Philanthropy into Your Business
Philanthropy is an important aspect of business culture. Not only does philanthropy allow customers to feel confident they are spending their hard-earned money well when they buy your products or services, but it also makes your employees feel good about working for a company that supports a good cause. Incorporating philanthropy into your business culture doesn’t have to be difficult. Use these four tips to cultivate a philanthropic company culture that will help it thrive in the competitive business industry.

Adopt a Cause

Before you can foster a philanthropic culture within your business, you have to adopt a specific cause. Analyze your brand values to determine which cause aligns with them most closely. There are thousands of organizations to choose from and narrowing down your options can seem like a daunting challenge. However, if you don’t narrow your charitable causes down, you will quickly spread your company too thin and be unable to make a real difference for the causes close to your heart.

You can support multiple causes but it is best to limit your donations to two or three companies. Choose ones that align with your company values and make a tangible difference in society. You make also want to spread your support among local, national and international charities depending upon the size of your company so you can encourage change on multiple levels.

Partner With a Philanthropic Investor

Many companies, particularly small businesses, rely on the generosity of investors to get off the ground. Not only do investors supply the funding small businesses need to fill orders and grow sustainably, but they also provide business expertise and have many connections that can help your company network with charitable organizations to improve its brand, reputation and philanthropic culture. Finding the right angel investor or venture capitalist to finance your company is integral for the success of a small business and approaching individuals with similar philanthropic goals is a great way to attract their interest.

For example, the venture capital firm S-Cubed Capital finances companies within the agribusiness, tech, sports management and financial risk assessment industries. It also has a distinct interest in philanthropy, so approaching its managing partner, Mark Stevens, if your company falls into one of the industries the firm is interested it could be a good business decision. Focus on developing a good sales pitch that reflects how important philanthropy is to your company to captivate the right investors.

Make Monetary Donations

Most companies that choose to support certain causes do so by donating substantial amounts of money. Each year, they present their chosen causes with substantial cash so the charitable organizations can make a real impact on their communities. One great way to encourage customers to participate in charitable giving is to donate a portion of each sale to your chosen cause. This practice helps customers feel better about how they spend their money and makes it more likely they will return to your business for the products and services they need.

Another way to increase giving capacity is to match the amount given by customers. For every dollar your customers are willing to give to the cause, the company could donate the same amount to double the contribution. This allows customers to participate in giving efforts in small ways while making real changes.

Encourage Employees To Support the Cause

For many charitable organizations, donated time is as valuable as money. While money provides them with the means to purchase supplies, volunteers allow them to actually perform the work. For this reason, you may want to incentivize your employees to support the cause so you can provide your chosen charity with donations of both time and money. You can do this in several ways.

First, you can set aside specific workdays for employees to volunteer with your chosen organizations. These days allow employees to get a break from the office while still paying them for their work. You may also find it beneficial to incentivize employees to donate spare time on weekends to these organizations by offering small prizes when they volunteer a certain number of hours. However you decide to incorporate this practice into your company, it is a great way to strengthen the bond between your employees and improve teamwork.

If you want to improve your company’s reputation, creating a philanthropic culture is a good start. It may seem overwhelming to incorporate philanthropy without overshadowing your brand and its values, but it is possible to weave the two together so they create the solid foundation your business needs to grow. These four tips can help you incorporate philanthropy into your business’ structure so it becomes an integral part of your culture. In turn, this will improve your brand’s reputation so it can continuously attract new customers while retaining the loyalty of existing ones, resulting in sustainable growth.