You know that philanthropic work is good for the soul, but do you know that it can be good for business, too?
From improving employee morale and teamwork to attracting the best recruits, creating networking opportunities, forming partnerships and improving community relations, corporate philanthropy makes as much sense as a good marketing or business plan.
Charitable giving is so deeply engrained in our culture that it’s nearly a national mandate. So it should be no surprise to learn that, according to the IBM Institute for Business Value, 50 percent of employees would accept a lower wage to work for a socially conscious company and 40 percent would work longer hours.
Companies that place social responsibility at the core of their business strategy have found greater growth opportunities. An APCO Corporate Responsibility Study found that 72 percent of consumers have purchased a company’s product based on positive corporate responsibility.
No matter the size of your agency, you can integrate philanthropic and community involvement programs into your business to address social issues while building a healthier corporate culture of employee engagement, professional development and creative partnering.
Read related: "Charitable giving is good corporate policy."
It’s not hard to get started using the 5-step toolkit outlined here:
- Assess your values: Before diving in to any philanthropic endeavor, answer some critical questions, such as why you want to get involved, what type of impact you might like to make and what business benefits you expect. As with your personal philanthropic giving, it’s important that any community involvement program be genuinely aligned with your company’s and your personal goals. Charity for the purpose of grabbing the spotlight or reaping a tax write-off won’t result in the benefits you and the causes you embrace could achieve through a more heart-felt and sustainable commitment.
As you launch your first community initiative, be sure to evaluate each activity with both your employees and your chosen nonprofit, so you can adjust your tactics as needed to meet your goals. It will be good for your business, your employees and for you.