Why should your small business donate to charities? Because you are “good people doing the right thing?” Maybe… but I think there’s a much more pragmatic (cynical?) reason for it. Like all business decisions, giving to charity is actually profit-driven.
Charitable giving can be profitable for a variety of reasons — and aligning a company with an image of charity is a great financial decision.
A Social Demand
Consumers vote with their dollars. The products they buy reflect their values. Today, customers support companies that align more closely with their moral and socially responsible ideals. To remain relevant — and competitive — companies must demonstrate similar values through their products and their actions.
In response to waves of social change like #metoo and #blacklivesmatter, some companies are scrambling to show their support for gender and racial equality. The largest have stepped up to make substantial donations to social justice causes. These donations might advance noble goals … but in any case, they bolster the company’s standing with consumers.
Charitable giving has real benefits. Some experts note that the brand positivity associated with charitable donations is profound and can increase the likelihood of a purchase by upwards of 85%. Associating your brand with a cause is just good business.
But customers aren’t the only reason to adopt a generous (and/or ethical) stand toward social giving. Employees appreciate it, and younger employees actually expect it. Millennials, for instance, tend to strive to work for companies where they feel as though they are contributing to something larger. Experts believe that both millennials and the younger Gen Z are driven to work for a company that aligns with their moral values. Being aligned with charities can attract some of the top, young talent in today’s market.
Many employees love being involved in a company’s charitable enterprises. The activity makes them feel great about the company and the community they live in. This pride translates to greater productivity in the workplace — employees who participate in company-sponsored charitable events tend to be up to 13% more productive.
Finally, moving a company toward social activism and charitable giving can also increase business networking opportunities and connections for employees of every level. Generosity comes back to roost as new partnerships and new products. Employees enjoy wider community collaboration, customers see their values reflected, new products emerge, and the company thrives.
Ready to take giving a step further? Participate in the annual Giving Tuesday.
This charitable giving event, which began in 2012, offers individuals and organizations the opportunity to make changing the system part of — well — the system. Giving Tuesday occurs at the beginning of every holiday season around the globe. Individuals and businesses alike are encouraged to donate both funds and time to causes they find most resonant. Give all your employees a full paid day off on Giving Tuesday to donate their time to a cause of their choice.
Volunteering can be left to the employee, or coordinated to support a single corporate-chosen charity.
Giving to charities and trying to make the world a better and more equitable place feels good. But it can also have a significant positive benefit to the companies that participate in it. Social and environmental awareness is something that customers are demanding from the companies they frequent. Likewise, employees are expecting greater contributions from the companies they work for. Charitable efforts are a big step toward doing well while doing good!