The modern corporation is not just a faceless entity any more. Business leaders are expected to mold their companies into global citizens, forces for good in addition to benefitting their own interests. Part of a company’s brand is its charitable efforts, and corporate decision making should be made with this in mind. For many hardline businesspeople, it can be hard to justify spending that does not quantifiably affect a business’s revenue. However, philanthropy doesn’t just do good for others; it has the potential to elevate value in a variety of ways.
Building a Community
It is up to corporations to not only coexist with a community, but to create a mutually beneficial relationship. Investing in community outreach programs can be a great way to foster goodwill and build relationships for the future. Employees volunteering their time at local organizations is one great way to do this. Outreach is especially important if the business gains some of their revenue from the surrounding community, taking “giving back” to its most literal. Projects that benefit an area’s overall economic success can not only be positive with public relations, but create new markets with individuals that have been won over by a company’s efforts.
Of course, a business’s efforts shouldn’t just be motivated by the potential to open up a new market. Philanthropy should be, as I’ve mentioned before, authentic, and this is something that matters to talent figuring out where to work. Philanthropic efforts should be deeply tied to company values and a way for an organization to prove that it practices what it preaches. These values should be maintained internally as well. And ignoring social responsibility can be harmful for corporations; it shouldn’t just be something done to look good, but an authentic part of a company. With increased access to information, the public will know if a company is not committed to their stated values.
Plus, employees want to know that they’re working for a company committed to good social values. There are plenty of ways to improve job satisfaction, but getting employees involved in the good work that a company does is one of the less obvious ways to improve faith in the workplace. In this case, they’re not just hearing about a company’s values, they’re living them, something that can improve morale and reduce churn rates.
Part of building out a strong business isn’t just doing well, it’s about who a leader knows that can boost their bid for success. Corporate philanthropy is a great way to connect with other companies that share values and build trust between organizations. It’s no coincidence that many of the most prominent business leaders are also famed for their philanthropy; working to benefit others builds bridges and gets people noticed for their hard work.
Investing in a community or other philanthropic causes can seem like a drain on money and time for a business. However, the modern culture of giving back is now a central part of how any savvy business leader should conduct their operations. It’s no longer about ROI, it’s about being cognizant of the ways that a corporation has the power to make a difference in an authentic manner.