Charity begins at…work!

By Adrian Harvey

Let’s face it the role of charities is curiously more relevant now than perhaps it has ever been. The National Lottery is a charity and I’m not sure our sporting heroes would be quite so heroically good if they had to work 40 hours a week AND train.  

Not to mention the thousands of charities pouring billions of pounds every year into causes that resonate with many of us. Did you know Royal National Lifeboat Institution is 100% funded by charitable donations?

Many firms choose to select a single charity to support and stick with that charity for years. Others have an annual charity often voted on by the employees.  

Why bother? We can all donate to whoever we want, whenever we want, so why do we need our work getting involved as well?

Fact is, we can, and many do, donate but when you work for a firm that chooses to formally give to charity it makes you feel better! It certainly does for me. 

And I have found that perhaps unlike “work projects” which tend to be tackled in silos, charitable work activity breaks down barriers and forms friendships and bonds that don’t respect rank or function. These companies that embrace and genuinely support charities are stronger for it. Not just morally but practically.  

All those hours spent trekking across the Brecon Beacons in the rain to raise a few thousand pounds actually doubled up as the best value and most effective team building exercise the company ever undertook.

When else can you see directors, trainees, part-timers and customer service agents all equally cold and wet supporting each other and working as a team?  

You can’t because in classic work mode this sort of thing rarely happens especially in large firms. But mention a charity cycle ride, charity bake off or run a marathon and suddenly work becomes a place where people who care and put themselves out there with others, happen to gather.

Next time you are wracking your brains about how to break those barriers between sales and operations – maybe think about a charitable event or challenge with representatives from both areas and watch as friendships blossom and all those silly barriers evaporate. Oh and chalk up a lovely CSR win as you raise thousands of pounds for a worthy and grateful cause in the process.

We decided to pick a charity close to our hearts and chose TUSK and as we grow so our contributions will grow. Watch this space to see how the herd at Elephants don’t forget and our clients collaborate to do fun and challenging stuff to raise money, make friends, build bridges and have fun.

Charity begins at work.