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In 2005, Carus Consultants has worked with businesses of various sizes.  As well as ongoing work with one of the U.K.s top 200 listed companies, we have taken the same care over our work with a local business seeking to make best use of a one off donation.  The dual function of achieving best beneficial impact whilst meeting the company agenda is at the root of all work.  For the small business, giving can be a cost effective means of raising profile in a targeted community.  For the larger business the benefits can be in profile, building team spirit, gaining skills within the workforce and in retaining staff.

Support can extend beyond cash gifts.  Skill sharing, recycling of unwanted goods e.g. office furniture, employee volunteering programmes, gifts in kind, access to workforce, employee fund raising are all means of connecting with the community and building a responsible corporate image.

Historically, there has been a tradition of philanthropy in the business sector in the UK. However, in an increasingly competitive climate there is a noticeable shift from pure philanthropy to community investment as businesses are under increasing pressure to justify their giving policies. The business reasons for active 'corporate social responsibility' are well documented. Much has been written and said about the tangible benefits to be gained and these are summarised by the extracts from the Business in the Community website on the next page.

Carus Consultants offers unique support to companies wishing to develop their programmes. We also have long experience in devising the protocols that are necessary in the application, assessment and monitoring processes. It is unlikely that there is the in-house expertise or resources to develop and sustain a meaningful programme. Where a programme exists, it may be that, over time, it has become detached from its roots and out of step with current trends in the sector. To dedicate funds or resources to charitable activity without due diligence can be a tragic waste and damage the reputation it should be enhancing.

· Gain a focus for your Company's charitable activity that has the subscription of employees, customers, Directors and shareholders

· Audit the 'no cost' potential for supporting social causes

· Establish fair and equitable processes for disbursement of funds

· Identify the dividends of philanthropic activity