Forget the bottle of wine or box of chocolates, Hawke’s Bay businesses are increasingly looking to make their corporate giving more meaningful this Christmas by gifting back to their local community.
Hawke’s Bay Foundation Executive Officer Amy Bowkett works at the coalface of the region’s charitable needs and says the ripple effect of businesses choosing to give donations is incredibly powerful.
“The Foundation’s community connections keep us in contact with many local businesses and there certainly seems to be a growing sense of corporate social responsibility (CSR) out there, and a real interest from businesses looking to give back to their communities in a much more meaningful way,” says Amy.
After a challenging year for the region, there has been a notable surge in need and many businesses are choosing to support their community with a donation rather than a physical gift. Being a caring corporate is becoming an important objective for many successful businesses, along with shifting mindsets from employees wanting to align with reputable, ethical and charitable businesses.
Leading agrifinance specialists based in Havelock North, StockCo are a great example of a benevolent local business thinking outside the box.
Chief Financial Officer Jeremy Cranswick says their workplace giving scheme is attracting strong uptake from their team, keen to give back for the collective good.
“As locally based livestock finance specialists, StockCo recognises the need to maximise outputs and deliver real results for our clients. We’re proud to align with a reputable organisation like Hawke’s Bay Foundation who delivers for our local community not only in their times of desperate need as we have seen post cyclone, but as a trusted charitable funder offering sustainable and long-term solutions for its donors.
“Supporting Hawke’s Bay Foundation through our workplace giving is not only good for staff and team spirit, it’s good for business.”
Amy Bowkett adds, “the festive season can be a tough time for the most marginalised in communities and local generosity and care can make a real difference. While we encourage giving at any time of year, giving through your Community Foundation at this time of year particularly, is really fulfilling.”
She’s enthusiastic about the increase in local corporate giving programmes emerging this year. “These programmes set an impactful example of what CSR can look like in small communities. We all know that giving feels good and it’s also incredibly smart for business.”
Unlike other one-off gifts to charity, donations to Hawke’s Bay Foundation are invested, with a portion of the return distributed each year to local causes and charities in need. The balance remains in place, to keep growing (and generating income) in perpetuity.
Being socially responsible in business has shown not only to make a financial impact, but it also offers numerous other benefits, for example: improving public image and brand reputation, boosting employee engagement, creating a positive workplace environment, encouraging professional and personal growth and attracting and retaining talent.
Businesses that give are not only seen in a positive light by customers but also, perhaps even more importantly, by their staff. According to research*, 88% of Millenials find their job more fulfiliing when they have opportunities to make a positive impact on society; and 64% won’t take a job if a company doesn’t have strong values. Profit and purpose are the new pillars of excellence and working for a corporate that cares, matters.
If you’re a business owner wanting to give more meaningfully in your community this Christmas, contact Hawke’s Bay Foundation today on (06) 8704648 or head to their website for more information: www.hawkesbayfoundation.org.nz