Sponsors and Donors - Charitable giving can help produce big results for individuals and their communities

They say give a man a fish and he eats for a day. But teach a man to fish and he may well be able to eat forever. This is the philosophy which, in a way, is being adopted by Hereward Media. There is a high-tech skills shortage across the UK, and there are positions to be filled, giving those who have been left behind new hope, new belief, and a new direction.

One of the feel-good elements of being in business is being able to donate to charitable causes that can make a difference in your region. Every week sponsors, such as yourself, can celebrate their progress by providing money, products, volunteer hours or other charitable activities to those providing social benefits in your local area. Charities, such as Hereward Media, are constantly looking for funders to give us the impetus to deliver our objectives.

Charitable giving to these organisations is a great thing to do, and doing so can also provide benefits to your own workplace.

It has been said that 'generosity' is the new marketing success. with social media, charitable companies earn a reputation as being 'ethical' companies. Potential customers will be more likely to consider purchasing from those with this element as part of their image. When supporting a charity, you are helping to define your intentions and your values. It also introduces you to other supporters of that charity.

If you are reading this article, you are probably already thinking about how you can play a bigger role in your community via charitable giving. You might have to justify the move to others who are not so convinced, however. We can note the value of the partnership and publicity for your business, and the positive impact of Hereward Media, but others may need a little more to be convinced. Here's a checklist that you might find useful in your discussions:

1. Free Publicity

Donating to a charity, or volunteering staff time on work which they need carrying out, has many benefits. It will raise awareness of your company and products by being in partnership with Hereward Media, while raising awareness of what our charitable activities are all about. You can help promote Hereward Media by mentioning what you are doing on your social media platforms, and on your website. A picture is worth a thousand words, so look for angles for photos to take that will illustrate your contribution.

In return, Hereward Media will promote your business on our website. This will help describe your company's values and culture to your community. You can increase the marketing impact of your actions participation by helping Hereward Media with our public relations and marketing impact. If you have contacts in a Public Relations company, enquire if they can provide pro bono time towards us. The more coverage received will be a benefit to everyone involved.

2. Gain Customer Support

Giving back to your community will help you build stronger relationships with your existing customers, as well as gain new ones.

A 2010 study by Cone Communications showed that 85 percent of consumers have a better view of businesses that give to a charity, especially when you can enthuse about the work being done. Giving a regular portion of your profits to good causes will engage the support of your customer base, and may help create new marketing opportunities to expand your reach.

In 2013, Forresters produced a survey with 1,100 respondents, reporting that most consumers think businesses should support charities. When faced with a choice between two companies that offered products and services for the same price, 82 per cent said their decision would be influenced by whether a company engaged with charities and its local community.

3. Redefine Your Corporate Identity

The charitable element of a company can be a cornerstone of its brand showing the world that they are ethical and trustworthy. It can also define a company as different from its competition, which not only aids the brand image but can be an important recruitment tool for attracting the top talent to your business.

Also, in many business awards criteria, there is almost always a question about a company's Corporate Social Responsibility standards and actions. Charitable given helps boost your profile in this regard.

As we do not promote any social, religious, or political agenda that is questionable or controversial in any way, and we have a good reputation, you can rest assured your corporate identity will benefit from interaction with Hereward Media.

4. Tax Deductions

Be sure to talk to your accountant or tax adviser for their specific advice on how to maximise your charitable giving while minimising your tax bill. There are different rules for Limited Companies and sole traders.

Limited company - If you wish to make a donation to charity via your limited company, you will need to keep the documentation surrounding the donation. Donations are classed as an expense and put through your accounts as Payment of Charitable Donation. Making charity donations as a limited company lowers the amount of Corporation Tax you pay - see below for how this works.

Further information on the UK tax rules for Limited Companies can be found BY CLICKING HERE.

Sole Trader - If you are a sole trader, or in partnership, a donation to charity would not count as a day-to-day running cost of your business. That means that, if you pay the money from your business's bank account, you would need to record this transaction as “drawings”, or a non-business transaction. But you may still be able to get tax relief on the donation, so long as you've made it under Gift Aid.

When you 'Gift Aid' a donation, Hereward Media can claim some money back from the Government. This is the equivalent of basic rate tax on that donation - for example, if you give £10 to a charity under Gift Aid, then we will be able to claim an extra £2.50 back from the government.

If you are a higher-rate taxpayer, then you can claim tax relief on the difference between the basic rate tax relief the charity has already claimed, and the higher rate - in other words, for your donation of £10, Hereward Media could claim £2.50, and you would get £2.50 in tax relief, since the higher rate is 40% and the charity has already claimed 20% of that. To claim this tax relief, you should record the donations in the main section of your tax return.

Many companies make charitable giving part of their overall business model - for instance, selling products where a percentage of the price goes to charities they support. When customers see the charitable impact of buying from an option which supports the community, or gives to causes that matter to them, they will be more likely to buy from that business, instead of from an anonymous big brand which doesn't have that same 'human touch'.

5. Employee Benefits

Employee perks have risen to new levels over the last few years, with start-ups leading the race with the likes of yoga days, in-house massage therapy, and catered food for meetings and occasions. What this means is the most 'in-demand talent' can pick and choose their employer, based on their particular skills sets and experience.

What this means for you is that you have a stronger chance of attracting the type of candidates you want working for you if you provide a sense of idealism as part of your company's mission statement. Getting involved with your community is way to have a positive effect on morale and increase the happiness of your employees. They are proud to work for a company that supports philanthropic activities, which can lead to increased loyalty and better staff retention levels.

6. Giving Back Gives a Buzz

One of the biggest benefits of your business supporting a charity is the feeling you get from giving to others. Business owners tend to be energetic, talented, action-oriented people who are natural leaders. As such, you have the power to make your mark against issues you care about. You can make the world a better place, not just by selling great products and services, but by actively collaborating with Hereward Media to help people in need, strengthen your community, and create opportunities for the upcoming generation.

Through being part of a charity's supporter base, you can belong to a powerful network of like-minded business owners, which you can meet with regularly for a common purpose.

You could invite Hereward Media to come along and meet your employees. You can then gauge their interest in supporting our work, in making a difference to people's lives. Hereward Media will be seen to have a good resonance with your personal values and your company brand. Donations will make a positive impact at minimal cost. The spirit of giving to make a difference in your local community is one of the most powerful levers in the kit-bag of a business owner. You have it in your remit to give generously and create a beneficial influence on the lives of others, every single day.

We suggest you delegate one staff member to initially spearhead the interactions with Hereward Media. If necessary, a committee could then be the next stage of the development of the relationship, which will help spread the load of any tasks related to interacting with Hereward Media, as your chosen charity.