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Tamryn Stowell

Corporate Advisor
Charities Aid Foundation

T: +44 (0) 3000 123 507
E: corporate@cafonline.org

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THE CASE FOR INTEGRATING SOCIAL PURPOSE

At CAF we work with 70% of the FTSE100 and everyday we’re witness to the critically important dynamic between “purpose” and profitable growth. Our experience is that having a strong social dimension to your purpose plays a key role in a company’s success, inspiring passion, loyalty and long term returns. In considering purpose it is important to engage your employees and customers as well as consider how it plays into your business strategy.

Firstly, social purpose matters to your employees. The Millennial generation has matured just as the spotlight has turned on the impact of business practice on society. Having an authentic social purpose is increasingly being seen as a key driver to attract and retain talent in a world where competition is high. As the Deloitte Millennial Survey 2016 states “the potential for a “profits-first” approach to alienate Millennials” is very real. At CAF we have advised leading companies, like Brewin Dolphin, who wanted to set up a corporate foundation to help clarify and demonstrate their unique values and purpose. The foundation has since driven significant employee engagement and provided a focus and greater impact for their charitable giving. We also run the country’s most popular payroll giving scheme and help companies like Tesco and Arriva harness their collective employee giving power to further drive employee engagement and build a positive reputation both internally and externally.

Building in social purpose also demonstrates to your customers that you serve a useful role in society. 

CAF’s recent thinking on financial services in collaboration with Edelman highlighted that for companies trust matters: not only are people more likely to buy and recommend products and services from trusted businesses but for many trust underpins a company’s licence to operate and innovate. Trust can be built through demonstrating how purpose is integral to the business. We have seen a growth in social purpose on the high street. Marks and Spencer’s works to sow social purpose intrinsically throughout its consumer-focused strategy #Spenditwell. It’s Plan A 2025 programme aims to have “a positive impact on wellbeing, communities and the planet” through volunteering and community investment at a local level. CAF supports several of its programmes and ensures funds reach local charities across the UK. Another example is Unilever, a sustainable trail blazer, they recent research indicated that its “brands with purpose” are growing at twice the rate as others in their portfolio.

And then there are more immediate, tangible financial returns from intertwining social purpose into the DNA of your business.

When taking a social lens to your business development, the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals helps provide a framework for activities which help to drive efficiencies and strategies for progressive resource management. CAF has worked closely with Warburtons on developing their Sustainability strategy, which combines social, environmental, and financial benefits whilst aligning this to their core values as a family run business.

All businesses began with an original idea, or purpose. In today’s world, revisiting the social side of that purpose is becoming essential to resilience and profitable growth.

So the question isn’t why should you integrate social purpose but, can you afford not to?

At CAF we’re passionate about this agenda and work with businesses of all sizes to help them achieve their ambitions. If you would like to talk further about how we can help you on your journey through integrating social purpose into your business strategy and building high impact social programmes, please contact Tamryn Stowell (tstowell@cafonline.org) or Laura Dosanjh (ldosanjh@cafonline.org).

Tamryn Stowell

Corporate Advisor

Tamryn supports the design and delivery of CR and sustainability strategies and programmes across all sectors through in-depth research and knowledge insights. She has a background in NGO and CR management

Contact Tamryn via email or telephone on +44 (0) 3000 123 507