Why Philanthropy In Business Is Important
Philanthropy is an important factor in business these days, just consider the amount of brands that spring to mind when you think of philanthropy and charitability. There are some amazing businesses leading the way for a more philanthropic way of thinking, and displaying the amazing benefits it can bring. Whereas before budgets might be split over traditional departments such as marketing, product development and so on, a greater portion of budget is now heading towards philanthropic business practices.
So what do we mean by ‘philanthropy’?
To be short, philanthropy is about giving back. Whether that be through donations to charity, community work or volunteering. There are tonnes of ways you can be philanthropic, and here are just a few brands that are doing a great job:
We’ve all heard of Toms ‘give one get one’ business model, you buy a pair of shoes and they’ll donate a pair. It’s worked so well because not only are you helping a good cause whilst you shop, but it’s memorable. It’s a solid message and it builds them up as a caring, do-good brand that aren’t just out for maximum profits, but want to make a real impact in the world. And it doesn’t just stop at shoes for Toms either, they’ve also helped to supply clean water to communities in seven different countries.
A complete opposite to the fashion sector, but it does show that philanthropy is not restricted to one type of business sector! Watercooler supplier Cooleraid have recently celebrated reaching a total donation amount of 5 million pounds to their charity, The Lifeline Fund. Not bad right? For every water bottle sold and for every hire of a watercooler, Cooleraid donate a percentage of their profits to help orphaned and underprivileged children in Malawi. They’ve opened 14 schools, including centres for children with disabilities and they also supply local elderly citizens with vital food supplies. It’s amazing what just one business is capable of, isn’t it?
Travel giant Expedia is also taking on a philanthropic approach to how their business functions. They offer two impressive gift matching and volunteer grant programs. Their gift matching program offers to double employee’s charitable donations ranging from $25 to $4,000! Both full and part time employees are granted the ability to have their contributions matched to a host of non-profits. They also provide a fantastic volunteer grant program which enables employees to volunteer on a regular basis, for which they can request a grant of $15 per hour.
You might think this is a costly avenue to explore, and whilst you would be correct, what it will bring in return to your business can be worth so much more!
It will build your reputation – being seen as active within the community and helping good causes will build you a solid, positive reputation amongst potential customers. Much of our decision making is based upon emotion, and if your brand resonates as positive in a consumers mind, then they’re much likely to pick you over competitors!
Which leads on to…
Improving Customer Loyalty – a philanthropic path can lead to greater customer loyalty. After all, if you’re in the market for a pair of espadrilles, would you choose Toms knowing you’d be helping to also save lives, or would you pick a competitor whose profits aren’t helping any good causes other than the directors back pocket?
It Can Make You Memorable – by having a unique business plan such as Toms or Cooleraid, your customers will remember you for all the right reasons. Make the message simple and clear.
Of course these are just a few of the many, many benefits your business could see from taking on a more charitable approach to how you run. This can work for businesses of all sizes too, perhaps you aren’t big enough to start donating profit yet, in which case there are other routes you could take. From volunteering at a local charity, to holding a fundraiser. If it gets your name out there and attaches you to a good cause then this can only be positive!
Is philanthropy something you find important when shopping for brands?