E141 - Work For Good With Veronica Bamford - Deane
Updated: May 17
“[During the pandemic] we have seen a growth in the number of businesses that have been joining our platform and wanting to donate to charities.” - Veronica Bamford-Deane
In this episode, we speak with Veronica Bamford-Deane, Managing Director of Work for Good, an online fundraising platform launched in 2018 to help charities steward small businesses who want to raise funds through the sale of their products and services. We discuss the potential for charities to build meaningful fundraising relationships with small businesses.
1. Why small businesses want to support charities
We speak about the significance of demonstrating charitable support for a small business. Companies are putting values at the heart of their business, wanting to support causes such as the environment and wider society. Veronica adds that any business regardless of its size, would want to support charities because it demonstrates to its customers what’s important to them and could enable the company to increase business.
Additionally, supporting a charitable cause gives the company a competitive edge over their competitors because consumers are increasingly mindful of making ethical choices. Veronica also suggests that when a business supports a charitable cause, it is more likely to generate staff goodwill and contribute to increased motivation at work.
Veronica also highlights that both charities and small businesses have been added to the Government’s agenda and campaigns to support local and acknowledging that charities ‘fill the gaps’ and provide vital services for the public. Therefore charities should seek to make the most of this platform to gain support from the public and small businesses.
2. How the pandemic has accelerated support from small businesses
During the pandemic, Veronica has observed a considerable amount of growth at Work for Good. Charities contacted them on a weekly basis, searching for a solution to efficiently manage the small amounts of money businesses wanted to donate. These businesses had gained profits during the pandemic and wanted to give back to charitable causes.
The Work for Good platform has supported the charities not only to accept donations regardless of size, therefore enabling charities to increase their supporter base, but the platform has also supported smaller charities who do not have resident experts in Commercial Partnership Agreements. Please visit the Fundraising Code of Practice, where you can find more information about Commercial Participation Agreements.
Perhaps following the pandemic, many small business owners and charity leaders may come to realise that they need each other now more than ever.
3. How charities can build long-term and mutually beneficial relationships with small businesses
Building relationships with small businesses could not only help charities to do more good, it could also help to encourage ethical consumerism and perhaps even ethical business decisions.
Veronica explains that Work for Good provides an easy way for small businesses to support their chosen charities. Cause-related marketing can entail complex agreements where businesses promote a certain product or service to support a charity. Cause-related marketing can be linked to controversies too, notably most recently with the M&S and Aldi social media interactions on Colin the Caterpillar cake and #caterpillarsforcancer. Charities’ reputations became involved as both supermarkets support cancer charities (Teenage Cancer Trust, Macmillan Cancer Support and Breast Cancer Now).
Veronica believes that charities may see cause-related marketing as predominantly a financial benefit however brand awareness is an added benefit for charities. Cause-related marketing offers the opportunity for charities to build fundraising relationships, but also recognition and possibly a wider-supporter base through reaching out to their corporate supporter’s customers. Charities should be cautious when working with businesses to ensure there are no risks to over-balancing the relationship on either side. Therefore having clear guidelines will help to protect both parties and measure expectations.
As a charity, when reaching out to businesses you should consider how businesses like to give. As a small business they may have very limited capacity, so providing simple methods for businesses to support you is more likely to succeed.
Through clear communication and Commercial Partnership Agreements or even collaborating via Work for Good, the hurdles small businesses may have encountered when donating to charities, and the concerns that charities may have had around brand management, may be a thing of the past if both parties can find a way of simplifying their initial understanding of their partnership.
We hope you enjoy this week’s episode, which is brought to you by our platinum sponsor Charity People.
For more about the influence of public perception on charity policy, check out:
Check out E130 – Ethical Consumerism and Charity with David Zarzecki https://www.charitychat.org.uk/post/e130-ethical-consumerism-and-charity-with-david-zarzecki-executive-director-of-kindred
E57 – Strategic Partnerships with Jo Taylor
E37 – Corporate Fundraising with Asher Simpson