The conclusion from a recent study by The University of British Columbia is that donors feel happiest if they give to a charity via a friend, relative or social connection rather than simply making an anonymous donation to a worthy cause. This is most certainly the case for the team at Silver. Our long-term support for The Imps (An internationally renowned motorcycle display team comprising young people aged 6–16yrs) stems from a relationship that began when I was a ‘Watch Leader’ with the team from 1975–1979. Forty years on and Silver delivers brand and fund-raising support for this incredible organisation. Most recently, all at Silver were delighted to donate a 52 seat coach to the team, with the incredible support of friends at Causeway Technologies and JBW. It is, however, very much a ‘two way street’ – The Silver crew has done motorcycle training at The Imps HQ in Newham in London’s East End, for example – an incredible experience for all involved.

From an agency point of view we have won accreditation for some of the projects we have created for charities. The WellChild Elf campaign over the Christmas period 2013/14 garnered a nomination for the prestigious cause based Drum Marketing Awards 2014 as well as an ‘Awwward’ by the world’s largest awarding body for designers and developers. The creative and development teams have been able to push the boundaries of new technologies, free of the constraints of commercial limitations. They have been able to explore trends such as UX centered design, app style interfaces, cool illustrations and infographics as well as creating some smart mission films.

Silver has now registered Silver Sure Start with The Charities Commission with it’s mission: supporting young people to achieve great things. With this in mind our 2014/15 campaign involves rebranding and building a cutting edge ‘mobile first’ website along with a mission film for Georges Malaika Foundation. Friend of Silver and international renowned model: Noella Coursaris set up GMF, building a school for girls in The Democratic Republic of Congo to honour her fathers name. The school is a beacon of hope in this part of Africa and provides whole life support and the development of good citizenship within it’s students.

The Columbia University research has implications for not-for-profit organisations hoping to maximize donations, suggesting that recruiting advocates and helping them build on their social connections could have benefits for the donors, too. Our corporate social responsibility is not something we just feel obliged to do. At Silver it’s very personal. We’ve made some incredible friends along our journey and believe that the efforts we make for others help to define ourselves, not only as a team, but also as individuals.

Graham Dodridge: Ideas Engine and CEO at Silver