According to our unusual days of the year calendar today is Companies that Care day.
It's so ingrained in CJS's DNA (can a business have DNA?) that we put it on any of our affiliate and sub sites:
CJS was set up not to make vast profits but to make a difference, to put back into the conservation sector and help everyone in it along the way. You may have noticed that we've changed the footer on our emails and on the publications:
CJS is an ethical business working in harmony with environmental professionals to conserve the British countryside and natural world. Motivated by conservation success not profits.
We think this sums up CJS pretty well and is fundamental to all we do; we strive to live up to this short but bold statement.
CJS is run along social enterprise rules and 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.
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, a percentage of all gross online recruitment takings are given to CMA. A proportion of all Scottish recruitment advertising and subscriptions is given directly to SCRA. Note this is gross i.e. 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. And as the flow of adoption certificates in recent weeks has shown we're supporting a wide range of species and charities in the wake of last year's readership survey.
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.