This week I hope to show that there are so many easy ways that you can give a little something, and make a difference. It is all about choices, so I am framing each thing I have done by exploring what made me choose to do it at that particular moment in time.
- Monday 1 April – I chose to donate an extra £3 when purchasing airline tickets (because at that point what’s an extra £3 to me, but if 100 people did that, that’s £300 to the charity. Just like that). This donation will go to funding Pure: The Clean Planet Trust. See feature for more.
- Tuesday 2 April – I chose to spend three minutes of my lunch break to share the Marie Curie thank you video on Twitter, along with information about how much our collections raised.
- Wednesday 3 April – I had five minutes to spare so instead of checking Facebook for the millionth time, I chose to see if there was something I could easily do online to make a difference. What I found was more than I ever could have hoped for. I got to spend five minutes playing a vocabulary game, and I got ten questions right, so that’s 100 grains of rice donated to the UN World Food Programme.
- Thursday 4 April – I chose to take a set of clothes to leave in a British Heart Foundation bin in a supermarket car park, when going to do my weekly shop.
- Friday 5 April – When buying a coffee at a local cafe, I actually had a choice of tins to put money into. I chose the Devon Wildlife Trust.
- Saturday 6 April – I chose whilst meeting up with a friend to get us signed as a team for Race for Life.
- Sunday 7 April – I chose to spend one minute of the several hours I spend online to sign a Save the Children petition. Off the back of this, I also decided to contact the regional coordinator to see how I can help locally.
Feature: Monday 1 April
Donating to charity whilst I already had my card out to pay for something was an easy choice to make. What I found most interesting about this particular choice was that the business I was giving money to (British Airways), and the charity I ended up donating to (Pure: the Clean Planet Trust) are aligned in some way. I imagine setting up this scheme has ticked a big box in British Airways corporate social responsibility (CSR) plan.
Whether it’s purely selfish motivation for a company to make a move like this (perhaps hoping to enhance their brand in the eye of the consumer), I really rather feel that more businesses should be doing this, for many reasons – some less selfish than others.
As of March 2010, there are 180,000 registered charities in the UK, so I would say there’s probably at least one charity that businesses willing to take this step could partner up with. There are so many ways both parties can benefit from this relationship. To name but a few – the charity obviously benefits financially from any funds raised; and if the business that chooses them really is well aligned, then mentoring of some description as well. The business, apart from ticking the CSR box, can benefit from having fundraising activities count towards team building, amongst other things.
As far as I can see, with my two hats on (business by day, charity by night), everyone’s a winner.