With budgets continuing to be squeezed but businesses still keen to fulfill their CSR objectives, Tracy Harrison, CEO of Derbyshire’s specialist child exploitation charity Safe and Sound encourages companies to think outside the box when it comes to charity and community support in 2023.

“Like all charities and community organisations, we learned some pretty tough lessons during the pandemic on how we could best work with businesses and individuals when the opportunities for fundraising were not possible.

“We discovered that businesses of all shapes and sizes totally embraced the opportunity to form collaborations and partnerships rather than simply be asked for money.

“I will be forever thankful for just how many came through for us at a time when demand for our services soared due to the increased time that young people were spending on social media and gaming platforms – increasing their vulnerability to online grooming.

“We all continue to face tough decisions due to the economic climate and many businesses will not be able to donate money or fundraise this coming way so my plea is to think differently about CSR in

“Firstly choose a charity that fits and enhances the company’s brand and values longer term. Think local as this makes a greater impact to social mobility in the community where employees and probably customers live. Research what pro bono support you can offer and could your employees volunteer their time to the charity?

“So before slashing charity and community budgets, consider how your company can create a legacy that will make a difference to people’s lives and enhance your brand for many years to come.”