It feels like it has become easier than ever to become charitable. Whether that’s being able to text your cash to aid disaster relief or sponsor a friend’s efforts on Facebook.
Yet it’s easy to forget the donations within the SME community across the UK which raises many millions each year – charities are clamouring for this type of consistent and reliable support.
Companies need great teams that will work together, and there’s no doubt that it helps to engender loyalty in a team if their employer is both caring and socially responsible.
In the corporate world the phrase ‘corporate social responsibility’ can simply be a tick-box exercise, something which has to be done. In the SME sector, there tends to be more of a personal touch and a deep-rooted belief that every effort, however small, makes a difference.
That’s why at Purple Lime, we have a close connection with various charities driven through our team members.
Management accountant Edd Stone is just one of our team who goes above and beyond. His activities are supported by the whole office. We’ve helped him on his way to raise more than £600 for a west country hospice and recently he’s made more than £1,200 for a Wiltshire charity which supports victims of sexual abuse and exploitation.
The desire to ‘give back’
Edd had just lost his grandmother, 92-year old Ruby Stone, and wanted to give back to the wonderful staff at St Peter’s Hospice near Bristol who had cared for her in the last weeks of her life.
Ed believes in challenging himself and will often add a charitable edge to his latest adventure. Not only did he raise money for the hospice who cared for his grandmother, he also, just this summer unicycled from Land’s End to John O’Groats to help a charity close to his heart – where he is a trustee. The charity Revival does much confidential and hidden work in Wiltshire with victims of sexual crimes.
In the process Edd became a Guinness World Record Holder – as the fastest man to ever do the journey on an electronic unicycle, completing the challenge in just over 11 days.
Team member Tom Taylor, who is an assistant management accountant also raises money for charity. He recently ran a half marathon for the Bath Rugby Foundation raising a total of £395.01 after completing the event in 1 hour and 36 minutes.
It’s not just the individual benefits that raising money for charity can provide, Purple Lime’s business benefits too from having happy and healthy workers. We love being able to spare them so they can offer voluntary practical support. Especially when it’s for the likes of the Doorway Charity from Chippenham in Wiltshire who do something incredibly important, supporting the homeless and vulnerably housed.
For our customers, many of whom also want to donate, there could be additional tax benefits that can be deducted for charitable giving.
It’s worth exploring with your accountant if supporting charities in your community or ‘nominating’ a particular cause helps maximise their charitable pot and minimise your tax liability. We would certainly be happy to talk through the tax implications with anyone looking to increase their charitable output.
This Christmas the Purple Lime team have decided rather than give presents to our clients we would give to Doorway instead. With the monies normally spent on gifts for our clients we were able to donate:
- £200 worth of Rough Sleeper Packs
- £100 of funds towards their weekly food kitchen
- 48 thermal pairs of socks
- 48 pairs of gloves
- 22 tubes of toothpaste and toothbrushes
- 25 roll on deodorants
- 24 packs for ladies hygiene
- 30 bars of soap
- 20 hand sanitisers
- 10 lip balms
- 10 hair brushes
- £100 of funds towards their weekly food kitchen
Millennials driving charitable donations
With the millennial workforce growing (set to make up 75% of the workforce by 2025 according to Forbes) charitable giving becomes a bigger business issue.
It’s mainly millennials who are behind the evolving role of social responsibility in their drive for wellbeing at work. From donating directly from the pay packet to creating specific holiday days for volunteering, there are now so many more ways for a business to get on board with the charity programme. Younger employees often welcome this – it can become a ‘selling point’ for recruiting talent.
At Purple Lime we embrace that mentality, and as Christmas approaches our thoughts will turn even more towards fundraising. It is clear that not only do charitable actions benefit companies in terms of team bonding it allows you to engage with fellow business owners in a different way. This evidences the caring nature of your business.
As our co-founder Angela Ashworth said, “We are more than just a business – we are a team of human beings who care about each other, each other’s families, our communities and our company. It’s that simple.”
For more information on our next events or charitable action, please follow us on Twitter @purplelimeacs