Building the business case for doing good

Of course we all know that ethical business is a real win-win. Not only can you help to solve a social or environmental issue, but you can also get some amazing business benefits at the same time. However, convincing the decision-makers at your company to support your work and to give you enough budget can be hard work. Here are some ways to make sure your business has your back:

1) What are the benefits?

The benefits of doing good to your business’ bottom line are very real and very diverse. Here are some examples:

Increase revenue through:

  • Enhanced company reputation
  • Access to new markets

Improve productivity through:

  • More pride in the company
  • Increased employee engagement and motivation
  • Improved professional skills & leadership development

Reduce costs through:

  • Reduced absenteeism
  • Easier recruitment
  • Less attrition


2) Useful stats

 Help get your point across with some snappy facts and figures:

  • 94% of companies surveyed believe employee volunteering provides a way to raise employee morale (Source: Corporate Citizenship & City of London)
  • 66% of employees report a greater commitment to their company as a result of their experience volunteering (Source: Corporate Citizenship & City of London)
  • 91% of Fortune 500 Human Resources Managers said skills-based volunteering with a charity can be an effective way to cultivate critical business and leadership skills (Source: Deloitte)
  • 50+% of millennials would consider leaving an employer whose values no longer matched their own (Source: PwC)
  • 88% of millennials say they want to work for a socially responsible company (Source: Deloitte)
  • Based on decreased turnover costs and improved employee performance, $2400 are generated for every employee who participates in a volunteer programme (Source: CEB)
  • £381 vs £400: it costs £19 less per employee to develop skills through volunteering compared with traditional training (Source: Corporate Citizenship)
  • 55% of consumers say they are willing to pay more for products and services provided by companies that are committed to positive social and environmental impact. (Source: Nielsen)
  • There is a 5% – 40% increase in revenue for companies that demonstrate a clear commitment to social responsibility (Source: Nielsen)
  • There is a 74% reduction in energy use when switching to LED lighting. Whilst there is often an up front expense, payback in LED lighting is typically between one and three years. (Source: Carbon Trust)

3) Understanding your impact

The reality of the situation is that measuring impact is a scary business and it’s really hard to do it perfectly. However, the good news is that there are some small steps you can take to get started on the journey and have a much clearer idea of the impact you’re having on society, the environment, and your business.

You can start by setting some objectives for each of your projects and initiatives. These can be social or environmental goals (e.g. building the capacity of a charity partner, increasing the confidence of a young person, recycling more, etc.) or business goals (e.g. brand awareness, increasing employee skills, etc.). This is such a vital step that so many people miss out. Firstly, it ensures that you aren’t about to embark on a project that isn’t actually going to benefit anyone. It also makes sure that you plan each project carefully with your objectives in mind, so that you are maximising your impact. Finally, it gives you a clear metric against which to gauge how successful your projects have been, and to come up with ways to improve next time.



4) Assigning financial value to social impact

 HACT have developed an amazing tool to help you really understand the impact you’ve been having. They’ve managed to assign monetary values to many of the social impacts that your projects and initiatives might address. It’s a really useful way to prove the return on investment that your initial budget has managed to produce.

Have a look here:

5) Inspiration from others

There are plenty of companies out there doing fantastic work. Here are some of our favourites:

6) Compelling content

If you need to convince people about the importance of doing good in the first place, there is a lot of compelling stuff out there. Here are some ideas:

7) Who can help?

 If you still need some help there are loads of providers out there to help you on your ethical journey. Here are some we know of:

  • thirdbridge – software to help engage your employees and report on your impact
  • Project Dirt – help to organise large-scale, outdoors, team-building volunteering days with charities that genuinely need the support
  • Career Volunteer – support to find rewarding trustee positions for your senior staff members
  • Heart of the City – programme to help businesses get started with doing good
  • Credibly Green – help with all things environmental

work harder

For more information on any of the above, please feel free to get in touch on

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