Making philanthropy a part of corporate culture

21st June 2017

Tom Higgins, CEO Gold-i - Making philanthropy a part of corporate culture

Originally from Guildford, Tom Higgins returned to the area with his family following a number of years in London. In 2008, he started Gold-i, a now leading technology company based on the Surrey Research Park. Not long after forming Gold-i, Tom decided that the company should give to charity. Initially this was done on an ad-hoc basis.

“As Gold-i grew, our charitable efforts became too random. Charitable giving wasn’t our expertise and we decided that the time had come to engage an organisation with huge experience and an excellent reputation. Working with the Foundation allowed us to develop a clear theme to our giving that echoed the business; we now support groups that are attempting to do something innovative. Gold-i won The Queen’s Award for Enterprise in Innovation in 2014 so it is key to us. The local angle was important to us as I have always considered Gold-i a local company and attempted to recruit from within the area.”

“By working with the Foundation, we have relieved the administrative pressures of our giving and ensured the best outcome for local charities. We had some pre-conceived ideas about what we might give to but the Foundation has presented us with innovative projects that we would never have known about without their input.”

“I feel passionately that our culture and values as a company have improved since the inception of the Gold-i Innovation Fund. It’s important that it’s not just me choosing who we support, but that employees from across the company have equal input and get to share in the joy of giving. We’ve gone on to build lasting relationships with some of these charities.”

How this local business is changing lives

I was really glad to make a grant to Disability Challengers, they do fantastic work. No council service could replicate the service that they offer to the families of disabled children. We were so impressed with how strong-minded they were and their dynamics made us feel completely at home. One of our employees, Arun Lakhani, was so moved by their work that he now volunteers with them.