Today’s columnist, Sonia Bielaszewska: Let us help you to give back to support communities

South Yorkshire Community Foundation (SYCF).
Join the SY 100
L-R Sue Scholey, Sonia Bielawszeska, Ruth Willis, Giles Bloomer, Julie Kenney. Pix: Shaun Flannery/shaunflanneryphotography.com

South Yorkshire Community Foundation (SYCF). Join the SY 100 L-R Sue Scholey, Sonia Bielawszeska, Ruth Willis, Giles Bloomer, Julie Kenney. Pix: Shaun Flannery/shaunflanneryphotography.com

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In my role at local charity South Yorkshire’s Community Foundation, I am noticing more and more businesses recognising the importance of investing in their corporate social responsibility strategy, which is great news.

However, in today’s world CSR is more than just looking after employees, it has a much greater external focus.

Businesses across our region and the country are now linking up with local charitable organisations to demonstrate their commitment to ‘making a difference’ to the community where they work.

As well as the clear wider community benefit of supporting local charities, investing in CSR can have a huge positive impact on the business. It can increase employee engagement and motivation, enhance marketing and PR by providing a valuable opportunity to communicate beyond standard product and corporate messaging and it can give the company a competitive advantage – research shows that 82 per cent of people agree that a company which is known for going the extra mile is more likely to win over one which has no such reputation. So really, it’s a bit of a no-brainer.

An added bonus is that investing in CSR can also help you better connect with your clients. The needs of the local community, of course, always resonate with customers and knowing your community issues you’ll have an insight into what affects customers.

Of course, how to invest effectively in your community isn’t always an easy decision. How do you find out what issues affect your area or customers? How do you decide which charities to donate to? I

If you aren’t sure about your approach then that is where SYCF comes in. As a local grant-making charity we have more than30 years’ experience working within South Yorkshire communities. So, we are in the unique position of knowing and understanding the issues faced by each area of the county and are also able to outreach to the thousands of organisations working to tackle these issues.

We specialise in helping businesses create an effective CSR strategy for the benefit of all. So again, it really is a no-brainer.

Our SY100 Club is an easy way to start giving back. It has more than 30 members already, a number which is always growing.

It is becoming more and more popular for businesses to demonstrate their commitment to the local community with small annual donations.

To find out more go to South Yorkshire Community Foundation or email Soniab@sycf.org.uk

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