PHILANTHROPY AND YOUR BUSINESS
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There’s no greater satisfaction than making a difference, and giving back can be good for your business. While it isn’t something we should do with the expectation of a return, giving back has collateral effects that are hard to ignore, such as attracting customers who share our cause.
Philanthropy creates relationships with our present and potential clients, builds our brand, and promotes employee engagement. And, let’s face it, other good corporate citizens want to do business with those who share their values.
How does giving back help your bottom line? A Harvard study of 30,000 American families found that a family that gives $100 more to charity earns about $375 more than a non-giving family that is similar in all other respects.
Entrepreneurs tend to be more generous than other business leaders. On average, entrepreneurs give 2.53 percent of their gross profits, versus 1.27 percent for everyone else. And entrepreneurs give more in every income bracket, according to a study of IRS data by the Center for Data Analysis and the Heritage Foundation.
Now, let’s talk about how philanthropy can make a difference for your business.
PHILANTHROPY MAXIMIZES BOTH HAPPINESS AND IMPACT
Psychological studies have shown that people feel good when they “do the right thing” by giving (Dawes & Thaler, 1988). And then there’s the pleasurable feeling of moral satisfaction – giving enhances one’s self-image as being compassionate and kind. On the other hand, not donating when we think we ought to can lead to guilt and lower our self-image.
Giving promotes our own happiness, and if we’re happy, it may well translate to greater success at work. Research by Happiness Advantage author Shawn Achor shows that if you want to have a productive business and be a productive person, you should work on your happiness.
When philanthropy becomes a core value of your company, it promotes employee engagement and infuses a similar passion in all those around you. Expansive attitudes of giving enhance the employees’ energy and drive. Who doesn’t enjoy being part of a purpose that’s
larger than themselves?
When the employees feel that their work is having a positive
impact on others, it lends added value to their work and becomes a welcome part of their reality. Connecting our philanthropic initiatives with our company’s mission is a great way to maximize the benefits of charitable giving.
BUILDING YOUR BRAND
Nowadays, a resurgence of entrepreneurial start-ups is creating a hyper-competitive business environment. Along with the entrepreneurial upwelling, there’s a significant increase of non-profits entering the marketplace. A study by the National Center for Charitable Statistics showed that 1.5 million nonprofits are now registered in the U.S. and that they are worth $887.3 Billion to the U.S. economy – a whopping 5.4% of the nation’s gross domestic product (GDP).
Philanthropic initiatives lead to greater customer engagement, by linking your company’s needs to those of the customer and the community. Customers want to feel good about the companies they interact with. And by showing them that you care about more than just selling your products, you’ll attract their loyalty and strengthen your bonds with the community.
“Business leaders like yourself are taught to make decisions based on hard data, not their feelings.” (Frontsteam) Customers, on the other hand, routinely make decisions with their emotions engaged. If you can inspire positive emotions in your customers such as empathy, inspiration and passion, they will feel more strongly connected with your brand.
A well-executed corporate philanthropy program can resonate with your customers on emotional levels that will win them better than the most creative advertising campaign. Knowing that your company is working to be a good corporate citizen makes the customers feel better about buying your products.
When you give back to your community, you may find yourself happier, your employees more energized, and your customers more loyal. RO
Ralph Wolff, Industry Relations, PSA Certified Service Center www.certifiedservicecenter.org
AND YOUR BUSINESS
Want to make more money? Give more away!
64 RETAILOBSERVER.COM MARCH 2020