From the day I founded Magenta more than 20 years ago, my objective has not only been to provide world class security services but also to make the world a better place. More than anything, it’s charitable giving that has motivated me to grow the business: the more profitable we are, the more we’re able to give. The more staff we have, the more people power we can put behind charitable projects.
From the get go, I set aside at least 10% of any profits we made for charitable causes. Even though we had little to give back then, it was a business principle I wanted to set in stone. The earliest example I can remember was donating to a children’s charity to fund the production of board games that would educate children on road safety.
Though it was a humble donation, it set a precedent for the sort of projects I wanted Magenta to be involved in: a focus on the well-being of children with tangible results that show me exactly where the money is going.
As our business scaled up, so too did the scale of projects that we could support. For example, in one project we sponsored around 200 children to attend an event held by the Metropolitan Police, the ambulance service and the fire brigade at Hounslow Cavalry Barracks where they were trained on how to avoid knife crime, provide basic first aid and escape a room full of smoke.
I find that funding education has the biggest long term impact on someone’s well-being. Once a child learns something, they can use that knowledge for the rest of their lives. In the example above, those 200 children gained skills that could save the lives of themselves and others for years or even decades afterwards.
It’s been my objective to set a precedent for giving not just as a business, but as a community. For local projects, staff from across Magenta will join me to give their time and their energy to a good cause, such as when we planted over 300 trees to restore a forest to its natural state.
Magenta staff also know that my door is always open for their ideas on charitable efforts that we can support, and it makes me very proud to see the rest of the company get on board with the spirit of giving. It’s created a positive community atmosphere in the company as everyone here knows that both individually and as a team they have the power to make a difference to the world around them.
One of our initiatives came from a manager who walked into my office and told me about kids in his area who had nothing to do but hang around on street corners. He wanted to set up a football club for them, and asked if Magenta could fund their kit. I thought it was a brilliant idea, and not only was the club established, it was very successful too, going on to win a couple of tournaments. I’ll never forget the moment that those kids – who months before didn’t even have a football club – presented their trophy to me.
Thanks to Magenta’s success, we’ve been able to expand our charitable giving internationally. Our current focus is on supporting children in war torn countries, from Afghanistan to Sierra Leone and Syria. This programme is a direct sponsorship of individual children, taking care of their health, security and education until they’re 16. We’re currently sponsoring over 10 children, and aim to double that number next year.
I’ve only been able to share a fraction of Magenta’s charitable efforts in this blog, which makes me more proud than I can possibly express. No matter how successful Magenta may be as a business, it would mean little to me if I wasn’t using that success and our resources as a company to make a positive difference to the world around us.
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