Work for good: Spotlight
43% of charities’ income in the UK comes from personal giving, yet only a mere 2% is generated from businesses. So how can businesses be encouraged to donate more to the charitable sector and improve the current contribution? Work for Good – one of the companies on our Future 20 incubator programme may have found the answer.
Work for Good is helping to raise more money for charities by opening up a smarter and easier way for businesses to make charitable donations through their online platform.
In 2018, only 57% of people in the UK said they donated money to charity, and this has decreased over the past three years, with fewer people giving to charitable or social causes. So, what if people were able to donate through their day job? That’s where Work for Good comes in – making it easy for businesses to give to charity simply by doing the work they already do; for example, by pledging to give a percentage of each sale, or donating all client fees for one day of the month.
We spoke to Work for Good co-founder Danny Witter to find out more about how it works and what the benefits are.
In a nutshell, how does Work for Good work?
Work for Good is an online platform which makes it easy for smaller businesses to donate to charity through their sales and helps them track donations, set targets and promote their giving. Businesses sign up, choose a charity, and start donating. The platform takes care of the legal admin – the commercial participation agreement – which is needed when a business wants to link donations to sales and promote their support of charities. Collectively businesses have the power to make a difference, engage their customers and inspire others to do the same.
Are the businesses able to choose any charity they’d like to give to?
They certainly are. Businesses can either choose to support over 400 charities currently signed up to Work for Good, or if they can’t find the charity they want to support, they can nominate them and we’ll speak to the charity. Alternatively, some businesses actually let their clients choose a charity they care about, which can be done via our tech, and is very good for client engagement.
Aside from doing good, what are some of the benefits for businesses?
We live in a world where increasingly people want to buy from and work for businesses that do good. The evidence is overwhelming; 90% of consumers would switch brands to support a good cause. With this in mind, if businesses advertise that they are donating to good causes through their work it should really help customer growth and strengthen the brand.
Could you give an example of a success story?
Pattie & Co produces organic cotton muslin for babies and toddlers, and through Work for Good they set out to give £5 from each muslin sold to baby loss charity Tommy’s, to support their vital work. In the first half of this year, they have quadrupled their sales and thus quadrupled their donations.
Do you think that businesses are becoming more conscious and stepping further in the direction of social responsibility?
Yes I do. “CSR” used to be more of a superficial corporate behaviour, but the increasing trend of purpose in business has become much more authentic and exists right down to micro businesses. We set up the platform to make it easy for businesses of any size to give back.
What are the advantages of signing up to Work for Good, rather than businesses giving directly to the charity?
We help businesses design smart giving pledges that suit their situation. The platform also takes care of the legal admin which is needed when a business wants to link donations to sales and promote their support of charities. Our tech can be used to involve and engage customers in the giving. Having a single payment portal to make regular donations to multiple charities makes the admin easy. And finally, we help businesses tell their giving story to differentiate themselves and inspire others. We also find that people enjoy being part of a larger movement of like-minded businesses who are collectively making a big difference.
Do you have any stats about charity giving that have shocked you?
Only 2% of UK charities’ income comes from businesses, compared to 43% from personal giving. If we can get just 1 in 20 of the UK’s six million SME’s to give 2 days of their revenue, it will create one £billion of new funding for good causes every year.
What sparked the inspiration for Work for Good?
Work for Good is the brainchild of Rupert Pick, who was inspired to give back to the amazing hospital staff who cared for his daughter Ottie, who was premature with genetic conditions that affect her bones and heart.
When Rupert decided to donate the fees from his next workshop to the Evelina Children’s Hospital, it deeply impressed the client, it motivated his team, and it was much easier than running a marathon to raise the funds! It made him see the potential for what could happen if more businesses chose to give through their work.
As a start-up, what challenges are you faced with?
All of the usual ones! The biggest relates to us encouraging and enabling a new behaviour, and doing so with a focus on the UK’s six million SME’s who are notoriously hard to reach at scale.
How do you want to grow Work for Good through the Future 20 programme?
We have skill gaps so support and advice in those areas will be hugely helpful. For example, we don’t have a tech founder so lack that in-house resource. Likewise for evolving our marketing and user acquisition, and of course funding is critical.
Work for Good are currently giving away free accounts to new businesses – use the code: SUMMER19 before 31st July to receive your first year’s membership for free!
Find out more: www.workforgood.co.uk/
The Future 20 programme is a bespoke incubator programme run by Allia Future Business Centre comprised of 20 of the very best UK tech for good and social ventures that are addressing the UN Sustainable Development Goals.