Charity might start at home but it doesn’t need to end there. With plenty of opportunities for fundraising, it’s easy for small businesses to be charitable…
In 2013/24, London-based companies donated around £340m to charities. While this might sound a lot, it’s only a small proportion of their profits – 0.7%, according to City Philanthropy. The message is clear – more needs to be done.
So what are the benefits of becoming more charitable as a small business?
1. Public perception
Giving to charity is a great way to have your business associated with something positive. It not only shows you care about the issues at hand but that you’re willing to actually do something about it.
Many firms may talk a good charity game but few follow through, despite the benefits it could bring. A study by Cone Communications found that 85% of consumers thought more highly of businesses that gave to charity.
More cynically, it’s also a good way of getting free publicity. Local papers, charity websites and social media are great places to display your fundraising success.
2. Workers’ pride
It’s not just about the way the world sees your business, but how they see your workers. And how your workers see the business. Being involved in charitable work can give your whole office a morale boost.
It’s also a great way of retaining and attracting young workers. A study from PwC found that 15% of Millennials looked for firms that had similar ethical values as their own and the same amount wanted somewhere to work that demonstrated ethnical practices.
Every penny matters for small firms, so making savings on your Corporation Tax can only be good news. Limited companies can save money by donating anything from cash and shares to employees’ time or equipment.
These tax reliefs can be deducted from your total business profits before you pay tax.
4. Because you can
But the most important reason is that you can. As a business, you work in and benefit from your local environment – so you should be giving something back to help people out.
There’s never a point when a charity says, ‘No thank, we’ve got quite enough money for now.’ There will always be a need for donations whether to help ongoing causes or for specific events.
Here at Business Environment we take our corporate social responsibility very seriously. Each of our business centres choose a charity of their choice each month to which the company donates £50. All employees are permitted three paid days off per annum to support a charity of their choice. On an annual basis we send two employees overseas to volunteer for 1-2 weeks.
In 2014, two employees visited Nepal to participate in a life changing project working with orphans, street kids and girls rescued from trafficking.
In 2013, two employees visited Cambodia to work in an orphanage.
Just last weekend we sent two of our team, Diego from our cleaning company Aurora and James from &Meetings, to work in an elephant and animal rescue centre in Thailand.
These trips are fully funded by the company including flights, vaccinations, transfers, food and accommodation.