Why entrepreneurs are more giving to charity as their company grows

Entrepreneurs are placing much more emphasis on philanthropy and giving to charity than they would have done ten years ago

A YouGov survey of small business owners, commissioned by wealth manager Kleinwort Hambros, reveals that charitable organisations would benefit from an additional £171 million a month if small businesses achieve their goals and grow by 15 per cent. The survey, which questioned over 1000 small business owners throughout Great Britain, also reveals that male entrepreneurs intend to donate more than female small business owners.

When questioned, 44 per cent of small business owners claim they give money to charity organisations every month. On average these give £126 which works out to be £300 million a month. If their businesses grew by five per cent in turnover, 14 per cent of owners claim they would increase the amount of money they give to charity (this works out as 730,050 businesses). On average, these businesses would increase the amount by £73.30, which works out to be an additional £53 million a month.

If their businesses grew by ten  per cent in turnover, 15.05 per cent of owners claim they would increase the amount of money they give to charity (this works out as 827,750 businesses). On average, these businesses would increase the amount on average by £100.21, which works out to be an additional £82 million a month.

If their businesses grew by 15.15 per cent in turnover, 15 per cent of owners claim they would increase the amount of money they give to charity (this works out as 833,250 businesses). On average, these businesses would increase the amount on average by £205.38, which works out to be an additional £171 million a month.

The survey shows that millennial entrepreneurs, or small business owners under the age of 35, also have generous intentions if their businesses become more profitable. Only around two in five (39 per cent) of small business owners aged under 35 say they would not increase the amount they give to charity if their businesses grew by five per cent. In addition, 14 per cent of small business owners aged between 45 and 54 said they would increase the amount they give to charity if their businesses grew by five per cent.

Male entrepreneurs proved more generous than their female counterparts with 16 per cent of male entrepreneurs who say they would increase their charitable donations saying they would give up to £100 to £200 more a month if their profits rose by 15 per cent compared to just ten  per cent of female business owners. However, when asked what they currently give to charity, 45 per cent of female small business owners say they gave monthly compared to 43 per cent of men.

And 65 per cent of millennial entrepreneurs give between £1 and £20 per month to charity compared to 41 per cent of over 55. However, when it comes to big money, older entrepreneurs lead the way with two per cent of over 55 and three per cent of those aged between 45 and 54 who give to charity every month giving over £1000 a month to charitable causes.

Rebecca Constable, head of philanthropy at Kleinwort Hambros, says, ‘People may be surprised to discover how much small business owners are thinking of giving to charities as their businesses become more profitable, but we see it as an exciting development that entrepreneurs are more likely to consider their charitable obligations. In our experience, entrepreneur and business owner clients are placing much more emphasis on philanthropy and impact investing than they would have done ten years ago. It is increasingly an important part of business culture, is more visible and attracts and connects employees.’

She adds that this is because the climate of charitable giving has changed. ‘We have seen the emergence of new charities which are being run more commercially than perhaps the larger charities were in the past. Today’s business owners can have a direct involvement in the management of their chosen causes and can see the impact of their investment. We believe this is a trend which will continue to grow.’

Further reading on giving to charity

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