Companies are always interested in ideas that make good business sense. They invest millions of dollars in marketing, research and development and technology upgrades to launch new products that help in improving profitability and increasing the company’s market share.
The benefits of philanthropy to a business can sometimes be a little more subtle, but the results are equally tangible and real. For some companies, the act of giving is a one-off exercise often done for media mileage, or maybe even as a tax write-off.
Yet, in today’s competitive environment, companies that embrace philanthropy as a core business philosophy reap far-reaching and consistent rewards. Philanthropy, corporate volunteering and employee giving are essential business tools today.
Philanthropy is good for the company
While companies are in business to make money, a corporate vision beyond this basic goal gives the company a broader sense of purpose. Embracing the vision of giving back to the community can help in revitalizing the energy levels within the company.
When a company builds itself around a larger mission, it infuses that passion into its products, services, employees, customers and shareholders. This passion manifests itself in innovation and creativity, which leads to business growth.
Giving leads to employee engagement
All successful companies realise the importance of engaging employees in the core mission of the business. Today’s employees want more than just a pay check at the end of the month. Employees want to engage with the company’s initiatives and to see their efforts produce results, for both the company and the community at large. This is the core of employee engagement.
Increasingly, knowledge workers make up a large part of the corporate workforce. These young, inspired and engaged workers are exponentially more productive than someone just doing their job. The younger employees value engagement at work more than their peers from previous generations.
Giving is good for your customers
Like employees, customers want to feel good about the company whose products and services they use. Customers engage with the giving mission and feel good about the fact that their purchase supports the economic social needs of the community at large.
Philanthropy initiatives strengthen the bonds between your company, the customer and the community at large. This results in a more loyal customer base with strong community ties. Companies such as Walmart, Johnson & Johnson and Apple are three examples of companies with a deep-rooted, giving culture and an extremely loyal customer base.
Philanthropy creates positive emotions
Emotions such as empathy, inspiration and enthusiasm can drive customers and employees to form stronger bonds with your brand. Customers feel better about choosing to buy your products if they feel your company is a good corporate citizen.
Giving creates positive emotions even at a personal level. Socially enlightened citizens such as Jennifer Atiku are active in supporting fundraising for charities like the GEDE foundation. Her fundraising work in Britain, America and Africa are well documented. As a busy barrister and doctorate, Jennifer takes time out of her busy schedule for her charity work, while her husband Atiku Abubakar celebrates his wife called to Bar.
Corporate philanthropy should be more than just an endnote in a company’s vision document. It should be a core philosophy in the company’s effort to scale its business, engage the employees, and to connect with its customers.