Caitlin Hazell

Caitlin Hazell

PR, BRAND BUILDING & FUNDRAISING CONSULTANT

After 20 months of networking events being mostly virtual, at CHSF we are looking forward to getting back to meeting our supporters face to face.

Ahead of our first corporate partner networking event later this month, we take a look at the importance of networking.

As a fundraising team, we are constantly networking, not just at official networking events, but as soon as we meet people and get asked what we do, this is an opportunity to tell someone (that wants to hear) about the brilliant work that CHSF do. As a Corporate Partnerships Manager, I meet people and where appropriate will give a business card and suggest they visit the website or drop me an email to learn more about how we work with corporates. I attend online and in-person networking events and keep an eye on the business pages online and in the Press so that I am informed what is happening in the business community in Yorkshire and North Lincolnshire in particular.

There are lots of advantages of networking, here are the main ones…

Strengthening business connections

Networking is about sharing, not taking. It is about forming trust and helping one another toward goals. Regularly engaging with your contacts and finding opportunities to assist them helps to strengthen the relationship. By doing this, you sow the seeds for reciprocal assistance when you need help to achieve your goals.

Gain more knowledge

Networking is a great opportunity to exchange best practice knowledge, learn about the business techniques of your peers and stay abreast of the latest industry developments. A wide network of informed, interconnected contacts means broader access to new and valuable information.

Raise your business profile

Being visible and getting noticed is a benefit of networking that’s essential in career building. Regularly attending professional and social events will help make your face known.

Gain new perspectives and advice

Your network can be an excellent source of new perspectives and ideas to help you in your role/business. Exchanging information on challenges, experiences and goals is a key benefit of networking because it allows you to gain new insights that you may not have otherwise thought of.

Far from it being a nuisance, most people love being asked for help – it’s flattering and makes them feel useful. If you’re struggling with a decision, challenge, or new direction, calling up a trusted former colleague, mentor, or friend to organise a coffee can be beneficial to both of you, as they will in turn think of you when next they have a challenge.

Offering helpful ideas in return is an excellent way to build your reputation as an innovative thinker.

Advance your career

Being visible and getting noticed is a benefit of networking that’s essential in career building. Regularly attending professional and social events will help to get your face known. You can then help to build your reputation as being knowledgeable, reliable, and supportive by offering useful information or tips to people who need it.

Build confidence

By continually putting yourself out there and meeting new people, you’re effectively stepping outside your comfort zone and building invaluable social skills and self-confidence that you can take with you anywhere. The more you network, the more you’ll grow and learn how to make lasting connections.

So, what now? You may think that because of COVID-19 it is not the right time to seek a new corporate partnership, but as many businesses have had to adapt and change over the last year, now is a great time to add value, particularly within virtual or digital, which a charity partnership with us can offer. Partnering with CHSF can ta

These are just some of the reasons why networking is so valuable. If you would like to join us on Thursday 16 September 5-7pm at a Leeds City Centre venue, get in touch with Caitlin on corporate@chsf.org.uk for more details.

Caitlin Hazell

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