When non-allowable charity donations are a good thing

It’s fairly well known that a limited company can deduct charitable donations to reduce its tax (although terms & conditions do apply*) so whilst it’s encouraging to see, it’s no surprise to see a business donating money to a charitable cause.

What is truly inspirational is when a business makes donations after being told the expense is not allowable for tax. This tells me three things:

    1. The cause they are donating to is something the business/ directors are passionate about.

    2. They recognise their business has the ability to make a positive social impact on their local community and/ or in the world at large.

    3. They recognise doing something purposeful and meaningful is more important than reducing their tax.


Are you tax efficient or doing whatever you can to avoid it…

That said, of course, its important businesses and individuals are efficient with tax and save where they can within the tax rules but in my opinion, when running a business is ONLY about reducing tax, they’ve lost the point of what a business should be doing. See our next blog on tax strategies for more about this.


Our unique selling point!

We build the foundations of our business with cash, an office or warehouse, equipment, materials, skills, knowledge and a service or product people want but at this stage it’s no different to any other business, it’s not standing out until we add the finishing touches. Those finishing touches, make our business stand out and unique amongst everyone else out these. These include our values, our kindness and those personal qualities we have that make us human.


You can make a profit and still help others

Businesses MUST make a profit and they must ensure that they look after the needs of the directors, shareholders and employees – I’m a firm believer that charity begins at home – but we can help others in addition to this.

In my opinion, some businesses have become saturated in commercialism and have forgotten a business has the ability to really help others by giving them access to a service or product they can’t get elsewhere which will vastly improve their lives. That may be material objects for some – and at times we do need things such as a house, car, technological equipment, and clothes – but in most instances the thing that a business could really do to enrich people’s lives is to care, look out for the vulnerable, give a voice to the minority, empower and offer opportunities to those in poverty and support the work that charities and social enterprises do.


Businesses can help reduce depression and anxiety

Furthermore, it is suggested that mental illnesses such as depression and anxiety – which are increasing at an alarming rate – are not due to a chemical imbalance in our brain but due to the way we are living. Johann Hari in Lost Connections identifies the nine real causes of depression and anxiety, with his suggestions heavily backed with scientific research and interviews.

Thankfully Hari also recommends seven practical solutions equally backed by research; one of which businesses can implement and influence in a significant way, and another in which we can all implement through our business.

  • Meaningful work, and

  • Meaningful values.

Could your business do something more meaningful and enrich the lives of others?

How could you have a more meaningful business whilst ensuring that your own needs are taken cared for and met?

If you would like to know more about how your business can help I recommend you attend the Business for Good conference in Edinburgh this month on 24th & 25th April 2019 organised by Alisoun Mackenzie.

Disclaimer: I get no commission for the conference tickets – I simply believe in what Alisoun promotes and I am a member of her Womenpreneurs Doing Good Mastermind. 


If you would like to know more how you can have a successful business that ensures your needs are met whilst fulfilling your business goals too, please get in touch. Alternatively, pick up a copy of my book Successful Business Minds.


Helen Monaghan

Author of Successful Business Minds, 12 Steps to Improve Your Cashflow, and The Magical Mix of Money, Tax and a Happy Life


If you can’t attend, nor afford the conference, but would still like to know more about how your business can do good then please get yourself a copy of Alisoun Mackenzie’s book Give to Profit. Or if you would like to know more about Johann Hari’s research into depression and anxiety, I highly recommend his book Lost Connections. For ease, I have a link to both books on my book shop page.

© 2019, HM Finance Coaching Ltd, Helen Monaghan


*For more on the terms & conditions around charitable donations and saving tax visit Gregory Accounting’s blog Give to charity and save tax

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