Corporate donations can help solve social problems

Expert opinion: corporate donor culture could significantly increase the percentage of incoming donations

2 October 2014

Representatives of private businesses are contributing to solving social problems increasingly often in the form of corporate donations, note experts. In 2013, 63% of donations were made on ‘donor away days’ organised by companies.

Corporate donating is not simply an opportunity to provide help to those in need, but also an effective means of team-building, according to company representatives.

As an example, Coca-Cola Hellenic company run a ‘Donor Day’ on a regular basis in collaboration with the Federal Medical and Biological Agency’s (FMBC) Blood Donation Centre; each year, it attracts more and more participants. In 2013, over 120 factory workers from Coca-Cola Hellenic’s Moscow branch, and around 100 workers of the ‘Multon’ factory in Shelkobo took part in the project, which allowed, in total, for around 100 litres of blood to be given to the FMBC Blood Centre.

If employers can assure their employees that what they are doing could save somebody’s life, workers start to trust their company and fulfil their duties more responsibly, according to business representatives.

Regional communications manager of Coca-Cola Hellenic in Moscow Tatiana Gubina states that the key to attracting workers to participate in the donor campaign is less incentives on the part of companies, more a sense of social responsibility on the part of the workers.

“The decision to donate is always voluntary. All we do is try to focus attention on the problems which we can really help to solve,” says a representative from Coca-Cola Hellenic. “We hope that our company contributes to solving pressing social problems, and thanks to the blood collected by our employees, we’ve managed to save someone’s life.”

Head doctor of the manufacturing unit at FMBA’s Blood Centre Siofia Golosova notes that the average age of people who regularly give blood is getting lower. It is the development of corporate donations in particular that make this possible.

“More and more young people are trying to join the blood donation movement. One of the most promising ways that this is happening in our country is by encouraging businessmen and women to give blood. Already, 63% of donations in Russia are made on Donor Days. Our main task is to promote the idea in major companies,” says the expert.

The main way business can participate in regularly donating blood in Russia is by organising corporate away day campaigns, and by giving blood at centres for blood donation. However, there are less obvious means by which companies can be involved – by supporting organisations which are promoting the idea of free blood donation, for example, or by taking part in running topical events and manufacturing merchandise, or running projects aimed at the development of non-financial support for the movement and organising information campaigns.

“Blood donation is society’s problem, which can only be solved by the efforts of the medical community or the authorities,” says the deputy director of the Co-ordinating Centre for the Organisation, Development and Promotion of Voluntary Donation (under the Public Chamber of the Russian Federation), Elena Stefaniuk. “Every year, more and more directors are giving the development of corporate donations the green light. We want to invite companies to join our Coordinating Centre.”

Author: Yulia Viatkina

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