Collaborative CSR: working together for a greater impact


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When it comes to Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR), too many cooks DON’T spoil the broth! In our previous blog posts, we’ve discussed what CSR is, how it benefits your company and how to pick your chosen charity to support. This week, we’re focusing on why collaboration is so important when it comes to helping both your business and your chosen cause.

Just what would happen if we looked at CSR in an even more collaborative fashion?

A great opportunity for networking and growth.

Collaborating with other companies through CSR has plenty of benefits. Firstly, there’s the opportunity to network and meet people who can help your business. Working with different companies opens doors and leads to new contacts you wouldn’t have met otherwise. Whether it's meeting a new PR whizz or a top-notch accountant, that new connection could be made through collaborative CSR. 

 Increased publicity and exposure.

 A second mutual benefit is great publicity for both companies. Even if you work in the same arena as one another, you’ll see a boost in publicity. Need proof? You only have to look at what happens when major global brands support one another online. Recent twitter banter between Brewdog and Aldi led to an awesome collaboration and an exclusive Brewdog beer being sold exclusively in Aldi stores – a win for both companies. Not to mention the mountains of publicity both companies received thanks to the Twitter exchange.

Collaboration leads to wider exposure for your business. By working with another company and sharing each other’s blogs and social media posts, you’ll reach audiences you wouldn’t have previously. You’ll also be able to share PR contacts and increase press coverage.

If you’re looking for the opportunity to meet like-minded companies looking to support a local cause, sign up for our monthly 5 for 5 virtual networking events. Or get in touch to find out more.

When the chips are down.

Collaborative CSR is all about coming together. The current pandemic has provided some fantastic examples of businesses looking out for one another during this difficult time.

With the hospitality industry suffering losses during lockdown, Burger King announced that it would be using it’s Instagram account to promote struggling local businesses. This initiative struck a chord with customers as it embodied the spirit of coming together during the pandemic.

Similarly, the recent “controversial” Weetabix tweet and the subsequent banter from other supermarkets, restaurants and even the NHS show that coming together, particularly through light-hearted humour and camaraderie, is playing well with customers right now.

At a time of isolation and fear, customers are looking to support caring brands, not companies out to destroy their competition. The decline of the British high street is a perfect example of this – no-one has enjoyed watching the high street deteriorate. Big chains that have bulldozed local competition, have received negative responses. When the chips are down, businesses that come together, work better.

Worthy causes require a collaborative approach.

CSR doesn’t work without collaboration. That’s because CSR isn’t a tick in a box. It requires effort, and real meaning. Jobs that take effort are always easier when done as a team. Companies such as Unilever have been promoting collaborative CSR as a way to join forces with other companies and promote  social change. Due to their market insights, businesses can envision long-term change that governments and councils can’t.

Businesses can also help charities understand market forces and how money is made. Put a fundraiser together with a business minded director - that’s a winning formula. Take the recent collaboration of Simon on the Streets and Awesome Merchandise as a prime example. Awesome Merchandise’s long term vision is to end homelessness in their city, Leeds. Their approach? To use their strengths in marketing and merchandise to increase donations to Simon on the Streets. The successful campaign is still ongoing, proof that fundraising and business goes hand in hand.

Charities working with charities for a better outcome.

At Simon on the Streets, when it comes to collaboration, we don't just talk the talk. Our best work has happened working in partnership with other charities. Homelessness is a complex issue and one we can't solve on our own. We've recently begun collaborating with the Howarth Foundation, who help homeless people find employment, to support our clients into employment and training. We've also collaborated with St Anne's Resource Centre to provide gender-specific support to homeless women in Leeds. Finding new, joined up ways of supporting people is vital to make homelessness a thing of the past.

When it comes to CSR, collaboration is key. It’s a great opportunity to network, get great publicity and help charities grow.

Feeling inspired to find businesses to collaborate with to end homelessness? Join our 5 for 5 partnership scheme and attend our monthly networking events, where you’ll meet people who feel the same way. Now is the time to encourage other businesses to up their game when it comes to CSR.

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