In today’s socially conscious world, incorporating philanthropy into business practices has become increasingly important. One way your business can do this is by selecting a charity of the year, as we have here at Xpand.
By actively engaging with a charity, you and your team can create a positive impact, while enhancing your business and your personal brand’s reputation and customer loyalty.
But why bother?
Incorporating a charity of the year initiative into your business’s activities is a win-win situation. It allows you to make a meaningful impact in your local community while reaping numerous benefits for your brand.
By aligning with a charitable cause, you can build purpose and enhance your business’s reputation. It also helps boost employee engagement, gain positive publicity, and strengthen customer loyalty.
Supporting a charity of the year is an investment that benefits the community and leads to long-term growth and success for your brand.
Where it all began
In November 2022, we participated in a charity fire walk for Mind in Bradford.
When we initially proposed walking on fire, we were surprised by the uptake as everyone was keen to support the charity and walk over hot coals.
And then when we met the Mind in Bradford team at the event, we knew we could do more to support them.
Who are Mind in Bradford?
‘Mind in Bradford’ is an affiliate of the ‘Mind’ charity. They’re a smaller part of the bigger picture, but they focus purely on the Bradford community, which of course is where we’re based.
They’re an independent charity which relies on its own resources to provide award-winning local services to people in Bradford, Airedale, Wharfedale and Craven.
“Last year Mind in Bradford supported over 3,000 people with their mental health and well-being” Source
But, we didn’t just sign up there and then
As a management team, we were keen to involve the whole team in the decision-making process. After all, involving your employees gives them a sense of pride and unity.
Participating in charitable activities as a team also promotes a positive work culture and strengthens colleague relationships – we’ve definitely found this at Xpand.
When we asked the team about how they’d feel supporting Mind in Bradford for the whole of 2023, they were all on board. Here’s why…
“Mental health, especially in the Asian community, isn’t spoken about very much. It’s essentially brushed under the carpet.
“After going through quite a draining and stressful divorce, my mental health wasn’t in a good place. And it felt like a huge burden, which ended up affecting my health. I started suffering from migraines which meant I found it difficult to do everyday tasks.
“I realised that I needed to take care of my brain and mental health. And so slowly started meditating, eating well, journaling and also going through therapy to make sense of it all.
“Looking back, all those things combined, made all the difference.
“If I had known about Mind in Bradford and the services they offer, back then, I’m sure It wouldn’t have taken me as long as it did to improve my mental health and well-being. This is why I’m really happy supporting Mind in Bradford, to get their message out to as many people as they can.”
“It was just an ordinary day scrolling LinkedIn when I saw the post about a firewalk. I looked into the details further and realised it was for Mind. I’ll be honest, at this point, it didn’t register to me that they weren’t the national Mind, I just wanted to do the firewalk. So, I signed up myself and my team – sorry guys. It was later that week that I started to see more of Mind in Bradford’s content and realised that these guys were much smaller and locally focused.
“After struggling with my own mental health throughout pregnancy, early motherhood and the pandemic, it was an easy decision to choose Mind in Bradford. Honestly, I wish I’d known about them sooner. But, I know now and because of that, it’s now my responsibility to help others find help who might be in the same or similar situation.”
“Everybody struggles with their mental health at some point in their lives and with local services stretched, it’s often up to non-profits to pick up the slack. Mind in Bradford provides vital services for our local community and need all of the support they can get to be able to continue.
“Working with Mind in Bradford has highlighted the great work they do and the range of services that they provide that I otherwise wouldn’t have known about. Having Mind in Bradford as our charity of the year means we get to give back to our local community and make a difference”
Making a REAL impact…
So what exactly do we have planned for this year, to support Mind In Bradford? Well, lots actually.
Below are some of the exciting things we’ll be doing, better yet, you can support us in all of them (hopefully!).
Network, Learn, Eat Cake, and support a great charity
We’ll be selling cakes and other baked goodies at our next networking event, all proceeds will go to Mind in Bradford.
So empty your piggy banks and dig out the change from behind your sofas to support us at our next 80×20 networking event (we’ll also have a QR code on the day so you can donate online via your phone, as we know not many people carry cash these days).
Come along to network, and have some cake!
600 miles in September challenge
We’ll be going the distance for better mental health! The Xpandables will be completing 600 miles between us during September through running, biking, walking or even skipping.
We’ll be logging every step to reach this target!
An obstacle course so tough, it’s in the name
Yes, you guessed it. We’ll be taking part in Tough Mudder Yorkshire. Matt and Jag have signed up for the 10k course – where they’ll swap overcoming marketing obstacles with physical ones.
With obstacle names such as Arctic Enema, Electroshock therapy and Shawshanked, we’re definitely NOT nervous at all.
In addition to the above events, we’ll also be doing a charity bungee jump and rowing around Great Britain! Keep a look out for news on all the above events on our blog.
Of course, there are many other business benefits to having a Charity of the Year
Supporting a charity of the year can generate significant media coverage and public attention.
This exposure allows you to showcase your business’s philanthropic efforts, creating a positive story around your products and/or services. We know from the pandemic that people are more likely to take notice of a brand that actively contributes to its community and societal well-being resulting in improving a brand’s attractiveness for sales and recruitment.
Aligning marketing and advertising campaigns with a charity of the year can be a powerful tool for brand promotion. By highlighting collaboration, you can create emotional connections with your target audience and differentiate yourself from your competitors.
Customers often associate brands with their philanthropic endeavours, making it an effective strategy for long-term brand recall and customer loyalty.
Engaging with a charity of the year also opens doors to collaborations and networking opportunities with other businesses.
These partnerships not only benefit the charity but also provide long-term advantages for your brand’s growth and reputation.
In fact, Mind in Bradford recently started its own networking events, which we’ve had the pleasure to attend and found extremely useful.
So go on. Ask your team today. Who will be your Charity of the Year?
If you would like to know more about Mind in Bradford you can visit their website.