It's All Good!
The Benefits of Corporate Giving
According to a recent survey by The Chronicle of Philanthropy, big business gave cash donations totaling $4.9 billion last year. That’s an increase from $4.3 billion in 2009, with figures based on the financial information given by 113 companies. Topping the list is Wal-Mart’s $319.5 million dollar cash giving, with The Goldman Sachs Investment Bank coming in second at $315.4 million in cash donations. In spite of the “recession” and corporate grants being down the past few years, businesses are still giving back.
Dozens of community programs that exist right here in our area are made possible by cash and in-kind donations from companies large and small. But companies who donate their time, money and energy also benefit as well. Philanthropy is often a key ingredient in the intentional culture of a company. As a business owner, developing your corporate giving program isn’t just good for your heart and the community; it’s a solid business decision that makes a tremendous impact for so many reasons.
Companies are concerned about the way people perceive them as that perception can make or break their success. When a company does good things that bring positive press, it’s good for business. When a company finds itself in the news for something negative, having positive news out there as well helps to balance the scale. On the marketing side of things, corporate giving increases name recognition and branding, which ultimately sells products. The proverbial act of “getting your name out there” does indeed serve a company’s bottom line.
Corporate giving programs often involve employee participation in campaigns. This allows companies to create leadership development opportunities that might not otherwise exist. Teamwork is enhanced as people pull together to satisfy their need to make a difference in the world. Goodwill among employees creates improved morale, which results in lower turnover. Again, all of this positively affects a company’s successful performance in the marketplace.
Customer and Employee Loyalty
When we as consumers spend our money, we not only want to get a good deal, but we also care about how the company we’re buying from treats people. With the increased transparency that social media and the internet provide, it’s more important than ever to create goodwill among employees and customers. Corporate giving programs enable both customers and employees to have a good reason to buy from or work for the company.
Supports Community Involvement
The community in which a company is based is important to a corporation’s sustained ability to stay in business. Community matters, and corporate giving encourages more involvement in programs and services that support the employees and their families who live the community.
Sometimes companies with a strong social conscience give not only cash, but in-kind donations like volunteers, printing, rent or products they manufacture. These donations often keep the lights on for local non-profit organizations, and provide a win-win for all concerned.
We are all here to make a difference. One of the ways we do that is to give of ourselves. We are surrounded by so much abundance; it’s important to give something back for the greater good. It’s not a purely unselfish act because giving just feels good. Creating a plan for giving back is good karmic balance in return for all the blessings that abound.
It’s the right thing to do, and when companies do the right thing, they are richly rewarded. If you’re a local business owner, you may consider boosting your corporate giving programs. It’s just good business.