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Q&A: How to use Work for Good

Our co-founder, Danny recently participated in one of Enterprise Nation’s ‘Lunch and Learn Masterclasses’ on the topic of Cause Marketing, where he answered some common questions surrounding Work for Good.

Part 1 (of 2) has been transcribed below. If you would like to join Work for Good but there’s something you remain unsure about, please contact us and we would be delighted to help!

Q&A: How to use Work for Good

1/6: What is Cause Marketing and how does it relate to Work for Good?

Cause Marketing is when a business puts out a public pledge to make a donation to charity, which is linked to the sales of their goods and services. For example: ‘We will donate £5 for each t-shirt sold in June 2020 to The National Emergencies Trust.’

Admittedly, Cause Marketing is not a nice term. It sounds very commercial and suggests that all the business cares about is sales, whereas most Work for Good’s members make these pledges because it reflects their values.

The idea behind Cause Marketing is simple: there is a powerful win-win when a business raises funds for good causes at the same time as selling more of their products or services. At the same time, it also enhances a business’ brand narrative, as we live in a world where people increasingly want to work for or buy from companies who do good.

This behaviour used to be carried out by major corporates only: for example, Heinz pledging 10p per tin of baked beans sold to Alzheimer’s Research UK. The reason for this is that there are a lot of tax, legal and minimum donation threshold considerations which make it hard for small businesses or sole traders to get involved (more on this later).

This is why we built Work for Good: to make it super easy and possible for small businesses to embed a giving pledge in to what they do, in a way that is good for their business but also, good for causes.

Our mission is to get 1 in 20 UK small businesses to pledge 1% of their annual revenue as this would create £1 billion of new revenue for charities. The power of small is huge!

2/6: How does the Work for Good platform work? Does it know what my revenue is and can therefore take this 1% automatically?

This isn’t automated yet, but in time we will connect Work for Good to popular accounting software to make donating in this way effortless.

For now, businesses log into the platform (for free) and use it to create a legally compliant pledge to the charity of their choice. From there, they can publicly advertise what they’re doing and then settle up these donations at the end of each quarter (or however often they choose to donate).

So, if a business says that it will give £5 for every toy sold in Q1, the business would reach the end of the quarter, calculate the number of toys sold (and therefore the amount owed) and then settle this donation through the platform. Work for Good then transfers this donation to the charity.

Q&A: How to use Work for Good

3/6: How do I choose the cause?

That’s entirely up to the business owner, as they are making the pledge. Here are a few ideas:

4/6: I have a handbag company and the ocean is at the heart of my brand. I want to give a % of sales to a marine charity. What is the benefit of using Work for Good, rather than going directly to the charity?

This is a fabulous question as it’s not well understood. There are a few problems with trying to go direct:

Q&A: How to use Work for Good

5/6: Can I mention the charity on my website and use their logo?

You can mention the name of the charity but currently, you can’t use their logo (this is something you can only get if you can negotiate directly with the charity as some are cautious about logo usage) but we do intend to add a feature which would allow the charities who are happy for Work for Good members to use the logo, to provide downloadable files.

In the meantime, you can talk about the charity on all of your channels by name and you can use the Work for Good mark, which everyone loves!

Q&A: How to use Work for Good

6/6: In view of coronavirus, is Cause Marketing becoming even more relevant for customers?

There are two parts to this. There’s the macro trend which is that, increasingly, Cause Marketing is a critical part of any company: 90% of consumers say they would switch brands to support a cause and 88% of millennials say they look for an employer who shares their social values.

The more relevant part to Covid is tricky, because lots of smaller businesses are being kicked sidewise by this, so asking them to make cash pledges to charities can be a really tough ask and we have total sympathy for people to whom this is not the right moment for this conversation.

The flip side, is that we’ve seen an incredibly inspiring reaction from those businesses that are still stable and wanting to be part of the solution. The third sector has been debilitated: a lot of charities have furloughed 2/3’s of their staff, fundraising is expected to dry up by almost 50% and individual fundraising events such as marathons are dying. At the same time, almost every charity out there plays a role (whether directly or indirectly) in the situation which is adversely affected by Covid and this is therefore a critical time to help.

So, in so far as people can and want to donate to charity, now is a brilliant moment when it will make the biggest difference.

Stay tuned for part 2, coming soon! You can also watch the full masterclass here. A huge thanks to Enterprise Nation for inviting us to take part.