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How can small businesses support Ukraine?

Business News

How can small businesses support Ukraine?

Updated: 6 April 2022

More than 5 million Ukrainians have been displaced from their homes since the start of the Russia-Ukraine war. The economic effect on Ukrainians and Ukrainian businesses has been devastating, with many left unable to work, keep their businesses afloat, or generate any income at all.

The response from UK businesses rallying to raise funds for Ukraine has been incredible, and continues to be a much needed lifeline for displaced families. Every business has the power to make a positive impact, no matter what its size – so if you run a business in the UK, here are a few things you can do to support the Ukraine relief effort.

Set up a donation fund at your point of sale

This seemingly small gesture can make all the difference. Research shows that people are more likely to make charitable donations when making a purchase for themselves. Setting up a donation fund at your point of sale keeps the need for aid visible, and makes contributing to a fund almost effortless.

You could do this by getting people to add a donation to the cost of their purchase if paying for a service or product online, or by card in store. Or, you could take the old-fashioned approach and set up a jar by your till for people to donate spare change.

Keep in mind that people are far more willing to donate when they know exactly where their money is going, so it would be wise to select your Ukrainian charities first and ensure these are clearly advertised at donation points.

Donate a percentage of your profits to Ukrainian charities

Don’t automatically rule this option out – even a very small percentage of your profits would go a long way to help. Plus, making this commitment can serve as fantastic advertisement for your brand and help build loyalty and regard among your customers. This isn’t the main reason to donate, but increased brand loyalty and awareness will help to offset the cost of your donation.

You can also reasonably expect an increase in sales, as your customers will be even more keen to contribute when the money isn’t coming directly from their own pockets.

There are a couple of ways you could arrange a percentage-of-profits donation:

  • Pledge to donate a percentage of your service fees
  • Pledge to donate a percentage of each product order
  • Hold a flash fundraising sale and donate a percentage of profits from that sale

Encourage your employees to donate

You could encourage your employees to donate by pledging to match every donation. You’ll need to make it clear which charities you’ve selected, and ask your employees to screenshot their donations. It is often best to select two or three charities, as your employees will be more willing to donate if they feel they have some control over where their money is going.

If matching donations is too much of a stretch, you could try pledging 50% on top instead. Whichever you choose, make sure you get all the information together plus links to the charities in an email to your employees. This will make it easy for them to donate there and then – you can always follow up with gentle reminders later.

Raise awareness through your business

Use your business as a platform to raise awareness about the crisis and to advertise Ukrainian charities. This might include a temporary banner and links to Ukrainian charities on your website, or it could be leaflets, business cards, stickers, and other promotional materials in your shop window or at your point of sale.

If you really want to get creative and show your support, you could even consider decorating your shop or website in the colours of the Ukrainian flag to demonstrate solidarity.

Work with Ukrainian businesses and freelancers

Working with Ukrainian businesses is a fantastic way to help offset the economic impact of the war, and may also prove valuable to your business. Ukraine is well known for its IT services and vibrant tech community, which means there are plenty of remote services Ukrainian businesses and freelancers can provide without having to relocate to the UK.

While many displaced Ukrainians are not looking to resettle in other countries, others are looking to do exactly that. If you have vacancies and would like to support Ukrainian refugees in relocating to the UK, you might wish to advertise these positions on Job Aid Ukraine – a site which has been set up to match displaced Ukrainians with UK businesses looking to hire.

Some other online resources which connect UK and European companies with Ukraine talent:

To maximise your chances of attracting Ukrainian applications, you might consider fast-tracking the interview process for Ukrainian candidates, or covering the cost of visa application if your job will involve moving to the UK.

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