While a CSR budget is probably the first and most natural choice to find the funds for Lawyers in Schools, it’s certainly not the only one. Read on for more ideas of how the benefits of Lawyers in Schools map onto budget holders’ priorities.
1. Share the cost – invite a client to join you and split the cost. It’s like joining a gym versus working out at home – you’ll both be more committed if you’re paying for it and you’ll likely find that the relationships you develop in the classroom leads to more and better business back in the office.
2. Marketing – It’s a great opportunity to be publicized for your great work in the community. You’ll be seen as a CSR leader amongst your peers, participating in one of the most established and effective public legal education programmes available.
3. Training – Our evaluation reports demonstrate time and again what a great skills development opportunity this is for our partners. You can also earn CPD points for volunteering with us. With the option for volunteers to participate in as few or as many session as they like, it’s a cost effective, socially positive way for staff to develop their skills.
4. HR– Studies (including our evaluation report) show that employees who take part in their company’s volunteering initiatives consistently feel more positive about the company and their role. It’s well worth allocating a mere fraction of the cost of a staff party for what one volunteer describes as ‘the best part of my week’.
It has enabled us to strengthen one of ou key client relationships. [Our] relationship with the client has moved on and is definitely stronger. It has also led to the generation of new work for the firm.
Volunteer Coordinator – CMS Cameron McKenna
5. Recruitment – New recruits evaluate companies based on their corporate responsibility and are more likely to choose organisations whose values align with their own.
6. Team Building – Team building days are often expensive, can be a bit cringe-worthy, and ultimately, of questionable long-term value. With Lawyers in Schools you’ll be encouraging team bonding over a positive, genuinely useful cause and getting to see each other in a new light. What better way to form bonds within your teams and your wider community?
7. Employee Fundraising – Have the time but not the money? Why not host a fundraising event in the office to make up the budget deficit? Whether it’s coming to work in fancy dress or showing off your baking skills, you can showcase your leadership skills, raise the profile of the great work you’re doing, and get increased recognition for Lawyers in Schools and the Citizenship Foundation. You might find more colleagues interested in participating after chipping in to keep the programme going (see point 1!).
Participating in Lawyers in Schools is a win-win-win. You’re demonstrating your commitment to CR in your community, improving your ability to attract, develop and retain top talent, and investing in the future generation’s legal capability. Surely that’s an investment worth budgeting for.