Being charitable is not just for show—it has practical benefits that every company should consider.
As we approach the end of the year, a lot of business owners are considering planning parties, purchasing gifts for important clients, and determining employee bonuses—activities that make employees happy. However, this is also the ideal time to consider charity donations. Choosing to donate will not only make the recipient feel great, but it might be beneficial on your part.
One such benefit is being able to attract millennials to your employee pool. For most of this group of potential employees, being CEO is just one of their aspirations; they also require a fulfilling job. Millennials put a lot of weight on their work’s purpose more than their senior counterparts, placing more importance on it than money or job titles. Thus, whether you’re just a recent startup or one of the largest conglomerates in the nation, it might be a wise move to value this thought.
Millennials are, however, discerning. You can’t just donate to the first charitable organization that comes to mind. Millennial donors have high expectations for both themselves and the organizations they support. They aren’t content to give money passively and watch problems develop. Instead, they perceive giving as an investment in a solution. As a result, they emphasize the charity’s track record of success.
Thus, when choosing the products and organizations they support, millennials also appreciate openness and authenticity, and if they don’t feel like their money is making a difference, they may decide to shop elsewhere.
How to give back the right way—a guide
As expounded earlier, charity is personal. Unlike most of the company’s transactions, giving or donating should be coming from the “heart”. Choosing among the multitude of options might be a daunting task, but we might be able to help you make it a tad easier.
Perhaps you wish to include a charity in your company plan purely out of a desire to give back. Whatever your motivations, start by being sincere with yourself. Later, the amount of effort you put into your cause will expose your true motivations.
Making a list of your priorities is a smart place to start. Perhaps you were awarded a scholarship, and you want to pay it forward by making sure that someone else has the same chance you did. You want to contribute to research because a loved one may have had a certain illness. You can make a list of the organizations you’ve wanted to support or a list of events that have made a huge impact in your life (and you want them to continue on their mission). Pro-tip, the closer the cause is to you personally, the easier it will be for you to share the story.
Another thing, a common thing that we take for granted might also be a great idea to be the subject of donation. Water, for example, is a common thing that we easily take for granted because it’s readily available and abundant, but when you think about it, a significant number of people in some parts of the world don’t have a clean drinking supply. This may motivate you to make charity based on that.
Once you have figured out the “why”—as in why you are considering donating, the “how” is much easier.
Think about what your business is about and then your main branding message. The cause you want to advance is the next thing you should consider, along with how you may naturally connect what you do with the cause you want to support.
You can then choose to make something specific for a certain cause. Depending on what your company does, you may develop a product or service and allocate the money you make from it to a charity of your choice. If you’re a speaker, you can choose to develop a specific program or speech.
Lastly, you can also leverage your existing relationships. You may have been in the industry for quite some time, and even if not, you may have met several people along the way. Use those connections you’ve built to pool resources and make the act of donating easier and more manageable.
Benefits of Charity Giving
Apart from attracting millennials to work for you, charity giving also has the following benefits:
Improves your organization’s morale
Helping others always makes anyone feel wonderful. When you know you have improved someone else’s life, both you and your employees will experience psychological benefits. You may get an opportunity to personally experience the effects of your time or money if you make local contributions, in particular. Additionally, employees frequently have more respect for an employer who gives back.
Improves your reputation
People take note of those who are generous in charitable events, provide supplies to disaster victims, participate in neighborhood clean-ups, or support other humanitarian endeavors in your town. It increases name recognition to have your name associated with a cause or event. People like to patronize companies that give back, so your involvement in the community and donations may improve your business and win you new clients.
Building Camaraderie Among Employees
Participating in charity events builds a strong bond between members of your organization. They will have something in common and there’s nothing like people working on and helping each other.
Improving Your Community
Community accountability is something each organization should include in its company vision and mission. This embraces the idea that aside from profits, another goal a company should strive to achieve is to improve its immediate community. A happy community means happy employees, after all.
Your support of community-based organizations, such as schools and local nonprofits, helps make your community a better place to live and work, which benefits you, your business, your employees, and your customers.
Leaders in the community are frequently active in its charitable organizations. You get the chance to talk with local leaders in the community and business through involvement in philanthropic organizations, people you might not otherwise encounter.
One of the important benefits of charity is that it qualifies you for certain tax benefits. There may be tax write-offs for charity contributions depending on your business. We suggest you consult your accountant about the potential advantages for your company.
If you have a company with an existing charity program that seems to be failing to attract enthusiasm from your employees or are just planning to start one, then consider the above-mentioned suggestions, and you’ll be on the right track. To sum up, what’s important is that you choose a cause that’s close to you. With that alone, you know your heart’s in the right place.
Danna Olivo is a Growth Strategist, Author, and Public Speaker. As CEO of MarketAtomy LLC, her passion is working with first-stage business owners to ensure that they are prepared and equipped to launch and grow a successful small business. She understands the intricacies involved early on in business formation and as such the challenges that come with it. A graduate of the University of Central Florida’s College of Business, Danna brings more than 40 years of experience strategically working with small and medium businesses, helping them reach their growth goals. firstname.lastname@example.org