As the official representative of business in the area, KLCBT co-organised a Corporate Social Investment (CSI) Expo to help businesses properly plan their CSI spend.
Social responsibility programmes are often an extension of a company’s values and culture but too often, deciding which NPOs to support is a hit-and-miss affair with busy executives unable to properly assess all charity organisations in their area.
Another concern, according to KLCBT’s Chief Operating Officer Linda Grimbeek, is that those Lowveld operations that have their head offices elsewhere, often do not have a say in the group’s CSI planning – even though they contribute to the budget. This sees money flowing out of the region.
“Some companies, particularly corporates, tend to support national charities and very little of their CSI budget is spent locally. Besides the loss of support to the local charities, there is also the matter of the money drain out of the Lowveld. Every Rand you spend or donate outside the area will never come back! Support the local charity organisations, because they will spend the money here, in our own community,” she says.
The expo was presented in partnership with I’langa Mall and German development agency Deutsche Gesellschaft fur Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ).
KLCBT says that while most businesses have a budget in mind, they are less prepared when it comes to making the most of their money or time.
The expo gave NPOs a platform to introduce their organisation to a gathered audience at Cappuccino’s upstairs venue, and for the public to learn more about the work done by the NPOs at their stands scattered throughout the mall that day.
“There are so many smaller or lesser known charity organisations doing fantastic work and this will create a platform for them to show us what they are doing in the community,” says Grimbeek.
KLCBT also undertook to use its newsletter and social media platforms to make the rest of its 900 members aware of the work done by the 28 participating NPOs. Lowveld Media’s Marketing Manager Linda Pieters and Radio Laeveld’s Robin Jansma also promised to do what they could to get exposure for the organisations. “An initiative like this is long overdue,” said Jansma in thanking the Chamber for organising the expo.
For more information, contact Linda Grimbeek at firstname.lastname@example.org or 013 755 1988.