Volunteering and supporting charities is smart
In the spirit of giving, here are three reasons either volunteering and/or donating to charity is a smart move for your business. Some examples of what other companies are doing. If a company like Cards Against Humanity can raise $100,000 on Black Friday for literally doing nothing but “dig a hole” in the earth, think of what a meaningful contribution could do. Even if a company already has a positive reputation, it’s further bolstered by generous donations.
High-end outdoor gear company Patagonia is a great example of a brand that walks the talk. Patagonia donated 100% of its 2016 Black Friday sales to environmental nonprofits. The company estimated it would make $2 million in sales, so imagine their surprise when the initiative resulted in sales totalling $10 million. Talk about a humbling experience of public support.
They’ve built a solid reputation over the years. So it’s not hard to imagine people stepping up for their cause while simultaneously breaking record sales that day.
According to an article in Fortune, most companies don’t donate out of sentiment but out of duty to the company’s business objectives. When Kraft donates to food banks, that is a move that aligns with the company’s core food identity. It just makes sense.
Small businesses with limited resources can still do good things that have an impact, especially on a local level. Writing a check isn’t necessarily the only option for giving. Ronald McDonald Houses in cities all over the country are always looking for corporate sponsors. Sponsors who could entail monetary donations, volunteering or in-kind donations. Ronald McDonald House allows families with sick children to stay together during treatment. An “home-away-from-home” concept that helped lessen the burden for 7 million families in 2015. Businesses can do something as thoughtful and simple as cooking dinner for the families staying in the house once a month, or more if desired.
Crowdsourcing is another popular method of giving, especially since many companies are fully funded by charitable donations and implementing projects that actually create jobs in the U.S. Ultimately, the holidays are an opportune time for companies to harness their giving spirit, which hopefully provides momentum to continue the goodwill throughout the entire year.
It engages employees
It’s great for the workers of a company to be involved in volunteering or hands-on efforts to help others. Whether it’s preparing dinner at the Ronald McDonald House, or holding an internal food drive and then donating to local food banks or shelters, employees develop a sense of pride in the company they work for. Employees not only connect with the community, but they also build camaraderie among themselves. Working with like-minded individuals builds relationships through the act of service. Donations aren’t all about the tax break. Smart executives and companies know that the value of developing programs to help their philanthropic efforts grow even deeper roots.
Melissa Davidson is a freelance writer and social media marketer with a B.A. in Journalism from the University of Montana. She has worked for many newspapers throughout the Rocky Mountain West and now focuses her time writing about business, mental health, social issues and news events.