Is corporate giving on the decline? Perhaps not. In 2017, donations to charity reached an all-time high in the US, with an estimated $410 billion in philanthropic donations. And nearly 5% of that total came from large U.S. corporations like Wells Fargo & Company, Goldman Sachs Group and Google. Obviously, those are giant corporations with huge pockets and they have reputations at stake. But guess what? So do you.
As a small business owner or C-suite executive, have you incorporated charitable giving into your business strategy? There are more than a few compelling reasons why business owners and entrepreneurs, regardless of industry, size, or market, should consider either giving to charity or starting a nonprofit organization as an extension of their business.
Obviously, the most obvious reasons are credibility, trustworthiness and goodwill within the marketplace you operate. As a company or business owner who donates your valuable time and treasure, you not only make a difference in the world, but you position yourself as someone who cares about those around you and wants to serve a higher purpose.
You may also have a valuable skill, talent, product, or service to provide to an organization in need. For example, if you’re a business owner who has specialized knowledge or skills, you may want to consider creating videos, training sessions, or even writing educational blogs. Is this something you could even leverage your team to do? Creating eLearning courses has never been easier. In fact, the eLearning market is experiencing massive growth. Educational tools used for philanthropic purposes have never been easier to obtain and use. You can even brand these courses, which positions you with greater authority and brand recognition.
You can also count on consumers providing you with more business and word-of-mouth referral business. According to the Harvard Business Review, the prevailing perception is that brands that sacrifice relatively more of their earnings seem more generous. You can count on those people coming to you when they need a product or service.
There is also a good chance that many of your direct competitors are not using these kinds of strategic philanthropic methods. This provides you with the opportunity to position yourself as a more philanthropic operation than they are. But, let’s be honest, this isn’t just about burnishing your reputation or beating out your competitors. It’s about doing what’s right. Do you want to be at the forefront of helping others or only care about your bottom line? That answer is entirely up to you.