Every CEO has a corporate social responsibility to make a difference

In recent years, the not-for-profit sector has seen a significant rise in corporate professionals wanting to get involved with charities in a hands-on and meaningful way, rather than simply donating to a cause. People want to work for an organisation that takes active social responsibility and experience seriously.

To provide the opportunity for employees to get involved with community causes, CEOs should consider forming a personalised relationship with a small to medium-sized charity. Don’t let your imagination be limited in how you can work together with a not for profit or charity, whether it be through offering your time, skills, fundraising support and so on. The possibilities are endless!

Here are 5 excellent ways CEOS and employees alike can get involved with a worthy cause:

1. Get a team together for a fundraising event.

Get a team together and fundraise for your chosen charity while participating in a fun event, whether it be a BBQ with gold coin donations or a sponsored initiative like a running race.

Getting a team together to fundraise for a worthy cause is a great opportunity for team bonding. One of our biggest contributors at Stepping Stone House is Kennards Hire, who enters a team in our annual Sailing Regatta and overnight fundraiser, Sleep Under the Stars, coming up in October.

CEO Angus Kennard sees these fundraisers as important team-building experiences for the organisation: “Working together to build a shelter for Sleep Under the Stars is a fun and challenging experience for the Kennards team. We look forward to it every year and feel good knowing we’re making a life-changing difference to formerly homeless young people.”

2. Volunteer your time and skills.

Volunteering your time and skills to a charity is another excellent way to get directly involved. Whether your expertise lies in accounting, IT or acting, your pro bono knowledge and advice can make all the difference to disadvantaged people and communities.

At Stepping Stone House, we have 160 volunteers from a diverse range of sectors, who regularly devote their time and skills across 40 different volunteer roles. We also host corporate volunteering days such as Working Bees and Backyard Blitzes, which anyone can get involved with, no matter their skill level or background.

3. Donate an experience that’s aligned with your brand.

Why not make a difference by donating an enjoyable experience to a charity? This experience should be aligned with both the values and service offerings of your organisation, and the values and interests of the charity.

For example, we have a special partnership with Universal Sony Pictures Home Entertainment (UNISPHE) at Stepping Stone House. After participating in a working bee with us, Managing Director Jim Bachelor and his team saw an opportunity to create a wonderful childhood memory by opening up their VIP theatre normally used for movie premiers to our formerly homeless and disadvantaged young people just before Christmas each year.

4. Become a mentor or role model for a disadvantaged person.

Are you a high achiever, world-wise, empathetic and a good communicator? Do you love inspiring and listening to others? Becoming a mentor or role model for someone less fortunate than yourself can be a hugely rewarding experience for both parties.

One of our ambassadors, Ray Sykes, became a role model for Stepping Stone House when he started coming along on our outdoor education activities, such as hikes. His interest in the outdoors and rapport with young people means he has a very positive influence on our residents.

“I really love the focus Stepping Stone House has on outdoor activities like camping and hiking. These activities teach young people to push through their comfort zone, to work as a team and to trust others,” he said.

5. Donate funds or items to the cause.

Last but not least, your organisation can get involved with a charity by donating funds or items. You can set up a recurring donation or a workplace-giving initiative where employees make donations pre-tax. You can also donate items that the charity might be in need of, such as clothes, books, electronics, furniture or toiletries.

This article was first published in The CEO Magazine