While your profits and your employees may be your top priorities when you’re a business owner, philanthropy should be right up there with them. Incorporating philanthropy into your business plan can be very beneficial.
Besides the obvious of doing good and helping others in your community, philanthropy also helps to build employee morale. When employees know their company is doing good and helping others, it also makes them feel good that they are part of something that is positive and life-changing.
Philanthropic giving can also help in the marketing department. Many people are more likely to support companies that are doing good over those that only care about themselves. When you incorporate philanthropy into your business, you will reap the rewards of creating a positive buzz around your business.
When you make philanthropy part of your business plan, you will also be eligible for certain tax deductions. While this should not necessarily be the motive, it is a perk that many companies take advantage of.
If you’re thinking about incorporating philanthropy into your business, take these points into consideration.
1. Develop a strategy around giving
Philanthropy needs a strategy just like any other aspect of your business. Before you start down the philanthropic path, develop a strategy to start talking about what issues will be addressed and why they’re important to the company and its culture. There also needs to be a discussion about what the long-term goal is. If your company has difficulty devising a strategy, there are many organizations that specialize in helping businesses develop philanthropic plans.
2. Build it into your culture
For the most success, make your giving a part of the workplace culture. Many businesses will also delegate a point person or team who helps with the strategy and implementation. Empowering your employees to help build a giving philosophy into your culture will help you create something that sticks. Something that employees can rally around, get excited about, and get involved in.
3. Partner with a local charity
Finding a local charity that employees connect with or are passionate about can make your efforts more successful. Giving your employees a voice into the nonprofit you choose to support can further drive successful implementation. As you look into charities, check their programs, leadership, and activities to see if they align with your mission. You also want to look into the charity’s financial stability to make sure your efforts will be put to good use.
4.Do pro-bono work or donate services
Your philanthropic efforts don’t need to be in the form of a grand monetary campaign. Donating services or doing pro-bono work can also help immensely. For smaller companies or those just starting out, this can work out better than launching a full campaign based on monetary donations. Time is a precious resource for nonprofits and nonprofits can almost always use additional help. Bonus: donating services or time can bring teams of employees closer together as well.
5. Give a percentage of your profit
Many larger companies will give back a certain percentage of their profits, and/or offer matching gifts to nonprofits based on employee contributions. Focusing on smaller, local nonprofits in your community can provide much-needed funds to groups that larger organizations overlook.
Picking an organization that is aligned with your brand can also resonate with customers as well as employees. For example, a company that has beach branding could get involved with a local organization that advocates for clean water or a marine rescue organization.
At the end of the day, knowing your company is giving back and doing good for the community is a reward you can’t put a price on.