8 Reasons Your Business Should Give Back
8 Reasons Your Business Should Give Back
As a business owner the decision to support a charity or non-profits can be difficult. Not in the sense that choosing to help those in need is difficult. Rather that overcoming the fear that giving back will seriously impact your bottom line. This is not the case. In fact you might be surprised to learn that giving will help your business far more than hurt it.
Perhaps you own a brick and mortar business? As a result you’re likely bombarded with requests to donate gift cards for events. These requests can become a hindrance to running your business. As well as a drain on resources. Politely denying these requests is difficult. Unless you have a policy for giving in-place that you can refer to.
Consumer preferences have changed significantly in recent years. Baby boomers are retiring. Millennials now have the most disposable income. As a result businesses face a new set of expectations.
88% of Americans say they would buy products from a company leading with purpose
Shifting consumer preferences means businesses need to adopt a new paradigm. One in which the business serves a higher purpose than maximizing profits. One way your business can meet consumer expectations is by giving back. This could mean giving to charity, a non-profit or an organization within your community.
To clarify why giving will help your business. I’ve put together a list of:
8 BUSINESS BENEFITS OF GIVING BACK
Getting involved with charitable organizations you’ll show concern for your community’s well-being. Furthermore you’ll show that you are committed to having a positive social impact. While in contrast your competitors may be focused on maximizing profits.
Associating your company with great causes will help consumers see your brand in a more positive light. Consumers want to know about your charitable giving. It makes them feel better about doing business with you. It’s something they will tell their family and friends about.
DIFFERENTIATE YOUR BUSINESS
Operating a socially responsible business will set you apart from your competition. Helping to support organizations in your community will earn consumer trust and loyalty.
For example, look at TOMS Shoes. What started as a small shoe company has upended one of the most competitive industries. TOMS Shoes was built on a 1 for 1 model of giving. For every pair of shoes sold a pair is given to a child in need. TOMS made giving a core part of their business model. As a result TOMS has exploded in popularity and continues to thrive. Consumers want to patronize businesses that have a positive impact.
ATTRACT NEW CUSTOMERS
Consumers faced with a choice between products of similar quality and price they use other factors to make decisions. Actively supporting local charities and the community could be the deciding factor.
Hence it would be in your best interest to be the brand consumers switch to, not from.
Does your competition have a process for giving back? If not, that could be the competitive advantage you need.
Nearly nine-in-10 (88%) consumers say they would buy a product from a purpose-driven company
BOOST MORALE & ATTRACT TOP TALENT
Even with small companies – it can be difficult to interact with every employee. Get your employees involved in your company’s giving. Encourage them to volunteer at charities in the community. This can strengthen bonds between employees. Giving back to our communities brings people together. It makes us feel good. A lot of top talent will be turned off by a company that doesn’t give back.
Many companies have programs that match employee donations. It’s a great incentive for employee giving. Not to mention it literally doubles the impact of donations. Programs like this promote a strong culture which is more appealing to employees.
Allow employees to select organizations your company will give to. Provide opportunities to volunteer during work hours. Encourage your staff to participate in community projects. This will raise awareness of your business. Furthermore it provides employees with a sense of pride and connection.
GAIN CUSTOMER SUPPORT
Business owners have a responsibility to the communities they operate in. It’s important to give back and be involved. Donating to local organizations fosters good-will. Also, you’ll create evangelists for your brand.
Consistently giving will get the attention of the people working and volunteering at the organizations you support. They will be grateful and will want to thank you. It’s common for a recipient to show appreciation by patronizing your business. Also by referring friends and family and telling others about your generosity.
78 % of Americans would tell others to buy products from purpose-driven companies
Socially conscious businesses are more likely to receive positive publicity. All it takes is one influential blogger or reporter to hear your story. You could receive more free coverage than you ever could have paid for. Most news coverage is negative. Therefore positive stories tend to do well.
Consumers want to hear about a business’ giving. This needs to be promoted subtly but a few mentions on social media can become a deluge of positive coverage.
You could offer special discounts on your products or services. This is a great way to attract publicity and enhance customer loyalty. Also, take advantage of the opportunity to form more strategic partnerships with organizations you support.
This is one of the most valuable skills for business owners. However it’s easier said than done. Find common ground to help make connections. Your commitment to giving back and improving your community is a great starting point. It speaks to your values and provides a great topic for networking.
Volunteer in your community. This is a great way to do some networking and meet like-minded people. Try to find opportunities with the organizations your business supports.
When your business supports your community, your community supports your business. Establishing a process for giving back isn’t a short-term strategy. It’s not going to increase business and boost profits overnight. Implementing a mindful and systematic approach to giving will over time reap rewards greater than any short-term strategy.
As word spreads about your generosity, people will see your business as an integral part of the community. They will go out of their way to either patronize your business or send customers your way. By donating a small percentage of your revenue to worthy causes today, you’ll be securing a very profitable tomorrow.
As you can see, the benefits of giving back for businesses are significant. It can have a powerful impact on your community and business. There is however, one reason above all to implement a process for giving in your business. It’s the right thing to do.
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