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Charitable giving improves businesses approval ratings

If you are looking for ways to improve your business reputation, a new study has highlighted the benefits of charitable giving.
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Donating a small percentage of annual profits to a charity could improve a company’s reputation with consumers.

According to a study by socio-economic development charity Greg Secker Foundation, donating up to five per cent of annual profits would give 43 per cent of consumers a more positive opinion of the company. Additionally, 20 per cent would use the company instead of its competitors and 17 per cent would be more likely to do so.

Some respondents to the survey went even further – with 42 per cent claiming that charitable giving should be required by law.

The research also found that people expect more than just charitable giving from businesses, with 41 per cent of respondents also claiming that businesses should be doing more for charity as a whole, including: offering pro bono services (25 per cent), donating even more profits (24 per cent), and upskilling members of the community (21 per cent).

“UK businesses are already doing excellent work for the third sector, and the government’s tax relief incentives are certainly a step in the right direction. However, what these results show is there is public appetite for more, both morally and legally,” said Greg Secker, founder of the Greg Secker Foundation.

“Time and time again we see the benefits a thorough corporate social responsibility programme offers businesses, with the figures here speaking for themselves. By simply donating a small percentage of annual profits to charity, businesses are able to increase brand loyalty, positively shift perceptions, and increase their potential customer pool, all the while helping a good cause.

“We would just like to encourage businesses to keep the third sector in mind because helping out is good for business.”

“We donate ten per cent of our profits to the Cystic Fibrosis Trust, and it’s something we’re really proud of,” said Thomas Spires, co-founder of walking tours provider See Your City.

“It’s something that means a lot to us personally, and it’s great to know consumers feel the same way we do. I’d definitely encourage other businesses to look into it – you can even deduct the value of your donations from total business profits before you pay tax, so it really is a win-win situation.”

This article is part of a wider campaign called the Scale-up Hub, a section of Real Business that provides essential advice and inspiration on taking your business to the next level. It’s produced in association with webexpenses and webonboarding, a fast-growing global organisation that provides cloud-based software services that automate expenses management and streamline the employee onboarding process.

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About Author

Letitia Booty

Letitia Booty is a special projects journalist for Real Business. She has a BA in english literature from the University of East Anglia, and since graduating she has written for a variety of trade titles. Most recently, she was a reporter at SME magazine.

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