In the simplest understanding of the term, philanthropy involves giving something away. That makes it counter-productive for a business doesn’t it? After all if the mentioning of the word philanthropy conjures up thoughts of donating vast amounts of money, or in the case of businesses, capital then it might be something that businesses best shy away from. In our corporate minded and ever more self-centered society, where nothing holds any value if it does not add directly to the bottom line, it may be hard to digest this fact that studies have highlighted: Philanthropy can be good for business. Yes, you read that right. Your business can benefit in a number of ways by “giving away”. While these advantages do not always translate directly to cold hard cash in the short term, in the long term your business will be all the more better for it. How you ask?
First of all, Philanthropy is a PR campaign on al whole different level. If you want your business to stand out as one that has a vision and understands duty, as well as representing something of value beyond profits, then philanthropy is the option you have been overlooking. An example to consider is the partnership between the NFL and United Way. Because the National Football League has associated itself with an organisation that is devoted to fostering good all over America, the image of a football player sitting at a desk to colour with little kids is one that is etched in a very special place in the minds of millions around America. Nobody forgets the warm feeling that image evokes, and they flock to see their heroes in action at the stadium every week. The NFL and the kids win!
This quote best illustrates the point: “A well-developed philanthropic program will resonate with clients on a deep, emotional level that goes beyond any creative ad campaign.”
It is vitally important to engage employees in the core business of a company. This fosters passion. An employee who is passionate about their work is ten times more productive and innovative than another who is not. Think about it: now more than ever before, people are looking for meaning in what they do. Employees are hoping for more than a paycheck from their jobs. They want to believe in the company’s capacity to do good, and invest themselves in its initiatives. These people want to feel good about themselves and the work they do.
Customers Are at the Core of Your Business
Every company has an unwritten social contract with the community it inhabits. A successful company understands that meeting the needs of the customer in the best possible manner is the surest way to ensure survival. That’s why so much is invested into customer service and support. On an even deeper level, engaging in philanthropy creates a connection between your company, your customers, and community building. People never forget how you make them feel. Your customers, like your employees want to feel good about the companies they interact with. Philanthropy is thus a powerful way of building a loyal customer base for the short and long term.