Philanthropy IS Good for Business

Companies are always on the lookout for ideas that make for good business. This is the reason why leading companies invest millions of dollars in marketing, product innovations, and technology advancements.  It’s clear to management how these investments can help improve profitability, grow a larger customer base, and fulfill other core business needs.

What isn’t always apparent to senior executives is why philanthropy is good for business too.  To some business leaders, corporate giving and philanthropy may seem like an “extra” or something you engage in only if there is sufficient time, money, and interest to do so.  In today’s highly competitive market, this couldn’t be further from the truth.  Companies who have embraced philanthropy as a core business practice have found they reap rewards far beyond what they thought was possible.  This has turned philanthropy, corporate volunteering, and employee giving into corporate imperatives that can’t be ignored and are an essential part of doing business.

Philanthropy gives a greater meaning to the company.  Obviously, every company is in business to make money, but having a vision and duty that goes beyond the goal of turning a profit gives your company a broader sense of purpose.  

Employee engagement is everything.  Today’s employees want to believe in their company’s initiatives and invest personally into the work they do.  

Customers are at the core of your business.  By showing your customers that you care about more than just selling your products, you end up with a more loyal customer base and a stronger bond with the community.

Corporate philanthropy should be more than just an afterthought or something to do because it’s “nice.” It should be an integral part of your core mission to grow your business, engage your employees, and connect with customers.

Summarized from an article in Truist.

Opportunity is everywhere

Everywhere we look there’s opportunity. Whether it’s the opportunity to see something, hear something, learn something, or experience something, it’s out there for the taking.

Sometimes opportunity is really obvious, like a TV ad. You don’t have a choice but to pay attention (I didn’t say opportunity was always positive). Other times opportunity may not be as obvious, such as ways to help our community.

Everyone wants their community to thrive. The obvious opportunity is support through donations and volunteering (which are both critical) but there’s an enormous hidden opportunity that’s also very powerful.

Businesses are becoming engaged with their communities like never before. Programs such as AustinGives highlight businesses that commit to giving a minimum of 1% of their pre-tax earnings back to the community. That means every time you support one of these businesses, you’re supporting our community. There are over 200 businesses in Austin who have signed the AustinGives pledge and that’s a lot of opportunity.

There are also businesses that go beyond these measures such as Give Realty (25% of commissions), Zuma Office (50% of profits), Build-a-Sign (>$600K) and Give as you Get (>50% of earnings). There is so much opportunity!

But there’s a lot of missed opportunity taking place as well. Give as you Get has estimated that if only 2% of our community shopped through giving sites, it would be over $1,000,000 a year for local nonprofits, and Give Realty estimates that if 25% of ALL real estate commissions in our area came back to the community, it would be almost $10,000,000 a month. And remember, these are adding no cost to the normal transaction. It’s just the right way to do business.

Opportunity is everywhere so please take advantage of it to experience everything our community can be.

Why should I give? (someone else will)

Have you ever heard this? Probably not if you’re reading this, but I’ve heard it too many times.

It seems a lot of people don’t really know where nonprofit money comes from. They figure that the government and corporations will “take care” of nonprofits and while that may be true in some places, it’s not in the US. The sad fact is that this is pretty far from the truth.

The Government which is included in Foundation giving numbers contributes about 14% of the roughly $300B given to nonprofits yearly and Corporations give about 5%. That means that individual givers (like you and me) make up over 80% of all giving in the United States.

Now giving doesn’t always mean cash out of your pocket, although that does help the most. You can always volunteer or give in-kind gifts (donations of products, goods or services). You can even support your community while conducting business as normal with a For-Benefit business that gives a significant percentage of revenues back to the community.

The most important thing you can do though is to find your passion, whether it’s in education, housing, healthcare, animal welfare or another area. Take an interest and be involved in your community. While we hope that none of us ever needs any of the services nonprofits can provide, it’s nice to know that they’re out there continuing to help our community and making it a great place to live.