Why Companies Should Care About Philanthropy
PricewaterhouseCoopers 2016 Global CEO survey revealed that 64% of Chief Executive Officers (CEO) thought that corporate social responsibility was core to their business as opposed to being a standalone program. But it is two years later, and social responsibility is still a buzzword within the corporate community. So what is corporate social responsibility exactly?
Well, by definition it is the broad range of activities from philanthropy to volunteerism which benefits society and may also boost the reputation of the brand participating in the programs. What that actually means to each company varies. For some brands, it is a vital part of how they do business while others might use it simply to gain positive publicity and still, others may not believe in the benefits of social responsibility efforts at all! We’re here to tell you that corporate social responsibility does in fact matter for a number of reasons which go beyond your brand’s reputation, though that is a notable benefit.
Still need more convincing to pull the trigger on a social responsibility or philanthropic program for your company? Read on to learn about why your brand really should care about these types of initiatives.
Benefits of Corporate Social Responsibility
In the corporate world, you’ll often get conflicting responses when the idea of a social responsibility, sometimes referred to as sustainability, initiative is brought up. So if you meet resistance in your efforts, remember these benefits of corporate social responsibility.
Boosts Employee Attitude & Engagement
When it comes to volunteering, an important aspect of social responsibility, most opportunities will take place outside of the office which can serve as a team bonding activity. Not only will your employees enjoy the time together, but they will also have a chance to get outside the office and do something new together which helps to foster deeper and more functional relationships. Also, most employees have positive feelings about giving back to their communities. They are proud of the impact they are making, and those feelings can reflect back on the company. Many employees who participate in company-sponsored volunteering indicate increased confidence in the integrity of the company. Something as simple as a beach clean-up or spending time at your local food bank can have a huge impact on your employees.
Builds a Positive Reputation in the Community
As you and your employees engage in the community and make a positive impact, local consumers will begin to take notice. You can also take it a step further and publish your efforts on various media platforms such as social media or your company blog, be sure to tell the broader public about what you and your team are doing. Now consumers will begin to view and speak positively about you as a company, not just your products or services. If the public believes in what you are doing or trying to accomplish, they will spread your message via word of mouth. The positive momentum might even land you a new client or two!
Clients Feel Better About Doing Business with You
The header says it all; people prefer to work with socially responsible companies. It makes them feel like they are working with actual humans and not just another corporate machine. It shows that you care about more than just making money and are doing your part to make the world a better place.
It can also be a recruiting tool! In today’s job market, you have to do more than ever to stand out from the many options potential employees have. Similar to your clients, by investing in social responsibility you are showing job candidates that you view employees as more than workers. You recognize that human beings work for you and your company has integrity in the way you do business. Most people want to work at a company like that than one that has a reputation of being a misery factory.
Your Brand Will Stand Out
Even though social responsibility is becoming more commonplace, you can still use it to differentiate yourself from other brands when it comes to both customers and job candidates. Everyone who considers working with your company in some capacity will take notice of the efforts you are making and that will stick with them. When they are trying to decide between you and a competitor, they may just choose the brand that they have more positive feelings towards, the one with a positive reputation for giving back.
You Feel Good About Making a Difference
Chances are if you are running your own company, you are more fortunate than most. It is hard work and you suffer an exorbitant amount of stress every day so it is important to never take your success for granted and to always be mindful of the ways you can help others. As the saying goes, “a rising tide lifts all boats.” So lift those around you.
How to Get Started
There are many different ways you can get started and get your employees involved in the community. First, consider donating your time. More and more companies are starting to donate one full day each quarter or so to have their team partake in hands-on volunteering. Try taking time to walk dogs at your local animal shelter, paint a school, plant a community garden, or even pick up trash. It’s an added benefit if your employees will be outdoors given they are probably in an office most days.
Those on your team might also enjoy donating their talents to those in need. This could happen during or after work hours. Regardless your employee will love being able to connect with someone and help them. Maybe your information technology (IT) or engineering teams can help senior citizens with their computers, your marketing team could help a local non-profit put together a fundraising event, or your sales team could give a skills presentation at a local job center. The skills your team has might not seem like much, but to those who need help, it can make a world of difference.
Finally, you can donate your treasure… we’re talking about money here! At first thought, donating money may seem like an easy way out. However, sometimes funding is all an organization needs and might be the most beneficial way to help or make a difference to them. As a bonus, charitable donations are a write off come tax season! So if contributing money is the best way to get started, begin there.
At Power Digital Marketing, we spend time each month giving back to our community. Our first ever EMPOWERdigital event was back in 2016, and we partnered with Meals on Wheels to put together care packages for their elderly clients who had recently celebrated a birthday. Since then, we have done everything from hosting donation-based workshops (with the proceeds going to a local charity) to collection drives and though the task always changes, our feelings about giving back do not. We are passionate about making sure we have a positive impact on our community, even if it can only be locally for now.
All this to say, you should just get started! Whatever you and your team can start doing to make a difference is good enough to begin a corporate social responsibility initiative. You don’t have to start with anything extravagant – we just put together birthday presents! But your efforts will be noticed, and your employees will feel the difference.