At the beginning of last year we started working with The Joanna Brown Trust (JB Trust). They are a local charity raising funds to support young athletes who are eager to maximise their potential – so for example the JB Trust might fund some training or equipment. Also they fund sporting projects overseas.
The charity was set up 10 years ago. Joanna Brown died in a trekking accident in 2008, aged 30. Sport was her passion and her brother Rich set up the charity in her memory.
We started to support the JB Trust at the beginning of last year. As a business we had never worked with a chosen charity before and the opportunity gave us great insight into how hard you have to work to raise money. We were drawn to working with a small local charity, we really like Rich and his story and wanted to do ‘our bit’ to raise the profile of the charity and to raise funds.
It’s important to choose a charity that resonates with you as a business. We’re a fairly small company so it didn’t feel right to select a large charity, we didn’t want something that was too emotive, an animal charity would have been a good choice for us but businesses don’t tend to support animal charities. I think the reason for this is that your choice of charity as a business is a major part of your CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility) and people focussed charities do tick that box more than animal charities.
In selecting a charity you do also want an element of WINWIN. As a business it is good to be seen to be taking part in events, drumming up support for events and allying yourselves to a charity where people can see there is a ‘match’ and a genuine commitment. It’s important to check that the charity is able to provide marketing material and good story content so that as a business you can have a good marketing mix to keep it interesting rather than feeling that you’re battering people over the head and always banging on about money. People need to see what the charity are actively doing and what you as a business are doing to support them.
As a telephone answering service our team are not know for their sporting prowess! So last July we organised an old fashioned Sports Day which took place at a local school with great track and field facilities and proper covered stands for spectators etc. Local businesses entered teams and it was frightening to see how competitive people were but it was a triumph. Firstly people had a great time, secondly we raised (after costs) just over £400.00 and thirdly we had some great pics and good mileage on social media. As a result so many businesses want to be part of the event this year that we hope that we can raise £1000.00, why not!
The whole experience has been great for us as a business, it’s broadened our profile and has added a new dimension to how people feel about us as a company. For the Joanna Brown Trust, Rich Brown comments “working with Professional Call Minders has been brilliant, they are full of ideas and their enthusiasm and support has raised the profile of the charity significantly, their Sports Day is a legendary fixture in our calendar of events and we can’t thank them enough for their continued support.”
If you’re not already working with a charity we can highly recommend that you do.