Corporations routinely use philanthropy to build a strong brand and reputation. Some philanthropic donations are in the form of time, but most are monetary donations. For example, billionaires like Bill Gates, Michael Dell, and Warren Buffet regularly donate to nonprofit organizations and charities, including their own foundations. Between 2014 and 2018, Buffet donated $14.7 billion and the Gates donated $9.9 billion.
What do billionaires gain from donating excessively high amounts of money? Their donations and involvement with meaningful causes establishes a positive reputation that creates consumer trust and tends to outweigh negative press.
Have you been curious about how philanthropy can support your business? Consider the following reasons to make a commitment to philanthropy.
1. You can make a huge difference in your community
Naturally, giving will grow your reputation. However, if your main goal is to make a difference in your community, philanthropy is your best route.
There are endless ways you can help your community and it doesn’t always require money. If you have local employees, you and your team can volunteer to participate in relay races and other events that get sponsorships from the public for charitable causes.
If you’re stuck for ideas, you can learn more about how to grow your business through philanthropy on the Grow Your Giving website. Whether you’re a small business owner or running a large corporation, you can get expert advice on how to structure a nonprofit foundation and create the kinds of programs that will help your local community.
2. You don’t need billions of dollars to be philanthropic
Since only billionaires seem to make the news, you might think only rich people can participate in philanthropy. However, that’s not true. While rich people can donate more money, any business can engage in philanthropy, even on a small scale.
No matter how small your business is, you can make a difference through philanthropy. Here are some ideas for helping out in small ways:
- Partner with a local nonprofit organization you align with. Find a way to cross-advertise your products or services and donate a portion of sales to the nonprofit.
- Commit to donating a portion of your profits to a local charity chosen by your customers.
- Provide incentives for your employees to volunteer their time to work for a local nonprofit.
If you want to support a local nonprofit organization without donating money, but you’re not sure how, call several organizations to ask how you can support them. They’ll be elated to know someone in the community is interested in collaborating.
3. Philanthropy is a genuine way to build brand loyalty
Consumers want to know that their favorite brands are giving back in some way, whether it’s on a local or worldwide scale. According to Forbes, when you show the world that you care about other people and worthy causes, it encourages purchases and creates long-term loyalty.
For example, thousands of people are fiercely loyal to a company called Bombas. If you’re not familiar with Bombas, they sell socks. With all the options for socks on the market, there is a good reason people are loyal to Bombas – they donate 1 pair of socks to a homeless shelter for every pair sold. However, they don’t just donate any old socks. Bombas donates extra-durable, antimicrobial socks specifically designed for extended wear without being washed.
Donating 1 pair of socks for every pair sold is a huge commitment. However, the fact that Bombas designed a specific sock for homeless people that they don’t sell to the public shows even more commitment.
4. Philanthropy builds a strong company culture
When your company culture is built around prioritizing philanthropy, you’ll attract more A-players and foster a stronger culture within your organization.
Being involved in philanthropic activities will give your organization a clear set of values that can be seen from the outside. When your company has well-defined goals, ideals, and values, you’ll get a higher level of employee engagement. Engaged employees tend to be happier and motivated, which ultimately supports your success.
Think outside the philanthropy box
Whether you’re selling socks, food, or coaching services, you can be philanthropic. You can donate a small portion of your profits or a set amount each month. Or, you can get your whole company involved in charitable events and sponsorships and generate partnerships.
If traditional philanthropy doesn’t work for you, think outside the box. It doesn’t matter how you do it – all that matters is that you make a difference.