Small Business: The Importance of Corporate Philanthropy
Thomas J. Shara
October 19, 2016
Giving back to the community through corporate philanthropy is an important part of your brand. There are many ways for small businesses to help a charity or cause including donations and rewarding employees for their volunteer efforts. While it’s not always easy to measure the direct business and social results of specific efforts and expenses, it is certain that you will be building employee morale and earning trust in your community.
Having a strategy around your philanthropic endeavors is key when it comes to the issues you plan on having your small business address. Consider how you plan to do this, your long-term philanthropic goals, how it aligns with your business’s core values, and what resources you can reasonably provide – this includes time, talent and funds. Also, setting targets for what you intend to donate is important so that your employees and business have a goal to work towards. As you create your plan, be sure to delegate responsibilities within your small business so that your employees actively participate and feel valued for their input, as well as their time.
Being philanthropic can give your small business a competitive advantage and is a great way to build relationships with existing and potential customers. Here’s how:
Giving back to your local community is a great way to help the people who support your business. It brings businesses, charity organizations and private citizens together which helps build healthy, vibrant communities.
When customers see your small business working at a volunteer event, they will get to know your employees and business in a different light. Your passion for a cause can work well for you, since this can attract future clients and help to maintain your existing client relationships.
Providing employees with an opportunity to volunteer together outside of work is a great team building exercise and can help boost morale. Many people are charitable in their personal lives, and they want to work for a company that shares these same values. When employees get to know each other and volunteer together, the results could very well be better teamwork on company projects. And, by donating your business’s services or products, employees may gain a greater appreciation for the work they do and what your business produces.
People like to work for companies with similar values, and if volunteering and donating is important to someone, they likely will want their employer to do the same. The fact that your business is philanthropic is an important point to share with potential new hires who may already be drawn to your company.
Being philanthropic can help give your business a positive image because it evokes emotion and promotes an authentic connection that can work better than an ad campaign. Many consumers prefer to purchase goods and services from companies that are philanthropic. For consumers to appreciate that your business is philanthropic, this donation of time, goods or money is most effective if your motivation is a sincere interest in the community or cause.
For some inspiration about ways your business can support the community, read our press release about several events, fundraisers and celebrations Lakeland Bank is hosting and sponsoring. We are very proud of our employees who have contributed many ideas and much time toward our philanthropic endeavors over the years. Check out our community blog posts to learn more.