Stepping Stone 05 Local community engagements
Many members will already have strong links with the communities within which they operate.
A focus upon meaningful local community engagements is nothing new, equally at home within more modern concepts of ESG as it was in previous corporate social responsibility (CSR) programmes or as part of general charitable activities.
At its core, this topic encourages members to deliver a positive impact upon the local communities within which they operate through their business activities.
Ideas to get you started
Here are some ideas to get you started based upon what others in the Insurance industry are doing:
- Your environmental initiatives need not be confined to the office and could benefit from being extended into your local community. Could steps taken to reduce your environmental footprint involve offsetting with local community? Could you partner with local organisations to improve biodiversity in the immediate/wider surroundings of your office? The work of the Conservation Volunteers (TCV) could be a great starting point for considering your options.
- The same approach applies to your social strategy, extending your focus beyond your workforce into the community.
- Bring passion to community activities by ensuring they are aligned to the purpose and core competencies of your business. This can lead to a more focused and defined strategy for community engagement that can deliver greater value.
- Volunteering, mentoring, or even apprenticeship programmes developed within the local community provide a means of improving access for those to the industry.
- Alongside volunteering, fundraising events provide the opportunity to use your business as a force for good.
- Payroll giving encourages employees to donate to charity from their monthly pay or similar ideas could be explored eg Aon has also implemented a Loose Change scheme (costing no more than 99p a month) to allow employees to donate the spare pennies from their payslips to support a defined cause.
- If you are in a position to do so, why not also consider community investment grants? Alongside your commitment of time, financial investment in the local community can deliver great value. With clear guidelines around the kind of projects – people, places or environment – that you are looking to fund. Some great examples from outside of the Insurance Industry are the Severn Trent Community Fund and the National Grid Community Grant Programme.
- Consider partnering with specialist organisations e.g. Business in the Community (BITC).
By identifying a community need and engaging in long term, sustainable partnerships, businesses improve their ability to measure the impact that their actions are having.
This can help drive results, enable ongoing review of your efforts to ensure that you are getting the most out of any commitment and also encourage investment in your projects from relevant stakeholders.
Key KPIs to adopt
- Number of charitable initiatives supported (or number of charities supported)
- Total volunteer hours
- Total monetary contribution
- Total number of beneficiaries supported (if known)