I’m going to kick this article straight off with stating the following: giving back has been an essential value of Drew London, right from the very start.
Most businesses fully appreciate the importance of CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility) and many incorporate it as part of their business model. Executing CSR - or finding the time to help others - is tough. But seriously, it’s essential. And can be done. No excuses.
Let’s wrap some more tangible meaning around this. What does CSR mean to Drew London? Well, we do see it as giving back. Opportunities for all. Kindness. Doing good, simply because we can. Might not sound very cut-throat and corporate, but believe me, it’s good for business in so many ways.
Since 2005 we’ve slept outside for @The_CEOSLEEPOUT , video of my sleepout experience here, run muddy challenges for Battersea Dogs home, produced marketing for Charities and Not-for-profit completely gratis, mentored at the House of St Barnabas, held cake sales for MacMillan's, served in soup kitchens, and run around London as Christmas Kindness Elves.
Clearly, this has helped plenty of people at the beneficiary end of the scale, but it’s also given Drew London something unique: a united set of values, open minds, a passion for helping people, whether they’re homeless and hungry or a CEO in need of branding strategy.
Fundraising is a part of our everyday culture, with at least one team member at any one time carrying out an activity to raise much-needed funds for their chosen charity. On April 13th I’m taking a group of children (not my own) up the 10th highest mountain in Britain to raise funds for ChildAid:
Our Senior Designer, Kerry is taking part in a gigantic 100km run/jog/walk from London to Brighton to raise money for Alzheimer's Society. If you'd like to sponsor her, click here!
CSR plays a huge part of our company culture, so it’s only right that I pay it forward and offer you my top 5 tips to making CSR a valuable part of your company, too:
- Don’t see it at ‘billable hours’. Time out of the office, together, is important team building time, the results of which are somewhat immeasurable.
- Support your employees. So one of them want so be part of ‘Silver Line’ to spend valuable time talking to the older generation, that may not be your cup of tea (so to speak) but it may be very important to them.
- Listen to your team. If they’re up for something that they think looks like fun, but you’d rather curl up into a ball and cry, do seriously consider the option. Get out of your comfort zone. It’ll be worth it. I promise.
- Be a team player. Even if what your colleagues are suggesting doesn’t work for you, go along, enjoy it. When we cook at a soup kitchen, there were several reluctant members… but it transpired that they had the best time.
- Record your experience. It’ll help others take up the CSR mantle - and they make pretty good memories, too.Everyone has a responsibility to carry out charitable work. Not sure how? Get in touch… I’d be happy to advise, join or support you: firstname.lastname@example.org