Winning this year’s CSR award in Lancashire’s Be Inspired Business Awards (the BIBAs) was the result of several years progress and development.
As a leading firm of Independent Financial Advisers, we are fortunate to work with clients at the higher end of the economic scale. We launched in 2003 and in our first 7 years we did a few bits and pieces of charitable fund raising. In those days it was really all about building the business.
In 2013 we retained the Investors In People Gold Award. As good as that was, we lost a few marks on the CSR aspect. Feedback stated that although good community deeds were done, there was no real strategy or structure. In summary, we had no plan!
That did it. The board met to discuss and our employees were invited to contribute their thoughts.
The outcome was a CSR strategy agreed by us all.
1) Fund-raising for local good causes, planned 1 year ahead
2) Additional Employee support programmes
3) Waste recycling
4) Creation, organisation and support for the Last Choir Singing competition
Our total CSR programme now runs as part of our business, not in addition to it.
Only last week we raised money for MacMillan Cancer. A few weeks earlier we donated our second Hand on Heart defibrillator to a local Chorley junior school.
Some of our employees have taken advantage of our employee support programme.
The Last Choir Singing competition has grown to include over 60 schools and 1,500 children per year. The 2017 event is underway, and we have added a Train the Teachers element to it. We have also added a Write a Song competition for budding songwriters.
The outcome of all of this has been immense.
Apart from the thousands in the community that we are touching in some way, our employees have really got involved. They are immensely proud to be part of a firm that gives something back. It sets us apart from our competitors. The firm’s brand benefits hugely from what we do. Our clients are now receiving updates on much of this and it can’t help but assist client retention.
The BIBA award was really just the icing on the cake. Everyone appreciates recognition.
True Bearing, as in the title of the great book, wants to be recognised as a “Firm of Endearment”.