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Business as a force for good – locally

Posted in: Insights

You don’t have to look far to find headlines about the rise in ESG. All over the UK, companies large and small are shifting to a ‘force for good’ mindset. So, what does it all mean for business philanthropy?

A group of 5 people is sitting on a bench laughing. They have note pads and laptops

ESG , CSR and the SDGs are now at the centre of boardroom conversations. It’s hard to talk about getting investment, engaging employees, and boosting brand value without those acronyms dropping into discussion.

According to ActionFunder co-founder Mark Shearer, “These days, business not only can be a force for good, but should be a force for good.”

And the proof is in the pudding. According to Accenture, businesses with strong ESG performance from 2013 to 2020 outperformed their peers, achieving 4x higher operating margins and 3x higher shareholder returns.

Dominika Jarosz, Head of Campaigns at ActionFunder, thinks the climate crisis is central to this huge shift in businesses prioritizing sustainability. “With the potential destruction of our planet and the way we live comes the need for businesses to behave more responsibly. We don’t have the luxury of treating ESG as a box ticking exercise anymore.”

Does corporate giving fit with ESG?

The old model of business philanthropy has no place in the brave new world of ESG. That  model was a one-way street of quietly given donations. But at ActionFunder we’re shaking up the paradigm and unlocking the benefits of charity giving as we do.

Our business to community giving platform offers positive impact in the community and positive impact for the business that’s donating too.

Consider your average business. They will likely donate an annual sum to a big name charity and proudly let their employees know. And that’s that. With ActionFunder, a business can target their giving according to their location and/or purpose and follow the impact of that investment at the grassroots level.

a women wearing a high vis jacket is cycling in a park.

So, communities get the funding they need to take action at a local level. And businesses get the community engagement and the rich reporting necessary to deliver on ESG (leading to improved brand value for investors, employees and customers!)

Change the world on your doorstep

Businesses have always been at the heart of our communities. But they haven’t always had the time, money, and expertise needed to support the charities on their doorsteps.

As Dominika says, “With ActionFunder businesses can make informed choices about how they spend their money in a way that’s completely transparent, really relevant to them, and their workforce, and then see the impact they’ve made on their doorsteps.”

Mark sums up by saying: “Whether you run a fish and chip shop and want to give £500 to local community projects, or you’re Unilever and want to give £500,000 to local action across the UK, it’s all driven by the same principle. Any business can create change at a local level – and see the results out in the community and inside the business too.”

Sign up to ActionFunder to launch a community fund today!