Interview with Danny Witter, co-founder of Work For Good
Find out why Danny Witter was inspired to launch Work For Good to make it easier for businesses to give to charity – and help charities access the resources they desperately need.
What’s your career background?
I spent 25 years in investment banking, looking after the financing and risk issues of large corporates. Great job if not very soul-satisfying. I was lucky enough to find my love for doing social good in that environment, and then almost four years ago I left banking to turn all my energies to this.
What inspired the initial idea for Work For Good?
It was Rupert Pick’s idea, when he decided to give away the £2,000 fee Unilever were paying him to run a workshop, to the hospital that had saved his daughter’s life many times.
It was much easier than running a marathon to raise funds, it impressed the client and it motivated his team, which made him wonder why more business don’t link giving to what they do.
How did you go from idea to actually launching it?
We got seed funding, found a decent development firm, scoped it, built the MVP and beta tested it… a well trodden path!
What are the biggest obstacles you’ve had to overcome with Work For Good?
We’re teaching a new behaviour. Business don’t tend to give cash to cause – a meagre 2% of UK charity income comes from businesses currently!
Also we’re focussed on notoriously hard to reach SMEs, the owners of which have dozens of other critical priorities, so even one they’ve enthusiastically bought in to the concept that doesn’t mean it happens quickly.
And what have been your proudest moments?
Every new sign up is a proud moment. The formula works, so when someone gets the joke, and joins the movement it’s a moment of joy and an antidote to all those frustrations that inevitably come with scaling a start up.
How has Work For Good grown so far?
We’ve been scaling since Feb and are at almost 600 businesses and charities signed up to Work for Good so far which is wonderful. We’re aiming for 20,000 so that’s just the start!
Why should businesses donate to charities?
Because it is good for business and cause alike. Win-win. We live in a mega-trend of purpose in business, customers and staff expect and reward businesses that are about more than profit, a clear social narrative has never been more vital – for micro businesses as much as the biggest brands.
And it is the right thing to do, the world is full of those in desperate need, and charities are facing shrinking funding resources to address them.
How do you make the process easier?
The platform allows a business to fulfil giving pledges to multiple charities in a few clicks, and boringly but importantly we’ve solved the legal and tax impediments to this behaviour. We’ve also made it easy to involve and engage clients in the giving moments, and we help businesses tell their social story to differentiate their proposition.
What’s your vision for Work For Good?
I want Work for Good to be the leader in business giving, raising £50m a year in the UK. And for us and our members to have driven a culture shift such that business giving is the norm, and not such a tiny part of the charity funding pie. Expanding into multiple overseas markets is also in the plan.
And finally, who is your inspiration?
I have many but I’m a fan of the new generation of entrepreneurs like Richard Reed of Innocent. He built a successful business with doing good part of the core. Now he’s sold it and made his wealth, he’s dedicating the next 20 years to giving it all away to causes. My sort of life cycle!
You can find out more about Work For Good on their website.