Supporting Local Causes – Good Business, Great Advertising
It’s always good to give to charity and to support local causes because helping out others is something we should all be doing. However it is also good for your business as it provides great advertising as well as many other benefits.
Do it right and business charity partnerships result in a win-win situation for you and the charities you have chosen to support.
- Why Support Local Charities and Events through your Business?
- What Are The Different Ways I Can Support My Local Charities?
- What Can I Give To Charity as a Business?
- How Do I Notify HMRC About My Charity Work & Gift-Aid Payments?
- What Kinds of Business Insurance Might I Need When Supporting A Local Charity?
Why Support Local Charities and Events through your Business?
Supporting local charities and events keeps you engaged with your local community. Some of your customers may be involved with the charity and as there is probably a need for the charity’s services in your local area. These services will be grateful for any help you can provide.
So whether you are supporting the local air ambulance, the food bank, disability services or anything else, getting involved is the right thing to do.
Your business provides great advertising to the charity. It shows the world that they are supported by reputable investors. It’s great advertising for you as well as it brings your name to a wider audience and makes people in your local area look favourably on your business.
Donating to charity as a small business builds your local profile, gives you a chance to network and positions you as a responsible and caring enterprise that can be trusted.
What Are The Different Ways I Can Support My Local Charities?
There are multiple ways to support your local charities from volunteering at a local event or activity such as manning a soup kitchen to giving a donation.
Sponsoring a sports team by providing equipment and paying for field upkeep can be a good way to show your support and it also gets your company’s name on the team’s shirts.
Urging customers to support the cause can be carried out online by the addition of a charity button on your website, and collection boxes left in your outlet can be surprisingly effective for fund raising.
Business Donations to Charity
Business donations to a charity provide much needed cash to good causes so are always welcome. And by choosing a charity that is in your local area, you’re supporting the community more directly.
Donations through a Limited Company
If you donate through a limited company rather than as an individual, you can claim tax relief on your contribution as this is classified as a business expense.
Make sure you keep all documentation as proof for your accountant at the end of the year. However you can only claim tax relief on donations to national charities. So, if you’re looking to claim back some tax, make sure the charity you are supporting has a national reach, rather than being a purely local based organisation.
Donating as a small trader or small business
If you pay more tax than the basic rate, you can claim the difference between the rate you pay and the basic rate of the donation. You can do this through your self-assessment tax return, which is the easiest option.
Alternatively you can ask HMRC to amend your tax code.
Do this and both you and the charity benefit. For example if you donate £10, the charity could claim £2 and you would get £2 in tax relief. This is because the higher rate of tax is 40% of which the charity has already claimed 20%.
Gift Aid gives charities and community projects a way to claim an extra 25p on every £1 donated. It does not cost the giver any extra so is certainly worth doing.
In order for the charity to claim, you need to fill in a declaration, a simple form that says you are a taxpayer. Your donations will qualify as long as they are not four times more than the tax you pay in a year.
Supporting local events
Supporting local events such as fetes, sports competitions and fun days is a very visible way of supporting a charity. Business charity partnerships work well for both parties as this can be effective for fund raising and be great PR for your business.
What Can I Give To Charity as a Business?
Business donations to charity are not the only way to show support and help out the cause. Your business can support a charity in numerous practical ways too.
Most charities struggle with finding land or business resources to carry out their work. A field or space that can be used for an event or other charitable purpose is an easy way to contribute to charity and is great PR.
Getting your employees involved in a charity is a great way to boost morale in your organisation, especially on events such as building projects, manning events such as fetes or anything where the charity needs extra manpower.
Not only does this help the charity it publicises your business and makes your company look great in the media.
Many charities need business resources and equipment, so if your business has what they need, allowing your premises or office equipment to be used for charity is a great way to show your support.
Using your professional services to help other people is great publicity for your company and it makes your employees feel good too. This can be seen on the TV show, DIY SOS, where housing projects are completed by local trades and services for deserving causes.
How Do I Notify HMRC About My Charity Work & Gift-Aid Payments?
HMRC have published all the rules on charity work and gift aid payments.
If you are a sole trader or small business you can inform HMRC of your charitable donations when you complete your self assessment tax return at the end of the year.
Limited companies can claim charitable donations as a business expense, which can be handled by your accountant.
However in order to qualify for Gift Aid you do need to complete a declaration ( provided by the charity ) that contacts HMRC on your behalf in order to check you are a tax payer and have not exceeded your limit on charitable donations.
What Kinds of Business Insurance Might I Need When Supporting A Local Charity?
It is extremely important to have the right business insurance in place when supporting a local charity.
Public liability insurance is a must, especially if you are planning an event such as a festival or fun day. This insurance is also important if the charity is using your premises or equipment and could be injured.
Charity event insurance is also a good option, if you are hosting an event at your premises or at another venue. This is a short term insurance that can be implemented for the period of the event.
You will also need additional employee’s liability insurance if you are taking on volunteers to work alongside your usual workforce.
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