Charity support

Supporting and raising money for charity may help your business to succeed. Here Derin Clark looks into why you should consider sponsoring a charity and what to be careful of if you do


The economic climate over the past few years has led to consumers tightening their financial belts, which has resulted in companies seeing the competition for customers increase. Along with this, continuous negative headlines about banks, financial institutions and large companies cutting hundreds of jobs, have impacted the public’s trust in many businesses.

For many consumers, especially those aged 18-35, purchasing products and services from companies that appear to be ethical is often just as important as those that provide value for money. With businesses now having to work harder to earn their customer’s trust, and their money, many are improving their corporate responsibility image.

One of the simple ways many business owners have decided to do this is by sponsoring and supporting charities.

The economic climate over the past few years has led to consumers tightening their financial belts, which has resulted in companies seeing the competition for customers increase. Along with this, continuous negative headlines about banks, financial institutions and large companies cutting hundreds of jobs, have impacted the public’s trust in many businesses.

For many consumers, especially those aged 18-35, purchasing products and services from companies that appear to be ethical is often just as important as those that provide value for money. With businesses now having to work harder to earn their customer’s trust, and their money, many are improving their corporate responsibility image.

One of the simple ways many business owners have decided to do this is by sponsoring and supporting charities.

Supporting a charity not only improves the brand’s image to consumers, but for franchisors it has the added benefit of helping to make the business more appealing to potential franchise owners. As well as this, many franchisors find that by having the entire franchise network working together to raise money for a specific charity helps to create unity and partnership between their franchise owners. Franchising giant McDonald’s, for example, has been supporting the charity Ronald McDonald House Charities since 1989. This charity provides free accommodation for families of children who are in hospital. Over the years McDonald House Charities has grown and it now has 15 Ronald McDonald Houses and provides over 450 rooms for families.

Ronald McDonald House Charities not only gets support from the McDonald’s franchisor but also from its franchise owners. In each McDonald’s restaurant there is a collection box for the charity, as well as this individual franchise owners often participate in fundraising events, for example franchise owners have recently completed skydives, climbed Mount Snowdon and organised football tournaments. Although there are many benefits to a franchisor in supporting a charity, it is also important to carefully decide which charity to support before publicising the sponsorship.

Some charities, although raise awareness for good causes, can at the same time be seen as controversial. For example not many people would be against what PETA (people for the ethical treatment of animals) stand for, however many people do find their tactics controversial. If your business is going to publically support a charity you should be aware of how the charity’s tactics and message could impact on your own brand.


In addition to this among the hundreds of ethical charities operating in the UK there are always going to be some that are unethical, for example using a large percentage of donated money on head office salaries rather on what the money was intended for.

Again, by publicly supporting a charity your company’s brand may become tarnished if the charity proves to be unethical and untrustworthy.

Supporting a charity is a great way for your company to participate in corporate responsibility, as well as great for raising funds and awareness for the charity supported. Like all business decisions, however, it is important that full research is done into the organisation to ensure that it is a charity you want you business associated with.