Community investment - the business case

The business case

Companies often begin to invest in their communities because they feel it is the 'right thing to do', but they soon discover sound business reasons for continuing.

Employees and future workforce

Effectively engaing staff through community investment programmes returns a range of benefits, from improved professional and personal skills amongst employees (communication, leadership, problem solving) to improved diversity, and employee retention.

Brand value and reputation

Companies that remain true to their values and act on them report positive public recognition from key stakeholders and media, and improved relationships with customers and suppliers. Community investment activities can enable companies to develop a point of difference over sector peers.  It can also open the way for them to engage with the public sector and policy makers on UK social issues.

Direct financial impact

Direct financial gains include those resulting from the HR benefits of well-managed community investment, such as diversity and employee retention.  There are also potential savings in training costs for companies which use employee volunteering opportunities over more formal training.

Organisational growth

Companies with strategic community investment take time to understand the needs of their commuities. This customer insight has led many companies to expand their markets, improve their products and meet changing customer expectations

Demonstrating strong values and commitment to their communities can set companies apart in increasingly competitive markets, and may improve their credentials when tendering for commercial contracts.

How: Five key principles of community investment

Community investment programmes that create real social impact as well as business benefits are underpinned by five key principles.

  • Identify the social issues that are most relevant to your business and most pressing to the communities you work with

  • Work in partnership with your communities, leveraging your combined expertise for mutual benefit

  • Plan and manage your community investment using the most appropriate resources to deliver against your targets

  • Inspire and engage your employees, customers and suppliers to support your community programmes

  • Measure and evaluate the difference that your investment has in the community and on your business. Strive for continual improvement

 

 

Interested in joining our network? Become a member of Business in the Community