Being part of a successful business and having a positive impact doesn’t have to be mutually exclusive.

SMEs can engage with their corporate social responsibility (CSR) goals easier than you may think, all by making small changes that can amount to effective results without being paralysed by the thought of CSR.

CSR is the efforts your business makes towards improving society and contributing towards a better world. It’s a self-regulating model where you hold yourself accountable to yourself, your stakeholders and the general public. With CSR, you take responsibility for the impact your business makes on a range of issues from human rights to the environment.

One of the key aspects of CSR is philanthropy which can involve charity fundraising. Integrating your CSR activities with your fundraising makes sense but only if it’s done well.

Every company has CSR goals they aspire to achieve and this shouldn’t be seen as an impossible task but rather an ambitious one. The level of commitment to your goals will define how you’re going to engage with them, especially when this comes to charity giving.

Small businesses up and down the country raise significant amounts of money for good causes every day, with this being far easier than often assumed. Committing to your CSR also doesn’t have to be overly expensive or tedious as so many believe, by dedicating yourself to these goals they can be effective and have worthwhile outcomes for your business.

Committing to CSR will amplify your business’ reputation and this can be done through fundraising. This is a vital way to boost awareness of your business in your community and further afield. Put simply, people like to buy from businesses that do good in the world.

Your reputation as a good business also goes beyond your customer base. When it comes to hiring and retaining employees, it really helps. People want to be associated with a company that’s striving to make a difference in the world. Plus, if people are given an opportunity to raise funds themselves, take time out of their work to give back to a charity or get involved in company fundraising events, it enhances their working lives. This in turn can boost the happiness and motivation of your employees.

Your CSR activities need to align with your business values and the way you operate your organisation. What good are you trying to do in the world? CSR can’t be a token gesture and you need to be able to hold your business accountable.

Once you have committed to your CSR goals don’t jump ahead to choosing what charity events you’re going to put on or which charities to support, look at your business values.

Are you all about the people in your organisation and making their lives better? Ask yourself, how can you then make the lives of the people in your local community better through your charity fundraising? Are you trying to become a greener business with the way you run day to day and across your supply chain? Can you then give to environmental charities or support environmental initiatives in your local area through your charity fundraising?

One way of acting on your values and plan to work towards your CSR is corporate fundraising. This is where businesses and private companies raise money for charity and donate to good causes. Often it is in the form of cash or an in-kind gift to a charity, easyfundraising raises these as micro donations that collectively make a big difference to charities and causes.

There are many reasons why businesses and corporations choose to fundraise. It gives them an opportunity to create a meaningful dialogue about their social values and responsibilities as an organisation, as well as allowing micro donations to build up for your cause.

Employees, and potential employees, can buy in to fundraising initiatives, but it’s also a chance for the business to showcase its values with stakeholders, investors and wider society. When corporate fundraising is done well, it provides an opportunity to elicit real social change through the charities companies choose to support.

For effective CSR, charity fundraising without a business commitment doesn’t work. For example, if you’re supporting an environmental charity without putting in the hard work to change how you run as a business. Or if you’re raising money to help people in your local community, but you’re not looking after the people in your company properly.

For CSR and charity fundraising to effectively coexist, your business has to walk the walk every day too.

Remember, businesses of any size can fundraise for charity. Just because your business is small it doesn’t mean you can’t make a big impact. With the right goals and objectives, well-planned fundraising events be hugely successful.

Through easyfundraising lots of companies have raised thousands, particularly small businesses who do their online shopping on our giving platform, with their micro donations adding up to have a real impact on their chosen charity.

James Moir

James Moir is the CEO of easyfundraising, the largest online shopping fundraising platform in the UK. easyfundraising’s mission is to turn the everyday spending of our customers into a force for good, so that giving can become part of everyone’s lives, not separate from it.

James has over 20 years’ experience in fast moving consumer goods, retail and loyalty and his ability to lead data-driven businesses has helped the companies he works with grow. Prior to joining easyfundraising, James was the Managing Director of Nectar, leading Nectar through a complete digital transformation.

He joined easyfundraising as CEO in September 2021 with a mandate to continue the growth and realise the ambition of the business.

At the end of 2023 easyfundraising reached the huge milestone of donating £50million to charities and good causes across the UK – all through people choosing to do their online shopping via their website or app.


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