68% of businesses see a positive impact on profits when they give to charities regularly

Not only does charitable giving have benefits for society, a study reveals it could be good for business – with some businesses seeing a positive impact on profits and reputation.

Businesses should want to give to charity for the greater good, above all other reasons. But increasingly, customers expect to see that businesses are charitable, sustainable, and they treat their employees fairly.

If customers now place businesses under more scrutiny, it’s easy to see how the businesses dedicating time and effort to social causes could end up seeing positive effects on their bottom line.

And a study from Work for Good confirms this, with 68 per cent of businesses surveyed saying charitable giving has been positive for their profits.

37% of businesses said giving helps attract new clients

The study of 100 small businesses and nearly 100 charity fundraisers unveiled both positive and negative attitudes to business giving.

Beyond the fact that a quarter of businesses aren’t interested in giving to charity, 30 per cent of businesses who don’t give to charity said they don’t because they can’t see the benefit for their business.

But the survey also shows that business giving might be worth it, beyond the huge boon for society and charities.

62 per cent of small businesses that donate to charity said they do so to make a positive contribution to society.

And small businesses also claim there are benefits for growth – 37 per cent said business giving helps to attract new clients and 68 per cent said their company’s donations had a positive effect on profitability.

Plus, the Work for Good study reveals businesses donating over 0.5 per cent of turnover are two times as likely than those donating below 0.5 per cent to report it enhances company reputation. They say it also helps with recruiting and retaining staff.

How can businesses give to charity regularly?

While ad-hoc giving won’t be a bad thing for the charities you choose to support, Work for Good suggests that sustained giving is ultimately better for your business.

Founder Rupert Pick says that it’s about moving “from occasional giving to building giving into your actual business model” – and is likely to involve making it part of your culture, too. Work for Good suggest one way to do this is through their platform, which they say makes it easy for small businesses to embed giving into their day-to-day work.

It can also be a good idea to start with the local community, which is especially important for small businesses. Research cited by Raconteur.net suggests that “the top 1,000 charities soak up 89 per cent of all donations in the UK”, and they say that smaller, local charities can focus on causes that the larger charities don’t always consider.

Here at Simply Business, we have a partnership with Whizz-Kidz, a charity that provides independence and freedom to children with disabilities. We committed to raising £150,000 for the charity in the first three years of the partnership.

Another cause we’re proud to support is the England Amputee Football Association. Their mission is to provide footballing opportunities for all amputees, people with congenital limb deficiencies and people with restricted use of limbs. We renewed our sponsorship in 2018.

Are there local causes close to your heart that you can partner with and commit to, with an eye on sustained giving?

Using business as a force for good

There’s now a wider movement holding businesses accountable for the role they play in society and the community at large.

A B Corporation certification is one way for businesses to show that they’re “reaching the highest standards of verified social and environmental performance, transparency, and accountability.” We’re proud to have been certified as a B Corp since mid 2017.

It helps businesses measure their social impact and shows that they’re committed to their workers, customers, suppliers, community, and the environment. Read more about becoming a B Corp.

Does your small business give to charity? Let us know about your experience in the comments below.

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