Small business owners have the freedom to make decisions that they feel good about. Donating time, money, or resources to a charity offers a tremendous feeling of satisfaction. According to the National Philanthropic Trust, Americans donated over $410 billion in 2017, up 5% since 2016. The importance of charitable giving is increasing nationwide. Customers, employees, and the community value the act of giving. Philanthropy can also have a positive affect on small business growth. Consider these possible benefits of engaging in business philanthropy:
- Feel Good. Giving back feels good. It’s that simple. Sharing a small part of the success of your company with others can make both you and your team happy. Being happier, in turn, makes you a better leader. When your employees are happier, they provide a better product or service to customers and the community. Paying it forward can have a positive impact on everyone’s attitude.
- Be a Community Role Model. Helping out local charities is great for your business profile. It shows the community that the company cares about more than just the bottom line. Philanthropy gives your business a positive image within the community. Word of mouth is vital to growing a small business, and the act of giving back will spread quickly. People not only care about the quality of the product or service they are shopping for, but about the reputation of the business they choose. When choosing between two competing businesses, a potential customer tends to favor the organization that gives back and makes an impact in their community.
- Attract Top Talent. Job seekers are becoming as savvy as shoppers. Beyond looking for a paycheck, they value a role that they can be proud of. Top talent cares about a company’s reputation. By giving back, a business attracts compassionate and empathetic individuals that have the potential to become true assets to the organization. Charitable companies attract the best employees, hands down.
- Show that You Care. Involving employees in philanthropic efforts shows that the company not only cares about the community, but cares about their interests as well. Volunteering time, money, or resources to causes employees are passionate about is a great way to increase employee engagement, and a sense of connectedness among staff.
- Impact the Industry. By engaging in philanthropy within the industry, you have the opportunity to change and shape the future of the market. Consider volunteering with charities or causes that directly impact your industry. For example, a small retail shop may want to donate older inventory to the American Red Cross. A local grocery store can donate extra produce to a local food bank. Being philanthropic within the market fully embeds the company in the industry you are trying to succeed in.
Meryl Streep said, “the great gift of human beings is that we have the power of empathy.” There are innumerable ways that small businesses can engage in philanthropic efforts and demonstrate empathy. Donate a percentage of revenue for the tax benefits. Volunteer time to better the company’s image and become an asset to the community. Donate excess inventory to local charities. There will always be a charitable organization that can benefit from the donation of time, money or resources. Philanthropy makes you feel good, makes employees happier, and betters a company’s profile. There are no downsides to giving back; so, get out there and start helping!
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