Interview with a small business owner: Work for Good

Work for Good

This is the final post in our series of interviews with small businesses about how they embed corporate social responsibility in their day to day working life.

Work for Good was set up in January 2017 by Rupert Pick, after his daughter was born with two rare genetic conditions. He started by donating his fee from an event to the hospital and the idea developed from there. I spoke to Anna Estop-Hall, who is Head of Membership, to find out more.

Tell me about Work for Good?

Work for Good is an online platform that facilitates business giving. We make it easy for small and medium businesses, who don’t have dedicated corporate social responsibility (CSR) departments, to give to the causes they care about. The platform allows them to donate to multiple charities, and to embed giving into their day to day work. This isn’t just about writing a cheque at the end of the month, we want businesses to put purpose at the heart of their company and to ingrain it into everything they do, but in a way that drives business growth at the same time as funding good causes.

Business giving currently makes up only 2% of charities’ total income. Lots of companies do ad hoc fundraising like fun runs and bake sales, which is brilliant, but regular donations are less common. With Work for Good, businesses can set up a donation to their chosen charities at the beginning of the month and settle up at the end in just a click of a button. Examples of Work for Good businesses include consultants that give back a small percentage of every invoice and let their clients choose which charities, a restaurant with a giving table from which the profit of every meal goes to a good cause and the diners choose the charity, businesses that incentivise client referrals or look to attract and motivate their people via various charity pledge structures.

How do businesses sign up?

Businesses sign up online. It only takes a few minutes. They pay an annual subscription that starts from £25. It’s free for charities to sign up and we deduct 5% of all donations. This helps us cover the service we provide, enabling charities to focus on other priorities.

We have over 313 registered businesses using the platform so far and our mission is to dramatically increase this. There are currently over 350 charities registered, but a business can nominate any charity and we will then do the work to add them to the platform.

We also handle setting up the Commercial Participation Agreement (CPA) for charities, which is required by the Charities Act when a business links its donations to commerce. It’s a big administrative burden for the business and charity alike. And many charities simply don’t have resources to deal with smaller businesses, unless their donations are above a certain amount (anywhere between £10k-£150k). This means millions of businesses can’t give off the back of sales or promotions, and many charities lose out on their collective giving power because of this. Our platform has innovatively and uniquely solved this by digitally creating the CPA in seconds without negotiation, to allow donations of any amount.

What are the benefits of Work for Good?

We help businesses put purpose at the heart of what they do in an easy way that really makes a difference. As a Work for Good member we not only solve all the legal and tax impediments to business giving, but you also have the ability to donate to as many charities as you like, use of our mark to show you’re part of a wider movement, integrated tools to involve your customers and one to one advice on your giving strategy.

British Gas business customers will receive a 50% discount to first year membership of Work for Good using the code: GIVETOGROWBG

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