Charitable giving can be rewarding for companies in many ways. The feel-good factor and the helpful tax deduction are the most obvious benefits, but there are also the public relations boost, positive social media exposure, and strengthening of the company's brand. Consumers and employees, especially millennials, want to support businesses that drive real change in the global community, and there's no better way for a company to prove it’s more than just another financially motivated corporation than through charitable giving.
However, the benefits don't stop there. When employees are encouraged to get involved and take a more active role in charitable initiatives, company culture thrives. And when company culture thrives, so do employees and their companies. For example, charitable giving:
- Fosters teamwork: Charitable giving is an opportunity for employees to collaborate on an important project that’s not driven by a deadline or bottom line. It also brings all levels of an organization together which breaks down common barriers that often exist among coworkers.
- Deepens employee engagement. Employers are paying much closer attention to how engaged their employees are. Are they committed to the company’s core values and mission? Are they invested in the company’s overall success? Are they happy with their work-life balance? These factors determine how engaged employees are, and charitable giving promotes each of these endeavors through meaningful team building, a sharing of personal values, and a union under one common goal. In a 2013 study, companies that have more engaged employees experience significant (2.3 times) revenue growth over a three-year average than those companies with average engagement.
- Boosts productivity. It’s not surprising that happier employees are better workers, and company culture plays a big part in developing that fulfillment. Charitable giving helps employees build respect for one another, improve communication, and heighten awareness of everyone's role in the organization. That all boosts morale, and when morale is higher, productivity increases. One positive trend leads to another.
While the benefits of charitable giving are significant, many companies struggle to implement an official program. This is often because of a lack of time or resources, but creating a charitable giving program is much easier than employers think. It just takes a creative approach and open mind. They should start by determining how much of their monthly profits will be donated to charity. It can be as low as 1 percent, as long as they consistently stick to that number. Next, they’ll want to get employees involved from the very beginning. Employee feedback about what causes they’re most interested in and why is vital. Charitable giving has the greatest impact among employees when they can enact change and see the results.
Whether a company is interested in donating its time or profits, the benefits of charitable giving are undeniable for its culture. If a company wants to invest in its future, there’s no better way to do so than by spreading the wealth.