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On a personal level, most people instinctually know that giving back is a good thing. Whether it is through volunteering your time or making charitable contributions, helping others can lift your spirit and make you feel better as a person.
The same holds true for businesses.
While it may not be obvious at first glance, being charitable can be a boon for companies. Donating time, money, or goods to local non-profits can be a great way to boost employee morale, reduce taxes, and even gain customer loyalty.
Read on to learn more about how supporting charities can be good for your business’ bottom line.
One of the biggest immediate benefits that your company will see from charitable contributions is through tax deductions. While it may take longer for some of the intangible benefits, like goodwill, to pay off, every April, your accountant can demonstrate how your good deeds helped to lower your tax burden.
While the ultimate goal of donating should not be to receive a tax break, the tax code is set up to slightly lower taxes for businesses and individuals who do make donations. Just be sure to follow the proper protocol for reporting charitable donations to the IRS.
Engaging in philanthropy is one of the simplest, most powerful ways to obtain publicity — and it is often the type of positive press that cannot otherwise be purchased. Supporting a charity can help you do good in your community and get your name out there in a new way.
For example, if your business sponsors a charity walk, you may have your name put on the walk t-shirts — which is not only a branding opportunity for the event, but for every time that walk participants throw on the t-shirt after the walk. This shows current and future customers that you care about both your business and the community.
Gaining Customer Support
When your company becomes known for supporting charities, it will garner respect from customers and potential customers. This can often be a boon for your bottom line, as many people may actually choose to do business with a company that supports the local community as well as their personal ideals. For example, if you run a local restaurant and regularly donate to events at the neighborhood school, parents may be more willing to patronize your restaurant.
One caveat: the type of charity may matter to some customers. If you want to appeal to the largest potential customer base, your business may want to avoid donating to any organization that could be controversial.
Making Employees Happy
One unexpected bonus of being charitable for many businesses is the way that it makes their employees feel about working there. Corporate donations can help to increase employee morale. Simply put, employees respect that their employer cares about their community and about causes that matter to them.
The impact of a company’s good deeds may be particularly strong with younger workers. According to a 2016 study by Deloitte, millennials were “twice as likely to rate their corporate culture as positive” if their employer participated in workplace volunteer activities.
A Unique Employee Benefit
Another way to boost employee morale is by allowing employees to volunteer on company time, either for a company-chosen charity or for a charity of their choice. This can be viewed as an employee benefit — giving people the opportunity to take some time off of work to give back.
This can increase employee morale as well, particularly if workers have the opportunity to choose a charity or cause that is important to them. For example, if an employee is affected by a particular issue — such as having a family member die of cancer — then entire company could choose to volunteer together for an organization such as the American Cancer Society, or to participate in the Relay for Life.
Doing this will help to differentiate your business from other employers, helping you to attract and retain top talent.
Enriching the Community
Donating in your town or city is good for your community, making it a better place to live, work, learn and play. Making an effort to improve your surroundings can only benefit your business.
For example, if your company contributes to a local foundation that is focused on beautification efforts in your town, the pay-off may be increased property values or more foot traffic, leading to more business for you. Or it could simply be that your donation helps the greater good, such as donating to cure a disease or to stop violence in your community.
Either way, you are doing good — and that will help both you and your business.
Giving back isn’t just a way to feel good about yourself in your personal life. It can also help your business grow and flourish. For these reasons and more, supporting a charity can be a huge benefit to your company.
Author: Dave Rathmanner