1 in 3 small businesses involved in charity work
The Dobro.Mail.ru service and the Mail.ru business platform recently carried out research on the level of Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises (SME) involvement in charity work and set up a “Code of Goodness” fund.
The study showed that up to 30% of SME employees said that their businesses were engaged in charitable activities. In the majority of cases, small firms provide financial help (40% of respondents); 29% stated that they donated food, clothes and other essentials to charity, while 25% said they acted as volunteers.
Researchers also discovered that small businesses most often provided help to children (according to 73% of respondents), while adults and older people received assistance from 32% and 31% of SME respondents respectively. The survey also revealed that SMEs were least willing to help animals or support environmental causes.
39% stated that their firms provided targeted help to specific groups of people. However, the study’s authors pointed out that this could be risky as NGO expertise is required to check the effectiveness of various treatments paid for by businesses.
The main motivation of small companies for engaging in charity is to share their resources and to do good (according to 64% and 34% of respondents respectively). At the same time, 17% claimed that charity was an important part of their corporate culture, with 12% believing their involvement was necessary for the good name of their company.
“We are seeing that SMEs are joining larger businesses in being prepared to engage in charity work. However, smaller firms are often unable to allocate resources to hold on to individual corporate social responsibility specialists who can advise on requests for help, or develop effective social partnerships with charities”, said Alexander Babkin, Head of Social Projects at the Mail.ru platform.
It is important that not only internet users but also businesses support well-established professional charity projects. “That’s why we’ve set up our own “Code of Goodness” fund which will pass on all donations to charity projects carried out by Dobro.Mail.ru partner foundations. Legal entities will be able to make donations to Dobro.Mail.ru and develop their own social projects which are mutually beneficial for business and society”, said Babkin.
The “Code of Goodness” fund will assist entrepreneurs in developing useful and effective programmes for the public, as well as helping charity bodies tackle social problems. Based on a business-need analysis, the charity’s team will develop social projects that epitomise a company’s social ethos and professional contribution to promoting charitable work.