As awareness rises, so does the responsibility of corporations to make strides towards giving back. Social and environmental issues have grown in prominence in recent years, with consumers, employees, investors, and other critical stakeholders placing a high priority on the charitable actions of corporations. It’s no longer enough to simply recognize the shortcomings of society—people want to see corporations take action.
To demonstrate a commitment to giving back—and to reflect a commitment to the shared values of customers—businesses must rise to the challenge with robust Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) initiatives. And the best way to get started is by kicking off Corporate Giving with a Purpose.
However, “giving back” isn’t always about dollars and cents. Sure, donating financial support to an organization can go a long way in helping them meet their mission statement, but there are other ways to lend a helping hand.
What is Corporate Giving with a Purpose?
Corporate giving, which is encompassed in a CSR initiative, sees organizations going beyond monetary donations. Sometimes “giving back” means rolling up your sleeves and contributing to a social enterprise or giving time to an underserved community that you care about.
Corporate Giving with a Purpose advances a corporation’s standing in the community while also delivering a wide range of benefits to customers, stakeholders, employees, as well as the corporation’s own bottom line.
Corporate Giving with a Purpose can:
- Engage Employees
- Advance Organizational Values
- Bolster Workplace Culture
- Separate You From Competitors
- Strengthen Customer Relations
Corporations that give their time to community initiatives also enjoy customer loyalty, which can expand revenue. In fact, 81 percent of millennials—the largest generation group in the U.S.—say they want to do business with companies that are good corporate citizens—in other words, they will be loyal to your brand if you demonstrate that you’re willing to practice corporate giving.
How Does a Company Kickstart A Corporate Giving Program?
Identifying an organization to partner with is the natural first step once you’ve decided to initiate a corporate giving program. First, it’s important to find a company that shares your values. In order to do this, you must examine your organization and decide what matters most to you and your employees. This can be anything from a sustainable environment to social justice and so much more.
To realize your organization’s goals, values, and charitable identity, assess the following areas:
- Industry Future
- Culture Code
- Mission Statement
- Employee Passions
- Product Goals
- Target Demographics
Outlining each of these factors in depth will give you a roadmap to follow on your journey toward corporate giving with a purpose. Use these insights to narrow the search and target causes that best align with the goals, values, and identity of your organization and all of its stakeholders.
From there, Identify a Community that needs assistance. Find an organization serving a need that reflects the passion of your corporation. This makes it easier for employees to truly get behind the cause. Next, Diversify your efforts. Try to invest your time and energy in a variety of causes, as there’s no rule stating you have to pinpoint one specific cause. Then, Be Proactive and Strategic. When choosing a partnership, do your due diligence and select a group affecting positive change in the community. Finally, Select a Cause. Choose an effort that connects with your employees and your overall mission—this boosts morale and helps to build momentum.
No Matter What, Be Genuine
Remember, consumers can smell a phony from a mile away. Any charitable efforts you engage with must be genuine and ongoing. Align our brand values with how you want to give back to the world, thus connecting your business goals to your corporate giving goals.
Corporate giving with a purpose makes the world a better place, but also helps your company advance in the marketplace. Embrace the mission and promote your values with a corporate giving program that grows your brand and benefits society at large.