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6 steps to becoming a community champion

Business owners and employees have long been interested in giving back locally. But they haven’t had the time, money, and expertise to do it (let alone do it well). 

At ActionFunder we’re in the business of making it easy for companies to support local communities. We help businesses find, fund and follow the impact of local non-profits across the UK. And we see the positive changes that occur as a result; both out in the community and inside the businesses where brand value, employee engagement and CSR ratings are given a boost. 

So, how can your business get involved in supporting the local community?

Image: Corporate volunteers supporting a local non profit growing scheme

6 steps to becoming a community champion:

1. Define local

Decide which local communities to support. Be strategic. Align your giving with the locations that matter to your operations and your stakeholders. That way you’ll get better engagement from across the business and the added bonus of being able to see the community impact first hand.

Look at key locations like your HQ, shop fronts, supply chain, and the places that your employees, investors, and customers are based. If you have stakeholders across the UK then run a UK-wide community campaign. Or focus in on a village, town, city or region to target the communities on your, your customers, or your employees doorsteps.

2. Decide on a cause

Now you know which communities you want to support, it’s time to choose the local challenges you want to help tackle. Focus on the causes that align with your work. So, if your business is in the food industry then consider working with food banks, food rescue schemes, and community farms. If you can’t easily align your giving with your business’s purpose then ask your employees and customers which causes matter to them (biodiversity, education, or homelessness for example).

Aligning your giving with causes close to your business means you’ll give and get more out of your community action.

Image: Bridgend Eco Bothy near Edinburgh was recently funded by construction company Sir Robert McAlpine

3. Fund local action

At ActionFunder we talk to thousands of non-profits tackling local challenges across the UK. When we ask what kind of support they need the answer is resounding: funding. 

That’s why we make it easy for businesses to fund local non-profits. You can sign up for free to get matched with non-profits relevant to your business. And then support them by launching funds. Then you can sit back and follow the impact. You’ll be amazed to see how far your funding can go!

4. Celebrate community

Support non-profits operating in your local community and you’ll soon see the impact. Get ready to be amazed by the photos, videos, stories and quotes back from the groups you support.

Share that content with your customers and employees to boost the non-profits and your brand. And spread the word further (through your site, socials, newsletters, events…) to shine a light on the amazing results that come from supporting communities. The more we share about the power of connecting with local communities, the more others will do the same.

Image: The CRUMBS project in Bournemouth was recently funded by local utility company South West Water

5. Offer your expertise

Dive even deeper into supporting your local community by offering products or services to local non-profits. Whether you can give sports kit, event space or marketing know how…what you sell will likely have value to those non-profits as well as your usual customer base.

We’ve seen businesses fund action in their communities and go on to offer free legal advice, tech support, and even wildflower seeds!

6. Get out and volunteer

Employees often want to get out of the office and volunteer in the community.

Local volunteering is a great way to develop cross-team engagement with your community giving programme. And it’s the perfect team building exercise too! The ActionFunder team volunteers twice a year so we can vouch for how good it is for boosting morale. Simply get in touch with the non-profits you’ve funded, ask if your team can lend a hand,  then roll up your sleeves and get out there!

There you have it: 6 steps to becoming a community champion! Sign up to ActionFunder for free to see some of the local non-profits aligned with your business location and interests. And get in touch if you have any questions about supporting your community.