Yesterday’s blog post Doing good is good for your small business explored why Social Corporate Responsibility is not just for large organisations, and gave some tips to consider in your own small business.
Sadly, but not surprisingly, charitable support has declined over the last few years, mirroring economic market conditions. But as Martin Luther King Jr says,
“The time is always right to do what is right”.
The Charities Aid Foundation measures charitable giving over three criteria:
- Donations to charity
- Time volunteered to an organisation
- Help provided to a stranger who needed it.
Even when pennies are tight and margins are slim, there are opportunities for small businesses to contribute to their communities in a socially responsible way.
Please read Doing good is good for your small business for more information.
What am I doing at Just leave it with me?
I am a fundraiser and patient representative for Lifeblood: The Thrombosis Charity.
I have selected this charity as one that I relate to personally. When deciding to align my business with this charity I considered
- how I can make a difference through my business
- that it is a small charity with low overheads, where every penny counts
- that the association is authentic, and therefore my charity work is in line with my personal and business brand
- that whilst Thrombosis is little understood, it touches everyone in my community in some way, either directly or through someone they know, and therefore it is relevant.
You may be shocked to know that 35,000 people die in England and Wales each year from a Thrombosis. Of this, 25,000 deaths are related to a stay in hospital – more than the number of deaths each year from AIDS, breast cancer and road traffic accidents put together.
The condition affects people of all ages and fitness levels, and often thrombosis survivors are left with debilitating after effects that make it difficult for them to work and lead a normal healthy life.
A Thrombosis is a blood clot that forms in the lower leg, known as a Deep Vein Thrombosis or DVT. If a piece of a DVT breaks off it will move around the body and may lodge in the lungs, where it is known as a Pulmonary Embolism or PE. This is often sudden and fatal. Collectively DVTs and PEs are known as Veinous Thromboembolism, or VTE.
How do I help?
I have made cash donations, personally and encouraged others to contribute, but that is only the start.
One of my great pleasures in having my own business is that I can choose which days I work, and when I can take time out for my preferred charity.
I am a patient representative for Lifeblood, so I attend quarterly meetings of the National Nursing and Midwifery Network at the Department of Health in London.
My participation is to bring the patient perspective to discussions by medical professionals. I have contributed my communication skills to the drafting of leaflets given to patients in many UK hospitals. I have provided feedback on information provided on the website and I have sat on an ‘expert’ panel at An All Party Parliamentary meeting at The House of Commons to discuss VTE prevention in NHS hospitals.
I will be presenting at the next meeting on how to raise public awareness through social media.
Help provided to a stranger who needed it
I have been a listening ear to newly diagnosed patients, who feel they can’t burden their friends and families with their health worries. There is a lot of fear surrounding VTE and I feel it is my responsibility to support others who are going on a journey I have already taken.
As I have been one of the lucky ones, twice, the help I provide to strangers, is the ability to understand their concerns and fears, yet offer calm support. I wish I had had this the first time I had a DVT, but I was lucky that Lifeblood had been founded in time for my second. I am happy that I can repay the kindness that was offered to me at that difficult time.
“The end result of kindness is that it draws people to you.” Anita Roddick
To find out more about Lifeblood, and how you might help with a fundraising event I am sponsoring through my business, please follow this link: Fundraising Fashion Show.
I have been overwhelmed by the kindness of other businesses in offering quality raffle prizes to support me in my fundraising. This is good for them too, as their donations promote their brands and they will be given full recognition for their generosity.
Have you thought about how you can do good through your business?
Please leave me a comment. I love to hear about the good that others are doing through their businesses.