Charitable giving isn’t just for individuals; corporate philanthropy is the best way companies can give back to the community. A corporation’s shared sense of purpose brings an “egalitarian effect” into the workplace. When everyone from the janitor to the CEO is involved with a fundraising effort or activity to help the local community, salaries and job titles quickly disappear in the pursuit of a greater cause, according to Givelocity CEO Susan Cooney.
How can your business give back to the community, and what are some of the hidden bonuses from taking an active role in local charitable giving?
Three Ways Your Business Can Give Back
- Meet Lofty Fundraising Goals with a Visible Online Presence
For San Diego-area healthcare organizations, getting online is one way to keep fundraising on-target. Padres Pedal the Cause, an initiative to gather funds for life-saving cancer research, offers rider sponsorships, an easy-to-use donation portal and online tools and resources to streamline fundraising efforts.
With a central online location to collect funds, Padres Pedal the Cause enables multiple cancer research centers (including UC San Diego Health, the Salk Institute, Rady Children’s Hospital and the Sanford Burnham Presbyterian Medical Discovery Institute) to meet fundraising goals. Their goal for 2016 is $2,000,000, an amount that would be hard to achieve without an interactive, online presence.
- Pro-Bono Services as Pro-Business Relationship
“Giving back” takes many forms. Ignite Visibility, an internet marketing company based in San Diego, favors a multi-platform approach for community involvement. Ignite Visibility’s participation in the annual San Diego AMA Cause event includes volunteer efforts, sponsorship and presentations. Plus, the company offers pro-bono business services for causes they support. For example, Ignite Visibility has continued to work with Reality Changers on a pro-bono basis since September 2014.
Combined with their perennial support for the San Diego Food Bank, and Ignite Visibility shows how companies can give back to both the community and clients a number of different ways!
- Make Giving Back Your Business Model
Reality Changers is a great example of how philanthropy and giving back doesn’t have to be a secondary consideration; for some businesses, it’s an everyday occurrence. Reality Changers helps low-income youth achieve the dream of higher education, thanks to founder Christopher Yanov’s experience as downtown San Diego youth director.
Mr. Yanov started Reality Changers with just a few hundred dollars and a handful of students. Today, Reality Changers has helped 1,300 students graduate, with more than $100,000,000 million total in awarded scholarship money. As Reality Changers shows, when giving back is your primary goal, anything is possible!
Business-Boosting Benefits of Giving Back
Now that we’ve reviewed a few different ways you can implement a corporate philanthropy plan, it’s time to look at some bonus points. Giving back not only helps a specific cause, but it also has plenty of positive (and, for first timers, surprising) benefits for any company’s brand.
Public perception plays an integral role in eventual bottom-line profits. If your firm is more favorably viewed than a competitor, you’ll reap the rewards more often than not. In fact, according to a recent study by Inc.com, nearly nine in ten customers would switch their business to a company that gives back to the community.
Plus, philanthropy can also help your company establish stronger relationships and networks, boost corporate morale and also make your brand more personable. Charitable giving programs put a humanizing touch on corporate initiatives, and they’re also a great source to develop additional interactive content for existing and potential customers.
All in all, giving back to the community benefits everyone. An enhanced corporate image is just one of the many by-products of how proactive philanthropy elevates any business’s brand. Does your company participate in regular charitable giving? Are you looking to give back more to your local community? Your comments and suggestions are welcome – and thanks for reading the Innovative Company blog!