Giving back does more than make a difference to your community. A 2010 study by Cone Marketing showed that 85% of customers respond positively to companies that give to a charity they care about.
Many business owners are concerned about giving back. Not in the sense that choosing to give back is hard, but they fear what it might do to their bottom line. You may be surprised to know that giving back will help your business far more than it will hurt it.
You’ve probably heard that even one person can make a change in the world. Well, the same goes for your business. Your business is never too small to make a difference in the community.
Shifts in consumer behaviour lean towards a new set of expectations for businesses to flourish. This new paradigm is underpinned by purpose.
Nearly nine-in-10 (88%) consumers say they would buy a product from a purpose-driven company
If you’re thinking about starting to give back, here’s a few reasons why it will be the best decision your business has made this year:
It’s the right thing to do – as a business owner, take a moment to think about all the people that have helped you set up your business. Giving back is a great way to ‘pay it forward’ and support others in kick starting their lives. The need is greater than ever at the moment; and businesses face a unique opportunity to step up to the plate.
Connect with bigger issues than your own – as business leaders, it can be easy to get caught up in our own worlds, needs and goals. In a column for the Globe and Mail, LinkedIn’s Brian Church argued that it’s important for businesses to remember the potential they have for change:
“Celebrating and acting upon the potential of your employees to make a difference can empower them to strive for change, rather than concentrating on short-term gain…If you demonstrate the value of giving back to you, this can trickle down throughout your organization.”
Your business is part of the community too – An article from the Harvard Business Review stated that charitable efforts and business investments don’t have to be mutually exclusive. This is because there are times when improving the community your company operates in can also be beneficial to your business.
When your business supports your community, your community supports your business. Establishing a process for giving back isn’t a short-term strategy. It’s not going to increase business and boost profits overnight. Implementing a mindful and systematic approach to giving will over time reap rewards greater than any short-term strategy.
It’s good for the economy – businesses need the economy to be healthy. Whilst relying on charity for some issues is a debate for another day, giving back can be a way of investing in the economy that supports your own business’ success.
Positive Branding – while your competitors are focused on maximising profits, you can show that you are committed to having a positive social impact and a true concern for your community’s well-being. Doing business with you will feel better for your customers.
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Recruit & Retain Top Talent – you want the best talent to work with your business, and they want to work with businesses that do good. Provide your teams with a workplace they can be proud of.
Show leadership – many businesses have mechanisms and initiatives that ask their teams or customers to donate to charities they care about. Lead by example and put your hands in your pockets (whether it’s time, knowledge or money in there) too!
It feels good – nay, it feels great! There is nothing like personally witnessing and experiencing the difference you can make. This goes for your team too. Doing something or providing funding for someone that might not be able to do it for themselves will make you and your employees feel great.