerships had high similarity and a high-fit.
"For example, if a company seen as providing fresh, healthy food sponsors the Australian Red Cross, people can readily see what the sponsor and non-profit have in common. Not only is there a similarity on health grounds but it is also a high-fit relationship because people can see a clear benefit of improving people’s health,” said Dr Ravi Pappu on the three-year-long research study he headed up.
"By contrast, any fast-food chain viewed as a junk food producer would have less similarity with non-profit organisations promoting health, and this sponsorship would be a low-fit because of [the] negative health benefit perceived.”
The partnership must be a sincere one to be truly successful. “People should perceive a genuine effort from the corporate sponsor to benefit the cause. The partnership could arouse public suspicion if it is seen just as an attempt to build market share or meet shareholder expectations or, even worse, if it is viewed as an attempt to avoid tax or take advantage of the non-profit organisation.”
A motivated team
The best people in the business are those who are passionate, motivated and believe in their work. If you can share (and sell) your cause’s vision and back it up with a team that will make projects happen, you’re likely to impress the hardest of potential corporate partners.
Research the company, find out if and why they would make a successful partner. Personalise your pitch. Make it unique to them. Show them you’ve done your homework. Explore and offer ideas and suggestions around how you can work together. Nurture and build relationships.
Communication is key. Ask and answer questions, listen and make it as easy and enjoyable a process as possible. Be accountable and available. Check in regularly, start conversations and seek feedback throughout the process. Ensure that your team work together to deliver what your corporate partner needs to make it a long-term relationship, instead of a one-off project.
Share the story
Make sharing the story a part of the campaign strategy. Identify the stories in the campaign, how they will be captured and what channels they can be shared through. For example, acknowledge the support of your corporate partner by sharing a note of thanks, highlights of the campaign or the results in a press release, a blog, on social media and e-newsletters. This will help raise awareness of both the campaign and corporate partner among your not-for-profit’s audience and beyond.
Business results and metrics
‘What did we achieve?’ It’s a fair question and one that more and more corporate partners expect charities to be able to answer in detail. Set goals during the development stage of any campaign. Find out what metrics matter to your corporate partner and look at how you can provide them with insights around this. Know that ROI and value are what you can give back to your corporate partner for their support.
Technology is starting to play a bigger role in this. The Benojo platform addresses the needs of both corporates and not-for-profits seamlessly integrating administration, implementation and reporting in one place that is easily accessed and transparent to all parties involved. An example of this at work is GroupM’s Power of One day, which saw them generate over $130k of value for 12 charities.
What other factors do you think corporate partners seek from not-for-profit partners?
A place to collaborate, donate and volunteer, Benojo is a social impact platform that connects the giving space.
Contact us to learn more about our work and how we could help you.