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Good to give

PUBLISHED: 06:26 29 September 2014

Donation box and coins on desk

Donation box and coins on desk

Archant

Charitable giving is on the increase, whether it's individuals or businesses. According to the latest Halifax Giving Monitor, most of us are giving the same or more to charities as we did before the recession. More of us are donating regularly too; three-quarters of consumers gave money to charity in the past 12 months.

And for businesses, philanthropy is increasingly important, as part of their corporate responsibility in supporting their local communities – not just money but staff time too.

That’s part of a long tradition in Norfolk businesses. There are countless examples of businesses and organisations in our region participating and contributing to community investment. The list would be too extensive to reproduce in this article, but within it are organisations as diverse as The Holkham Estate contributing to small local organisations and facilities management provider Norse which has its own community fund with employee participation.

At Lovewell Blake we have the 150 Challenge which marked the firm’s 150th anniversary in 2008 with a target to raise £150,000 over five years. We reached the target and donated to over 100 charitable and community projects throughout Norfolk and North Suffolk.

So, if you want to make a real difference in Norfolk, whether it’s charitable giving as an individual or a business, where’s the best place to start?

It may be the Norfolk Community Foundation, which works to promote philanthropy in the county. It does this by raising money to build an endowment fund from individual and corporate donors, making grants from the investment income and other funds to community groups tackling local disadvantage.

Director Graham Tuttle explains: “We’ve tried to stay true to Bishop Graham’s vision to be ‘the large charity for the smaller charities’ and provide small grants to those organisations that do so much good work for Norfolk and their local communities.” Since its establishment in 2005 more than £10m of grants have been delivered on behalf of its donors and it’s helped 900 charities and community groups.

And to make your donation go further, don’t forget tax reliefs on gifts to charity. This is a complex area, summarised as:

Existing Gift Aid, including tax relief on qualifying cash donations to registered charities or community amateur sports clubs (CASCs), gifts of land, property and qualifying shares to charities, some reliefs and exemptions from capital gains tax and inheritance tax.

New reliefs, including tax relief for companies making cash gifts to CASCs, Social Investment Tax Relief (SITR) for individuals (a minimum investment period of three years) and the Cultural Gifts Scheme.

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