Doing business today is a more public endeavor than ever before. Businesses that give back to the community find that they thrive and flourish. Giving to charitable causes not only provides important tax relief and intangible benefits like supporting causes important to the business owner, but also builds brand recognition and good will for the company as well.
Corporations and even small, family-owned businesses may find themselves pressured to contribute to a variety of causes. How is a business owner to choose which cause to support, and which to turn away? These decisions are important, because they set the tone for a rationale of giving. Many owners find it beneficial to set up a charitable giving fund, with a specific philosophy in mind, from which to choose which charities are most deserving and most likely to benefit from the business’ support.
Not all charitable giving is monetary. Companies can give back to the community in many important ways. A donation of products or services can be extremely beneficial to some organizations, while costing the business very little in terms of capital. Incentives offered to staff for a commitment to volunteer hours can also prove beneficial. The more often the community associates the business name with a charitable event or project, the greater the impact. In some cases, volunteers associated with a business may provide greater exposure than a cash donation.
While charitable giving within the community and beyond is laudable, business owners should remember that charity begins at home. A scholarship or fund set up for employees and their families is an excellent way to reward workers for their loyalty and service. College scholarships and matching programs for charitable giving or savings are good incentives for employees.
When businesses give, the community notices. By building a standard of community involvement into the day-to-day operations of the company, business owners do more than support a cause they believe in. They create an atmosphere of community within the company that invites employees to be a part of something larger than themselves. Nothing inspires loyalty like a feeling of belonging. Opportunities to give back to the community in meaningful ways make employees feel closer to their place of employment.
Many prominent public figures focus their philanthropic efforts on issues close to their local communities. Jennifer Atiku, for example, founded the Gede Foundation to help tackle HIV-AIDS in Nigeria. Atiku Abubakar’s wife was called to bar, showing just one of her recent accomplishments and testament to her successful career, and she has used her hard earned success to try and improve the healthcare provision in her country.
Doing business on a global scale makes it easy to forget that every company has its roots in an individual community. Feeding those roots not only benefits the community, but it also supports the growth of the company and creates new opportunities for the future. Companies that give back to the community find themselves better positioned, with a loyal customer base and staff who are willing to go the extra mile to support the business. Charitable giving does more than support a pet cause or further an agenda. It creates a sense of unity, binding the customer, company, and staff together for the good of all.