‘Giving back’ is good for the soul … and in many cases, good for the bottom line.
Recent studies suggest that millennials have driven the social responsibility movement, with 70 percent of them reporting that they’ll spend more with brands that support causes. Given that millennials represent $2.45 trillion in spending power, the notion of “giving back” may be very powerful for your company’s sales, not to mention, it’s overall purpose.
Numerous enterprise businesses have come up with some pretty creative ways of doing social good – for example, Stella Artois’ “Buy a Lady a Drink” campaign, which provides access to clean drinking water to women (mothers) in third world countries. But you don’t need a huge budget or full marketing team to execute a strong “giving back” campaign. Corporate donations are a great way to generously help nonprofit organizations that matter to you, your employees, and your community. Most small businesses are able to make charitable donations each year. There are numerous benefits to corporate donations, but here are four that you may want to consider.
Corporate donations allow companies to take active interests in their own communities and can also lead to a huge boost in employee morale. If a company chooses to make a corporate donation, workplace culture can improve with increased employee involvement and a positive general attitude. According to a 2016 Deloitte study on volunteering, millennials were “twice as likely to rate their corporate culture as very positive” if their company participated in workplace volunteer activities. Employees respect companies that care for their community–it simply makes employees feel good, and increases the emotional attachment to their employer.
Philanthropic businesses are some of the most powerful in the world. For example, Apple matches employee donations, and has donated more than $78 million to charities through 2015. Charitable sponsorship is a great way to do good in your community, while also gaining marketing experience. Donations put your company’s name out there, especially if you sponsor some kind of event. Just make sure that the event or charity mirrors your own company’s goals. For example, if your company makes sporting equipment, consider sponsoring local sports teams or tournaments. That will show your current and future clients that you really care about your business and your community.
This is one of the most immediate benefits of corporate donations. You may not instantly see how your contribution benefits your community, but you will quickly notice the tax savings. Of course, businesses shouldn’t donate with the sole expectation of financial gain, but there are fiscal rewards for helping a charity in need. Businesses can usually receive tax deductions from sponsoring charities or events, but your should make sure to follow the rules and go about the process in the right way in order to comply with all tax requirements.
It’s Good for Your Community
Charitable contributions have numerous benefits, but the most important one is obvious: you should give back to your community. Charitable donations help better your community, and the public will notice if a company is making a real effort to improve its surroundings. Your company’s charitable donations could help improve schools or parks, giving children safe places to learn and play. If you choose to donate to a nonprofit organization that conducts medical research, you could also help in the effort to cure diseases. The opportunities are endless and extremely helpful.
One way to engage employees to participate is to align the company’s donation choices with causes that have the greatest meaning to your workforce. For example, Brixio, a tech company based out of Lehi, Utah, chose to donate to the Livestrong Foundation after several of Brixio employees’ loved ones were diagnosed with cancer. Josh Aston, Brixio VP, said there are a lot of reasons why companies don’t donate to charities, but you can always help initiate change. “Not every company can be a social change company,” Aston said. “However, we are starting to actively bring up our partnership with Livestrong to those we do business with, getting the idea of social giving planted within them.”
There are many reasons why your company should make charitable donations, and any reason that motivates you is a good one. Donating to charities can help change your business and work culture. It can also have a dramatic impact on others. So pick a cause that you believe in and make your community a better place to live. It’s good for business.