As we approach the new financial year you will no doubt be reforecasting your budgets for 2017-2018. While we often talk about sales, expenses and wages, one thing that you may not have previously considered is a philanthropic budget for the financial year ahead.

While there is no hard and fast rule around charitable giving, it’s easy to find yourself donating to various charities throughout the year in an ad hoc manner with no real plan in mind. While this is still admirable, it can make it difficult throughout the year to keep track of and to decide which organisations to commit your support to, particularly if your investment tallies up to a substantial amount.

It can be helpful to record the total amount you have donated over the past 2-3 years and take note of which types of organisations/events you have supported. Once you have done this, you will be able to easily recognise trends and develop a budget for the year ahead. You may notice that there is a particular type of cause or organisation that your regularly support. Now is the time to start asking yourself if this type of support best resonates with you and your staff’s values.

It can feel quite empowering to take a step back and consider what type of change you would like to enable in your community.

For example, at West Carr & Harvey we choose to focus our philanthropic investment and in-kind support in the areas of health, education and youth. You may like to support animal welfare, environmental charities or arts and culture. Whichever areas of focus you choose, having a plan in place before the opportunities come knocking will ensure your support resonates with what is most important to you and your business.

If you’d like to know more about the community groups we support please visit: http://www.westcarrharvey.com.au/community

Image: A thank you cake from Kids Plus for our support – Peter Collins, Roxie Bennet and Rose Roberts.