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The Mistoria Group are finalists at the Smiley Charity Film Awards

Words by Abi Scaife

The Corporate Cause section in the Smiley Charity Film Awards is a chance for businesses to demonstrate how they’re giving back. It’s a hugely important and impactful category, allowing us to celebrate their partnerships with charities and causes that benefit our world.

The Mistoria Group, a property investment company based in the UK, has paired up with Speed of Sight, a charity which provides blind driving experiences to people of all ages with disabilities, including visual impairments.

Ahead of the Smiley Charity Film Awards ceremony, which takes place on the 20th of March, we caught up with Khan Saleemi, the Group Operations Director at The Mistoria Group, to hear more about how they are supporting Speed of Sight and why.

Why did you choose to get involved with this cause?

It is always difficult for a business to choose a charity to get involved with as all charitable causes are worthy of support.  So, it wasn’t an easy decision for us either.  However, the following factors helped us to ask Speed of Sight to allow us to help them with their notable cause:

  • As a company, we set our commitment back in 2022 to start supporting community-based initiatives as part of our contribution to society
  • Speed of Sight is the only charity, for [our] knowledge, that actively looks to provide joy, happiness and a sense of belonging to a vast number of people with little or no vision by providing them an experience of a lifetime to drive a car
  • They make impossible, POSSIBLE for their people
  • They instil the courage and confidence in completely and partially sighted people that they can be an active part of society and that they are also fully able for various activities in life
  • Their noble work has a direct and positive impact on families in particular, and on the community
  • Our staff love the initiative that Speed of Sight has taken and actively look to volunteer on their track days. This, in return, spreads the sense of ‘good’ and ‘fulfilment’ to our teams as well
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Why is it so important for businesses to get involved in charity work and giving back?

It is vital that businesses get involved in charitable causes.  The positive impact is enjoyed by both the company and the broader community. For example:

  • All charities belong to a noble cause. They work hard and long to improve the lives of individuals and have a direct positive impact on society
  • A vast majority of these charitable causes, if not all, are non-profit organisations with little or no direct income
  • Their noble works require funds to be able to support their activities including volunteers, bills, direct purchases, etc
  • They also need the moral support of more and more people helping them in their efforts to bring a positive change in the community
  • A business, with its multiple staff, could have a bigger impact when supporting a charity due to its reach and influence
  • Engaging with a charity also helps a business boost staff morale and engagement
  • Businesses play a vital role in the communities where they operate. By supporting charity work, companies contribute to community building, fostering positive relationships with local residents and organisations

How can businesses best support the causes they are involved with?

There are various effective ways that businesses can support a charity. With a thoughtful and strategic approach, their support can assist the charitable causes to create the maximum positive impact in the community.  Here are a few examples:

  • Provide financial support through donations, sponsorships, or fundraising initiatives. A consistent and reliable source of funding is crucial for charities to plan and execute their programs
  • Donate products, services, or resources that the charity can use or distribute. This can include equipment, technology, office space, or expertise that aligns with the charity's needs
  • Implement matching gift programs where the company matches employees' donations to the charity. This not only increases the impact of individual contributions but also fosters a culture of philanthropy within the organization
  • Encourage and facilitate employee volunteerism. Allow employees to take paid time off for volunteering, organize group volunteer activities, or offer skills-based volunteering where employees can use their professional expertise to benefit the charity
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  • Establish long-term partnerships with the charity to provide sustained support. Building a strong relationship allows for a better understanding of the charity's needs and ensures a more significant and lasting impact
  • Use the company's marketing channels to promote the charity's mission and events. This can include featuring the charity in newsletters, on the company website, and through social media to increase awareness
  • Develop marketing campaigns that tie the company's products or services to the charity. This can raise awareness and funds for the charity while promoting the company's brand.
  • Use the company's influence to advocate for the charity's cause. This may involve engaging with policymakers, industry peers, or other stakeholders to promote awareness and positive change related to the charity's mission
  • Implement employee giving programs, such as payroll deduction schemes or workplace giving campaigns, where employees can contribute a portion of their salary to the charity of their choice
  • Share the skills and expertise of your employees with the charity. This can include providing training, mentoring, or consulting services that help the charity operate more efficiently
  • Offer work placements for their volunteers to gain specific skills
  • Regularly communicate with the charity to understand their evolving needs and assess the impact of the company's support. Provide constructive feedback and be open to adapting strategies for maximum effectiveness

By taking a holistic and collaborative approach, businesses can make a meaningful and sustainable impact on the charities they support while benefiting from the positive effects on employee engagement, brand reputation, and community relations.

You can see the video made by The Mistoria Group and Speed of Sight here on the Smiley Charity Film Awards website. You can learn more about The Mistoria Group here on their website, and follow this link to learn more about Speed of Sight.

Charity check-in 

At Smiley Movement, we like to elevate the work of charities across the world. Here are three charities whose causes align with the themes in this article. 

RNIB. This charity offers support to blind and partially sighted people across the UK. Learn more here.

BlindAid. This is London's oldest charity for blind and visually impaired people, working to improve quality of life and promote independence. Support them here.

Guide Dogs UK. Guide Dogs supports and raises awareness for blind and partially sighted people. Find out more here.

This article aligns with the UN SDGs Good Health and Wellbeing, Reduced Inequalities and Partnerships for the Goals.

This article aligns with the following UN SDGs

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