Frequently asked questions

Why should my business donate via Work for Good, rather than to the charity directly?

If your business wants to donate to charity through your sales, and publicise this to your customers or clients, you are legally required to set up a commercial participation agreement with each charity.

This can cause barriers for both business owners and charities due to limited time and resources. This is where Work for Good can help:

  1. We have built-in permissions to legally set up donations

  2. You can donate to as many charities as you like (without having to set up separate agreements with each charity)

  3. We help you to promote your donation activity and your business

  4. You can access one-to-one support and advice from our dedicated team

What is a ‘commercial participator’ or Commercial Participation Agreement (CPA)?

Businesses that encourage the purchase of goods or services on the basis that some of the proceeds will go to charity, or that a donation will be made, are known as ‘commercial participators’.

According to the Charities Acts, businesses that are commercial participators must comply with certain legal requirements and have a ‘commercial participator agreement’ in place with the charity.

This can make donating through your business quite cumbersome, and indeed, many charities are forced to turn down approaches from small businesses for these reasons.

Work for Good has solved this problem, making it easy for you to donate without any need for you to have direct contact or negotiate with any of the charities you decide to support.

The issues are dealt with neatly in the T&Cs that businesses and charities agree to upon registering, that jointly form the Commercial Participation Agreement between your business and any charity you support. Your rights and obligations are set out in the T&Cs.

Why is it beneficial to link donations to my business' sales?

Many small businesses donate to charity, but it is often ad hoc and under promoted.

We believe that it is better for your business, and for the charity to make donations that are linked to sales of your goods or services, because:

  1. It is visible to your customers and staff

  2. It helps to raise awareness of the charity you're supporting

  3. It will hopefully inspire other businesses to donate to charity also

The reason why your business should make these donations via Work for Good, rather than to the charity directly, is explained here.

Can I link donations to my business' profits, rather than sales?

We encourage businesses to link donations to sales as this is simple and transparent.

For this reason, and to keep you compliant with the Charities Act, you won't be able to set up a donation linked to the profit of individual products or services.

Instead, you can translate the £/% of the profit into the £/% of sales that equates to the donation amount you want to make.

However, we do understand that some businesses may only feel comfortable linking to the profits of the business. If this is the case, please contact us to find out how Work for Good can support you in giving in this way.

What does it cost to use Work for Good?

It’s free for businesses and charities to sign up to Work for Good.

This gives you access to our donations system, a dashboard to manage your donations and use of the Work for Good mark to promote your giving activity.

We deduct 5% (exc VAT) from donations to support our work to raise even more funds for charities. We connect them with businesses who want to give, take out the costs of fundraising and free up their time to focus on what matters most.

There are no payment processing fees for donations paid by BACS. If you donate by credit or debit card, there is a small charge (20p+1.4%, inc VAT) which goes directly to our third party payment processing provider.

Can my business use the charity’s logo?

The name of the charity(ies) can be used, but not the logo(s). Instead, use the Work for Good mark to talk about your businesses’ giving activity. You can download digital or print files of the Work for Good mark here.

There are two reasons for this:

  1. Tax: Use of the logo would complicate the tax analysis with respect to VAT, which could become chargeable on donations you make. It would hit the charity, not your business but would nevertheless be an unwelcome reduction in how much good your generosity achieves

  2. Charity policy: Many charities, especially those with an income of £1m+ per annum have restrictions on businesses using their logo as they must protect the value of their brand. To be able to use their logo, partnerships need to be of a higher value and take time, resource and cost to build on both the charity and business sides. Furthermore, charities (size dependent) typically have policies that require a minimum annual donation commitment (ranging approximately from £10K up to £150k per annum)

How do I create my account?

Sign up by answering a few quick questions here. You will be sent an email asking you to verify your account and from there, you’ll be able to set up your first donation and/or fill in your profile.

If you have any trouble, please contact us and we’ll help you.

How do I set up and pay a donation?

First, you’ll need to decide how you will raise your donations (for example: you might want to donate £X or X% from every sale or £X or X% from sales of a specific product or service, such as t-shirt’s sold from your Summer range).

You can then complete our donations form to specify: which charity you are supporting, the timeframe you’re raising the donation within, the estimated donation total and your anticipated payment date (or, you can choose to ‘pay now’). If you would like to involve your customers or employees (more on this here), you can also fill in these details.

On the specified payment date, you will receive an email asking you to pay your donation. Payments can be made via BACS or credit/debit card. Credit/debit card payments are handled securely via a third party payment processor.

If you have any trouble, please contact us and we’ll help you.

How do I set up my profile?

Once you have set up your first donation, we recommend completing your profile as this is an easy way to promote your giving. You can also set a target to help focus your fundraising efforts.

How can I promote my giving?

We encourage businesses to promote their giving with pride. It’s good for your business, and can help inspire others to do the same.

The Work for Good mark is a sign of your commitment to business giving and any business who is an active Work for Good member has permission to use it. Please make use of the mark as soon as you have set up your first donation and show the world what you stand for. Display the Work for Good mark wherever your customers will see it - in your email footers, on your website, on your proposals or on your van. It's a great way to start a conversation about how you're giving back. You can download digital or print files of the Work for Good mark here.

When you set up or pay a donation, share the news on social media and if you have a blog, why not write a post about your donation activity? If you mention or tag us, we’ll share your stories.

Once you have completed your profile, share it with your customers, employees or colleagues and remember, you can involve them further by letting them choose which charity your next donation will go to.

If you need help with ideas on how to promote your giving, please contact us.

How can I involve my customers?

By promoting your donation activity, your customers will see the good you are doing, and feel part of it. This can be a powerful way of engaging with them.

When you set up a donation, you can enter your customer’s name and email address (make sure you have their permission to do this) and they will be sent an email when you have paid this donation, thanking them for working with you.

You can also give your customer the option to choose which charity receives your donation. They can choose from a list of up to 10 charities shortlisted by you or, choose any charity registered with Work for Good.

If you don’t want to make the amount you are donating public, you can choose to hide the donation amount from them.

How can I change or cancel a donation?

You can edit the payment date, donation amount or time frame for raising the donation by editing the donation on your dashboard at any time (please note, the charity will be notified of these changes).

If for some reason you are no longer able to make your donation, you can delete it but the charity will be notified of this, as will your customers, if you have chosen to involve them.

It’s important to keep in mind that if you have promoted sales based on a promise to donate to a certain charity, then you must honour it.

Can I support more than one charity?

You can support as many charities as you like, as often as you can, in donations as big or small as you’re able.

If you want to support more than one charity as part of a single campaign (for example, sales of a particular product line), you will need to set up more than one donation.

For example, if you plan to donate say £500 from one campaign to two charities, you’ll need to register two donations; £250 for charity X and £250 for charity Y.

Can I change my chosen charity?

When you set up a donation, if you select that you will be publicising your support (which we recommend that you do), you will not be able to change which charity your donation goes to. If you no longer wish to support that charity, you will need to delete the donation (and the charity will be notified of this).

It’s important to keep in mind that if you have promoted sales based on a promise to donate to a certain charity, then you must honour it.

Do I have have to support the charities listed on Work for Good?

Whilst you can only donate to charities registered with Work for Good, we’re happy to add any UK registered charity that isn't already on the platform. Simply nominate one here and we’ll contact the charity for you.

Once the charity has registered and been verified by a member of our team, you will be able to set up a donation in support of them. Charity registration can take a matter of hours, depending on how quickly the charity is able to respond.

Can I give to other worthy causes that are not registered charities?

Not yet, but we intend to expand the range of recipient types to include other not-for-profit organisations.

Can the charity see that I am donating to them?

Yes, the charity will be notified when you set up, edit, pay or delete a donation. Charities need to know the identity of any business that wants to support them, in order to comply with charity regulations. However, they will only see your business’ details for auditing and verification purposes, they will not be able to use the details for marketing purposes or pass them on.

How is giving through Work for Good tax efficient?

All of the charities on Work for Good are UK registered, so any donations you make through us are tax deductible against profits in your business. This is not the case on all other giving platforms.

Whether it’s more tax efficient to donate to charity from your business or individually is a complex question as there are so many factors to consider. However, our analysis shows that in the most common scenario, it costs a business less to donate direct to charity than for a business owner to take out money from the business via salary or dividends and then donate personally. If you’d like to discuss your individual circumstances, please get in touch.

Can I use Gift Aid?

If you are a sole trader or part of a partnership (rather than a registered company), it may be possible for Gift Aid to be claimed by the charity. However, you must be registered as a UK taxpayer and meet the necessary criteria.

When you sign up to Work for Good (and if you confirm you are not a registered company) you will be asked if you are eligible for Gift Aid. If so, you will have the option to complete a Gift Aid declaration, which Work for Good will send to the charity on your behalf.

Please note: it is your responsibility to ensure that the information within the declaration is accurate, and to update Work for Good if your Gift Aid eligibility changes. If you have any doubts, we recommend you seek advice from your financial accountant or HMRC.

What are the tax implications for customers?

The transaction with your customer should continue to be treated exactly as it would be without Work for Good. So if VAT is payable, it will still be payable, and so on. Any tax relief will be available to the business whose income is being donated to charity.

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