Give your time to a cause you care about, and help your business in the process
Think you don’t have the time to lend a helping hand? Alongside the obvious goodwill you’ll be showing by helping at your local homeless shelter or nature reserve, your business can also reap the rewards.
A selfless act such as volunteering can be productive, too. Many companies are realising the importance of volunteering and embracing it as part of their Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) strategy. UK companies who have done this include Euromonitor, who offer employees two days paid volunteering leave per year, and accounting and payroll firm Sage, who offer employees five days per year to give to a charity they care about.[br]
Four key ways volunteering can help you
Being a start-up can often feel isolating. You may work from home and find it hard to connect with your local community. By volunteering, you can meet like-minded people who care about a common cause.[br]
Refine or upskill
[br]Volunteers are often required based on the skills they already have. For example, if your start-up is a construction company, you could volunteer to build housing overseas. Or if your business involves great customer service skills, you could volunteer in a charity call centre.
Another option is upskilling in your field of expertise. If you don’t get much exposure to dealing with people in your small business, volunteering can help build vital people and teamwork skills. This is helpful if you ever wish to hire employees or promote your business at events.[br]
[br]While your volunteering efforts should come from a genuine place of wanting to help, the publicity can also help your business. When your community feels supported, they’ll feel more inclined to engage with your company. They’ll be more receptive to your product and business.[br]
Improve workplace morale
[br]If you’re at the stage of employing staff, volunteering could be a good consideration to boost workplace morale. Employee Volunteering, an organisation that encourages businesses to adopt volunteering as part of a business model, is a strong advocate for the rewards of volunteering. According to the organisation, 97% of people who participated in the volunteer programmes said it helped them bond with their team.
Where to find a volunteering role in the UK?
[br]The UK’s leading volunteering database for individuals, companies, schools and communities. Do it: For Business is a great hub for businesses to connect their employees to volunteering opportunities. Your business can choose from more than one million volunteering opportunities, across 60,000 charities. The platform allows you to track employee engagement, measure the impact your company is making and share resources, content and organise initiatives.[br]
[br]On Reach Volunteering’s website, you can create a volunteering profile to make it easier for organisations to find you. The volunteering hub breaks down opportunities into different skill fields, so you can find an opportunity that aligns with the industry of your start-up. From roles working in creative services, to providing IT help to charities, there’s plenty to choose from.[br]
Prefer to donate? Know your tax
Ensure charities can claim tax back on your donations
If you’ve decided that donating to charity will be a key part of your long-term business plan, then it’s crucial to understand tax in relation to donations. The UK government has a scheme called “Gift Aid”, which allows charities and community amateur sports clubs (CASCs) can claim an extra 25p for every £1 you donate.[br]
How to do this
When you’re making your donation to charity, you’ll need to make a Gift Aid declaration for the charity to claim. The charity you’ve donated to then carries out the Gift Aid claim.[br]
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