Charitable work and initiatives are a part of many companies’ agendas and can bring in many positives that extend beyond giving back to those less fortunate. It’s a known fact that when you do good, you feel good, and feeling good can directly impact your quality of work for the better. In fact, a study by the University of Warwick has found that happiness is linked to a 12% increase in productivity in the workplace. Ensuring that you are a socially responsible company with good ethics is becoming more important than ever. More and more businesses and clients are looking at the morality of a business before deciding to work with them, whether this be related to their sustainability or charitable endeavours.
Over the last year, we have all seen the amazing efforts of Manchester United and England footballer Marcus Rashford through his campaigning for free school meals for children. This led him to a direct battle with the government, causing huge media attention and a U-turn in policy. After MPs voted against a motion to extend free school meals to children over the holidays, Marcus raised £20m for FareShare and another £20m in donations from followers and fans inspired by his huge efforts, allowing millions of children to access food in a non-school setting. He stated, “When we stumble, there will always be a community to wrap their arms around us and pick us back up”. This act of selflessness was fuelled by Marcus’ experiences of child poverty and not knowing where his next meal would come from. Since then, he became the youngest person to top The Sunday Times Giving List 2021 and has won many plaudits across the globe whilst stapling his position as one of the best young talents in English football.
On the other hand, we also have examples of activism that haven’t been as monumental as first predicted. Back in the summer of 2020, many Instagram users including high profile businesses uploaded photos of a black square as part of the #BlackOutTuesday movement. This was inspired by the killing of George Floyd and the rise of the Black Lives Matter movement. An idea was coined for many to be silent on social media, focusing instead on the more important factors that affect the lives of black people across the world.
However, this movement has since been heavily criticised and called performative due to a lack of action being enacted on a wider scale. The complete absence of recognising the black plight, reading and promoting black literature, donating to black focussed charities, or even addressing their own company’s diversity hiring process spoke volumes about how little we have come in addressing these issues and providing meaningful change. Change unfortunately doesn’t happen overnight and often small acts and messaging on a consistent basis can slowly ebb away at people’s consciousness enabling them to change their views.
Apart from potentially changing the world we live in, activism and charity can offer some positive short-term and long-term benefits for you and your business. Here are some of the ways chartable initiatives can bring about positivity in the workplace:
By donating to a registered UK charity, you may be eligible for a corporation tax deduction. If you donate; money, sponsorship payments, equipment, land property or shares, you can claim tax relief by deducting the value of your donations from total business profits before you pay tax.
In general, you can get deductions on charitable donations of up to 50% of your adjustable gross income. We never recommend anyone or any business providing charity work to benefit their own self-gratification or finances, however this is one way doing charitable work provides a good karma effect for many.
Customer & Client Relationships
As well as increasing motivation and the feel-good factor in your staff, getting your customers and clients involved in the charity process can also be a hugely successful way to build and maintain stronger working relationships whilst also attracting new business as a consequence. As stated, more and more people are only wanting to do business with companies which align to their values. By supporting charitable causes it highlights your care and admiration for the local community which will naturally add a bit of glitter to your name when spoken about.
This is even furthered evidenced through a 2013 survey by financial solutions provider, Forresters. In the survey of 1100 people in the UK, it was found that 82% of consumers, when faced with a choice between two companies that offered products and services for the same price, stated their decision would be affected by whether a company engaged with charities and the wider local community.
Improving Team & Culture
Partaking in charity initiatives can be a huge bonding experience with your workforce. It often involves everyone chipping in for the greater good, helping those less able in a way that instils belief and inspiration across the board. This will naturally trickle down into the DNA of a business, creating a selfless and progressive attitude that can only be a good thing for everyone involved.
Over the last year, a number of staff members at Nordens have volunteered at a local foodbank that helps to feed hundreds in our community. Our amazing Client Co-ordination Manager, Marissa Jerrard, got in touch with the local foodbank and assembled our team of volunteers. She even organised a collection box of food for us to take along as a donation. Here’s what she had to say about the volunteering days, “Towards the end of last year, many of us at Nordens were constantly talking about ‘giving something back’ and how can we help out in the local community, especially after such a devastating year. We were all inspired by the footballer Marcus Rashford and his push for free school meals during the time when children were not in school and unable to access food.
I looked to find something we could do locally as a firm to help others. I got in touch with the Redbridge Foodbank, and we sent our first team of Nordens helpers back in December. It was hard work sorting out all the food items, compiling them into different sections, checking the sell by dates on each product and generally helping out but it was such a rewarding experience. Even with sore backs, hands and feet it was certainly worthwhile.
There are many people in this world who are a lot less fortunate than ourselves and reaching out to help them when and where we can should be every company’s objective. We’re going to be sending further teams to the Redbridge Foodbank again in the near future, as it’s become a regular thing. This has been amazing to see as we all love giving something back!”
The philanthropic business model certainly works, as the spirit of giving and making a difference in the community is one of the most powerful aspects of being a great business owner. Having the ability to give generously and create a beneficial influence on the lives of others, is an incredible position to be in and using that to help others can be such an enriching and selfless thing to do.
We hope this has outlined to you the benefits of doing charity work and why more companies need to be putting it at the top of their agendas. If you’d like to know more about our charity work and giving back, or anything accounting related for the matter, then please do not hesitate to get in contact with us at Nordens where one of our trusted advisors would be happy talking you through your query.