The Incredible Benefits of Businesses Giving Back
Gone are the days when businesses, big or small, could use up the resources around them in pursuit of capital gain. Today, enterprises can no longer carry on as they wish with scant regard for their social and natural environment.
Not only are they constrained by strict laws regarding safeguarding the limited resources left on Earth, but they are ethically bound to make sound contributions to society as well.
Businesses that give back are businesses that thrive and grow. It’s a trend that’s been made popular by some of the world’s wealthiest and most successful businessmen.
Let’s take the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation as an example. This arm of the Gates’ multibillion-dollar empire employs 1 500 people for the sole purpose of doing good. They focus on improving educationand healthcare for people in developing countries as well as encouraging other billionaires to do the same. The reason for doing this – it gives the couple purpose and they enjoy it.
A Changing Mindset
While the world may have their eyes on these high-profile figures, you can rest assured that your local community is looking at your business to see what you’re doing to make the world a better place.
There is still a fair share of strife going on around the world for sure, but by and large people are looking towards a gentler, kinder way. Consumers have become more mindful of what they eat, do and buy. They don’t mind paying more for organic and sustainable produce and they look with favor on businesses that are making positive contributions to society.
This is what’s in it for your business if you get with the trend of businesses giving back.
Your Employees Will Think Better of You
By getting involved with charity or community work and allowing your employees to participate alongside you, you boost company morale. You’ll get to know your workers better and they may just start to view you as a human being, not just a name plate on a door down the passage.
Online retail giant, Zappos, has a company culture of community giving. Employees are encouraged to come up with ideas for charitable deeds and the company follows through with them. For example, Zappo’s Prom Closet initiative provides prom dresses for young ladies in their town that cannot afford to dress up for this big event.
By acknowledging their employees desire to give and assisting them to get involved Zappos has built a strong company culture and team spirit.
Your Community Will Hold You in High Regard
Participating in community charity initiatives is an excellent networking opportunity. It’s cheap marketing for your brand and creates a favorable impression around your business.
Taking part in events that the community views as important shows them that you care about things outside of the boardroom. It shows that your business exists as part of the community and not separate from it.
You’ll stand out from your competitors and earn supporters who will speak favorably on your behalf in future. There are many examples of businesses that stand out as doing good. Microsoft does by association with the Gates’ foundation, but it happens on a smaller scale too.
aQuellé mineral water recently stood out as a significant role player in bringing water to the people of Cape Town during a recent drought. Choice racehorse carriers are well-known for using their large vehicles to help animals in need all over South Africa. The list goes on and on, you can probably think of a few companies in your locality that are synonymous with good works – become one of them.
Customers Like It
American consumer studies have revealed that over 80 % of customers prefer to do business with a socially responsible brand and up to 76% may boycott those that aren’t. Millennials are consumed by the notion of corporate social responsibility.
Bottom line, the more you give, the more you get, but it’s not all about the money. There are several other more important benefits to businesses giving back.
Can you think of a good reason why your company should not donate time and/or money to the community that keeps it in business? Didn’t think so.
By helping to uplift members of your immediate community, you indirectly create your own customers. If you contribute towards local schools or skills workshops, you make people more employable. Employment means an income and cash to support local businesses like yours.
Let’s face it, helping those less fortunate feels good. It helps us to count our blessings and creates a deeper sense of appreciation for what we’ve got. There are a host of mental and physical benefits associated with helping others.
When you assist with improving your natural surroundings or town facilities, you’re improving the environment that your family and employees live in. By assisting with healthcare charities, you could be helping a family’s breadwinner to continue putting food on the table. You can save lives.
When someone is the recipient of an act of kindness they are more likely to pay it forward. One good deed by your business can have a snowball effect that spreads goodwill throughout your community. While your company may have no direct benefit from this, it feels good to live in a community that cares about each other.
The Robert Nienaber Foundation also aims to make the world a better place one step at a time. Follow us on Facebook to see how you can get your business involved or get in touch to discuss your CSR strategy and inspiration for your own corporate social initiatives.