Good corporate responsibility runs a lot deeper than a good PR story but that doesn’t mean you can’t tell your customers about what you have done in their community. But why not go further and include your customers directly in your charitable activities like Marks & Spencer?
While the majority of customer facing businesses provide small-scale opportunities for customers to join their fundraising campaigns, we’re yet to see many examples of customers taking the next step into active volunteering.
Through their Plan A programme, Marks & Spencer have spent many years expanding and refining their considerable support of charities and communities. One of their current programmes is Spark Something Good which aims to kick start interactions between Marks & Spencer stores, local people and community groups in cities around the UK. The impetus behind the initiative is that Marks & Spencer know they have considerable reach through their customer base and wanted to use this for good, providing easy ways for people to make a real difference in their city.
Spark Something Good took place in Bristol in mid-June as part of the city’s Big Green Week. Marks & Spencer needed big and exciting projects to attract their customers and staff in this unique collaborative campaign. By partnering with trusted infrastructure organisations, such as Groundwork, Marks & Spencer knew that the projects they planned to promote to staff and customers would meet health and safety requirements as well as ensuring there would be adequate tasks, materials and supervision.
It’s not easy to get your customers on board with volunteering but M&S have successfully engaged a huge number of customers, and in the seven cities so far, 2525 volunteers have participated in 168 projects. Good work!