I know we said the next blog post would be about changing accounting systems, but I bought a poppy today and that got me thinking about things charitable giving.

So a blog post from an accountant about charitable giving… we’re going to be talking about tax right? Well, no.  Just some thoughts on how important supporting local and national charities is to us.

Poppies are worn as a symbol of remembrance but the sale of poppies has also been an important means of fundraising for The Royal British Legion since 1921. In this internet age you can even buy your poppy online.  We’ll be proudly wearing ours on Remembrance Day, please do join us.

Charities are struggling in the current economic climate – as fundraising becomes more challenging when belts are being tightened, yet it’s at times of economic hardship that many charities need donations more than ever.

At Aspiration Europe (AE), like many companies, we try to do our bit.  Each year we choose a charity to support – one that has personal relevance for us. This year we are supporting the NSPCC because they are a fantastic organisation, and do so much to protect vulnerable children.  As parents ourselves, we selected the NSPCC as our charity for 2012 because of their role in helping provide a point of contact, and source of support, for children that may not have anyone else to look out for them.

Although Christmas is a happy time for many, it is also a time of year when charities are at their most stretched, in terms of people needing their support. With the festive season fast approaching, there are many superb opportunities to support charities – for example by buying your Christmas gifts through charities’ commercial outlets, or by giving Christmas cards that are sold in aid of a charity to your friends and business contacts (the AE cards have already arrived – which support the NSPCC of course – and we’ll be sending a Christmas donation as well).  Many companies now send electronic Christmas greetings rather than traditional Christmas cards and then make a donation to their favourite charity, which is another great way of giving support.

On a more personal note, this Christmas we’re (once again) going to be arranging “Letters from Santa” for our children…the letters are lovely, beautifully illustrated and the little ones thoroughly enjoy it when a special letter – just for them – comes through the letter-box. The letters also boost donations to the NSPCC at this important time of year. You can order them from the NSPCC Letter from Santa website.

And looking ahead to 2013…we are going to support local Norwich-born charity, Break, and have a bit of fun as well, by sponsoring GoGoGorillas, a 10 week public art and community event in Norwich  – featuring rather a lot of large, and very colourful, gorillas.

We’ll be talking about that more in future blog posts!