Do you ever stop to think about why you work? For most of us, work is a necessity: we exchange our time and skills for money, using it to support ourselves and those who depend on us. Hopefully, after life’s necessities have been accounted for, we have something left over to spend on the ‘nice to have’, non-essential things that make us happy.
But is it enough?
If you’ve not done so already, this is a question you’re likely to find yourself contemplating at some point in your life. Perhaps when you realise you’ve acquired all the things you reasonably need, or maybe when something out of your control happens to someone you love.
As social animals, we humans are programmed to be empathetic, caring and generous, and it’s in our nature to do what we can to support causes close to our hearts. We can do this as individuals, but as entrepreneurs and business owners, we also have the opportunity to embed the principles of social responsibility into the organisations we run.
We decided to make social responsibility a cornerstone of Inca from the very start. Alongside our mission to provide micro and small businesses with first-rate accounting services and (through our workshop programme) the skills and expertise to succeed, we do this in two ways:
Supporting local & national charities
Each year we set aside 5% of our pre-tax profits for charity. 4% of this we divide equally between four charities nominated and voted for by Inca staff.
Often, team members select causes because they’ve been touched by them in some way, and while the charities chosen are usually local to us, this isn’t always the case.
In 2019, The four charities Inca staff chose to support were the Alzheimer’s society, The Guide dogs for the Blind Association, Swindon Sands and Sobell House. Previous beneficiaries have included Riding for the Disabled Abingdon, Oxfordshire Animal Sanctuary, Ronald Mcdonald House, Helen and Douglas House, Swindon Sands, Home Farm Trust, Antics and Silver Star.
The remaining 1% we use to support ad hoc charitable activities undertaken by our staff, partners and clients. This can encompass a wide range of fund-raising activities. Just recently, for example, we’ve contributed to the fund-raising efforts of Inca team partners and Inca clients sky diving on behalf of the Alzheimer’s Society and Dingley’s Promise, and Inca co-founder Lesley Carson’s sponsored walk for Parkinson’s UK.
Since 2012, Inca has donated a total of £55605.25 to charity!
Helping save young lives in Africa
We’re aware of our responsibilities as part of a global family too. Since 2014, we’ve been helping reduce child deaths from malaria in Kenya by donating through B1G1 to purchase mosquito nets.
Malaria is the biggest killer of children under 5 years old in Kenya, but a mosquito net can dramatically improve a child’s chances of surviving to their fifth birthday. Initially, we donated a net every time an existing client referred a new client to us, but since 2016, we also donate a net for each new client we win – mailing them a card to say thank you for helping us save a life.
We chose this particular cause as it correlates with our own goal to ensure the start-ups we work with survive to their 5th birthday and thrive beyond it!
Since 2014 Inca has donated over 500 malaria nets to children in Africa!
How Will Your Business Make a Difference in 2020?
Perhaps your business is already embracing the concept of a social conscience, but if it’s not, it’s something to think about for 2020. You can make a genuine difference to things you care about, feel a real sense of purpose in your team – and your business will benefit too.
While your primary objective is to generate profit, introducing a social conscience to your business will bring benefits that extend beyond helping your chosen causes and satisfying your philanthropic instincts. It will differentiate you from your competitors and help you to attract customers and staff with similar values.
Help Us Choose Which Charities to Support in 2020!
The Inca team are in the process of selecting the four charities we are going to support in 2020. If you have any charitable causes you’d like us to consider, let us know and tell us why. Call us on 01235 868888 or email us at [email protected] before 31st January 2020.