Empower charities through business giving

Setting up your own business is more than a full time job, so it’s no surprise that establishing charity giving into your business model is probably not top of your list – especially when the barriers of additional admin, legal pitfalls or the thought that you’re just not big enough to make a difference stand in your way. However, we know that no business is too small to make a real difference and that placing a charitable purpose at the heart of your work is often what drives independent and small business owners.

Embedding charity giving from the get-go

While it may seem better to hold on charitable giving, perceiving the financial impact you could make to be more valuable when you’re “fully established”, this isn’t necessarily the case. In fact businesses with a clear ‘Brand Purpose’ (seen as making lives better) on average grew 3 x faster over the past 12 years by helping to attract and retain clients through evidence of an ethical business model, showing how putting purpose at the heart of your organisation can by default increase your giving potential.

Charity giving can also have profound meaning on a personal level, and as such is important to have a presence within your work early on. Rarely is business giving just a ‘nice thing to do’; those who embed charitable giving into their day-to-day practices have the desire to use their professional skills to empower individuals and causes. And in terms of personal business boost, knowing your work is making a difference to a charitable organisation can help spur you on through any difficult times and will give you something to feel proud of alongside your business achievements.

Make it personal
Deciding which charity out of the thousands existing you want to donate to can be daunting, to say the least.  A good way to help narrow down your options is to focus on the difference you would like to help bring about, or to give back to a service or organisation that has helped you or someone you know. The feel-good factor of giving back isn’t a myth, and knowing you are playing a real role in contributing to something you are passionate about simply through doing what you love is a feeling like no other.

“Knowing I’m giving back gets me up in the morning.” – Zoe Donkin, The Hypnobirthing Place

Zoe Donkin is one woman who can attest to this. Zoe has dedicated her business to supporting women through their journey to motherhood, running hypnobirthing classes to help women prepare for birth. She also donates to causes that help other women around the globe have safer births too.

Talking about her charity giving, Zoe said: “I donate 10% of course fee profits towards charities helping provide safer births for women in need. This means I, and the couples I teach, get to do some good.”

Choosing an organisation or cause you feel passionate about will also help you explain why you give to charity in any marketing, social media or business proposals you create, clearly and passionately aligning your work with a bigger purpose and inspiring others to support your efforts through engaging in business.

But can I really make an impact?
Yes. It really doesn’t take a lot to make a significant impact on a charitable cause or organisation. Our charity partner Donate4Refugees tells us that a donation of just £20 provides warm, waterproof winter boots or a warm winter coat for the refugees they support – providing potentially life-saving clothing and proving that you don’t have to think big to act big.

The most authentic way for your business to make a difference is through embedding giving into your day-to-day practices, for example by setting up a regular % donation from your profits, invoices or sales. Moreover, through making clients and customers aware that they too are giving something back through using your business you could help increase the amount you give, with research showing that 89% of clients would switch brands to support a specific cause.

And now for the small print
There is a lot of legal administration that goes into business giving, far more than the average person has time to tackle alongside a full-time job. The Charities Act states that any business encouraging the purchase of goods or services on the basis that some of the proceeds will go to charity, or that a donation will be made, need to establish a ‘commercial participator agreement’ (CPA) in place with the charity.

This is where Work for Good comes in. Work for Good is an online platform that facilitates business giving, designed to enable you to embed charitable giving in smart ways that enhance business growth while funding good causes. Think of us as the ‘Just Giving’ for the business world!

We do the hard work of connecting businesses with charities and handling the CPA, removing the legal, tax and admin hassle – leaving you to focus on establishing your business and securing those all important clients or sales. When you register you have the choice of how you give, for example, some consultants donate a small % of every invoice, one restaurant has a ‘giving table’ from which the profit of every meal goes to cause, and some business members look to attract, retain and motivate their team through various charity pledge structures. You can be as creative as you like with your donations, and we’ll be there every step of the way to offer guidance and support.

Who Work for Good are and why we exist
Work for Good is dedicated to helping small businesses connect with and donate to charities on a local, national or international scale. Helping them realise their aim of giving back and removing the barriers that often stand in the way of business giving.

Created by Rupert Pick, Work for Good came about after Rupert was inspired to give back to the staff at Evelina Children’s Hospital who cared for his daughter Ottie, born 10 weeks premature, weighing less than 3lbs and with two rare genetic conditions. After donating the fees from his next workshop to the hospital, Rupert realised how significant business giving could be for other charities.

Join our community
Work for Good have solved the legal and tax barriers that stand in the way of small businesses making a difference and making a positive impact through charitable giving. By joining Work for Good you’ll be part of a growing community of like-minded small business owners who have decided to empower others through putting purpose at the heart of their business and are dedicated to using their work to inspire positive change. We’d love to help you make a difference, so contact us today to find out how Work for Good could benefit your business.

Women’s Business Club members receive 50% off Work for Good’s membership fees for the first year by using the discount code WBCWFG at the subscription phase on www.workforgood.co.uk

By Anna Estop-Hall, Head of Memberships, Work for Good

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