Unsurprisingly, running a not-for-profit event like the Harrogate Christmas Market takes a lot of time and effort. When you attract an estimated 75,000 visitors, it’s essential that you have enough volunteers to help both the public and stallholders. The Harrogate Christmas Market’s volunteers are known as Market Makers, and without them, this market wouldn’t exist. We’re lucky to get both individuals and organisations who wish to help us, such as the fantastic staff (pictured) from the Harrogate Road Coop in Ripon. The manager, Lucy Griffiths, thought that helping our market would be an excellent way to demonstrate corporate social responsibility. Of course CSR can take many forms, including:
- implementing a low carbon initiative
- adopting Fairtrade policies
- helping in the community
The fantastic thing about CSR is that it benefits your organisation in many ways over and above the warm feeling that comes from contributing to the health and welfare of the community. It’s about more than signing a charity donation cheque (although we’re certainly not knocking that).
It aids recruitment and retention, as Generation Z and Millennials prefer companies that have active CSR programmes. An article in Forbes explains that the younger end of the workforce expect their employers to give back, and not just focus on the financial bottom line. Furthermore, staff who participate in CSR activities are generally more engaged and productive.
You can spend inordinate amounts of money promoting your company, its products, and services, but one of the most effective ways to get your brand noticed is to incorporate CSR philosophy throughout your organisation. Just look at Timberland and Ben & Jerry’s. Their CSR PR helped take them to the top of the consumer charts. And when’s the last time you had a sandwich from Greggs? They are a great example of how corporate social responsibility can permeate every aspect of a company. You can read more about what they do on their website.
Whether you’re B2B or B2C, CSR can help gain leads and retain existing customers. Being known as an organisation that takes responsibility for its actions and gives back to the community can pay dividends when trying to build and sustain relationships. Tesla Inc has built its entire company around corporate social responsibility.
So, let’s get to the point. The Harrogate Christmas Market cannot exist without volunteers to help during the event. They are pivotal to the market’s success. It’s an ideal opportunity for businesses to get involved, tick some CSR boxes, and have fun giving back. You don’t need any qualifications to become one of our treasured volunteers, as nothing we expect you to do is rocket science. If you can keep a smile on your face and have a modicum of patience, that’s enough! For more information on what being a Market Maker entails, read our blog Is it a bird? Is it a plane? No! It’s a Market Maker.
If your organisation has a team of likely superheroes like the Ripon Coop, contact us via email at firstname.lastname@example.org, or telephone us on 01423 879208.