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Social Impact for Business

What is social impact for business and how does it affect me?

So, you may have heard the term ‘social impact’ thrown about in relation to business practice and been left scratching your head about how this affects you, your employees and your customers.

Sometimes described to as ‘corporate responsibility’ (CR) or ‘social responsibility’ these terms simply refer to businesses working hand in hand with the local community, charities and voluntary groups to achieve a collective goal. Never has this been more relevant than in the current pandemic, when the need to work together has been paramount to support communities in response to Coronavirus.

We have witnessed whole industries virtually closed overnight, and just about every sector of industry feeling the strain of lockdown and its effects on the economy. However, we have also seen shining examples of these businesses coming together to support the greater good. Whether that’s breweries switching production from beer to hand sanitiser, or restaurants donating time and resources to support food banks. I think it’s safe to say that not since war time, has Britain seen so many partnerships forming between business and industry to support the voluntary sector and the health services. The result has been phenomenal!

Having seen how much good can be created with local partnerships, it is important businesses continue to recognise, value and enhance their social impact.

Just think of the expertise, skills and resources in your business, could you support the local community by sharing these?

Corporate responsibility doesn’t have to be expensive or time consuming. It also doesn’t have to be a tick box exercise. You can make a real difference to your community easily.

How can I improve my social impact?

Here are just a few ideas to get you started:

Volunteering– Do you have an employer supported volunteering programme? Do any staff volunteer in their own time and need more support? Volunteering is an excellent way to support charities and groups who often can’t afford to pay for a large workforce or additional time.

Skills and expertise– Are any community groups on the look out for particular skill sets? Can you offer legal advice or project management experience? Reach out on social media or get involved with your local infrastructure charity and offer your services, you may be surprised how easily you could help!

Donations– so this doesn’t have to just be financial donations; voluntary groups may be looking for other donations, such as the loan of a community space or printing equipment for marketing. Your business resources may be a lifeline for some groups with limited resources and funds.

Explore non-profit business partners and social enterprises– by choosing to do business with non-profit agencies you can support charity through every day business. VAL YOU offer professional services for business such as payroll, recruitment and room hire, with all profits going directly to Voluntary Action Leeds to support the work they carry out across the third sector. This LITTLE change to your everyday business practice could have a BIG impact!

There are lots of ways to get involved with the local community, charities and voluntary groups in your area. Reach out on social media or join local groups online to see where support is needed. Get involved and do something good.

Get in touch if you’d like to know more about Voluntary Action Leeds, VAL YOU or other charities in Leeds and how you can fulfil your social responsibility through business.

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