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New research shows CSR on the rise regionally

Posted on February 20th, 2018

New research launched this morning shows six-out-of-ten businesses in the East Midlands have engaged in Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) activity in the past year, with 40% of them looking to increase their involvement in the coming year.

The survey, carried out by the Chamber, involved 276 businesses. It found that, of those that undertook some form of CSR, the overwhelming drive behind it was a desire to ‘give something back’ to the local community, with 79% citing this as a primary reason.

Six-out-of-ten firms said they were driven by a desire to build stronger links with the local community and four-out-of-ten said they had a personal connection to the cause they were supporting.

However, others saw CSR as being a key tool in helping to support their continued business development and staff engagement. Forty-five per cent said that CSR helped them to build a stronger corporate profile and 38% said it helped with staff development.

The full findings of the research will be revealed at a regional summit being staged between 8am and 10am today by the Chamber, supported by Strategic Partner Ryley Wealth Management.

Commenting on the findings, Chris Hobson, Director of Policy at the Chamber, said: “At a time when traditional sources of funding and support continue to dry up for the charity sector, these findings underline the central role the private sector can play in supporting local communities.

“It’s really interesting to better understand the different drivers behind why businesses engage in CSR. While the majority view it as being ‘the right thing to do’, a significant number also see it as being a key part of their own business strategies.

“At a time when over 40% of UK adults already volunteer in some way, enabling staff to have the opportunity to engage in good causes will seem like a no-brainer for most businesses.”

The survey also explored the reasons why businesses don’t engage in CSR activity, with 60% of those not currently engaging saying they don’t have enough time or are too busy and 13% saying they’re unsure how to.

Chris added: “There’s definitely more work to be done to demonstrate the positive impact CSR can have on both businesses and charities alike, alongside the most effective ways of making the biggest impact, and this is what today’s conference is all about – bringing together charities and the private sector to understand what works well, where there are opportunities to do more and what role the Chamber and others can play to facilitate this happening.”

The Conference is being supported by Ryley Wealth Management. Founder and Chief Executive, David Ryley said: “We’re delighted to be partnering with the Chamber on this activity. CSR is something that I hold dear to my heart and it’s great to be able to bring together businesses and charities to share their experiences of what works best.

“The ultimate aim is to improve the amount and quality of engagement taking place across the East Midlands and Ryley Wealth is pleased to be able to do its bit to help in that.”