01 August 2012

How come you advertise so much stuff free of charge?

Because we operate along Social Enterprise principals.

A social enterprise is a business that trades for a social and / or environmental purpose. Since its inception this has been one of the core principles behind CJS.

Although we cannot officially call ourselves a social enterprise CJS behaves as though it is. We follow the main aims of a social enterprise.
  • CJS makes its money from selling goods and service.
  • CJS covers its own costs.
  • CJS pays its staff reasonable salaries.
  • CJS does not exist to make profits for shareholders (we don't have any).
  • CJS does not exist to make its owners very wealthy.
  • CJS does not rely on volunteering, grants or donations to stay afloat long term.
All of which are key elements of a social enterprise.

The one we fail in is "putting at least half of all profit made into making a difference".   


This is not because we're hoarding mountains of cash or stashing it in offshore accounts to avoid paying tax.  Instead we prefer not to charge the countryside and environmental sectors exorbitant fees to advertise for staff or to promote their projects, allowing the organisations to keep their money and spend it where they see fit, rather than CJS taking a hefty chunk to redistribute at a later date.  This is one of the reasons so much of what we do is done free of charge.  Of the money we do take, 5% of all gross online recruitment takings are given to CMA and also to Naturenet.net.  10% of all Scottish recruitment advertising and subscriptions is given directly to SCRA.  Note this is gross ie not profit it's a percentage of what we charge the advertiser.  We also collect donations from readers and subscribers which are passed on to our chosen charities.

But we do have to pay our costs to keep the business running and to pay our staff reasonable wages, so somewhere along the line we do have to charge.  We don't pay big wages but when we do make a profit it is shared amongst the Team to top up wages as a reward for hard work and this is one of the reasons we say we work on a cooperative basis (although I prefer democratic dictatorship, ed).  Wherever possible we keep office costs down but are prepared to pay slightly more when a service or product is also putting back and making a difference.
We don't put profits into making a difference because everything we do (or try to) is aimed at making a difference and helping the British countryside and conservation sectors to thrive and supporting the people who work in them.

For more about social enterprise businesses please see: www.socialenterprise.org.uk