Do you want a simple way to focus your corporate social responsibility activity and unite your charitable giving? Did you know that setting up a corporate foundation could help you to achieve this?

It’s not as scary as you might think, according to Brewin Dolphin - one of our clients who made this leap with great success.

To commemorate the company’s 250th anniversary in 2012, Brewin Dolphin wanted to do something which engaged its employees and made a real difference to the community. The easy option would have been a one-off event - or even a year long charity partnership - but Brewin Dolphin opted to make a long-term commitment and create a corporate foundation. 

With 2,000 employees in offices across the UK, there was already plenty of charitable activity going on; but with the foundation, Brewin Dolphin was able to centralise this activity and make the management and reporting easier.

Working with our Advisory team, Brewin Dolphin created a framework and strategy for the foundation which included:

  • to raise more money for charity
  • to engage all staff
  • to demonstrate the values of Brewin Dolphin at a more local level
  • to increase charitable activity which has a social benefit
  • to ensure an enduring legacy
  • to enhance business reputation

To avoid the expense and delays often associated with setting up a standalone charity, Brewin Dolphin opted to use a CAF Company Account to manage the foundation. This is a simple, low-risk option which has allowed Brewin Dolphin to test the waters of a corporate foundation.

To ensure they fully engage their staff with the foundation, a network of charity ambassadors has been created. These individuals help promote the foundation, encourage involvement and use their local knowledge to allocate grants as a result of  employee nominations. Brewin Dolphin also integrated its foundation with its CAF Give As You Earn scheme, meaning that in addition to corporate money the foundation funds itself with employee donations.

Although it’s too soon to identify the full impact the Brewin Dolphin foundation has had, since the foundation launched there’s been a 50% increase in the number of employees donating through CAF Give As You Earn.