When you are just starting out, it may seem like the last thing on your mind is to spend the little time and funds you have on giving back. However, new trends are pointing to generosity as the new marketing. In an era where word of mouth and reputation means everything, getting your company’s name out there as a respectful, charitable company can only have positive results.
Corporate social responsibility (CSR) should be a no-brainer for many companies at this point. By supporting a charity, even if it is just small acts, can help market your business in a favorable light. Not only can it help increase your reputation, but it can have significant financial benefits. We have created our list of the top five reasons why you should partner with a social cause, no matter what stage your business is in currently.
When you donate to a social cause or volunteer your time, it can be a great way to raise awareness about the specific purpose and promote the partnership between you and the charity. You can spread your social good on your website and social media. If you are just getting started, it can also be a great way to get some marketing experience.
However, the critical thing to do is not to pick a random cause that you don’t really believe in. Your customers, especially millennials, see right through this. Find something that you can stand behind and build a long-standing relationship. By combining your talents with a charity, you can show the community that you care.
Companies that practice CSR also reach a whole new audience of people. There are groups of people who interact with the nonprofit and have never heard of you. When you partner with the charity, you are tapping into their audiences as well, possibly giving you more customers or even future employees.
Employee turnover can be terrible for team morale and expensive for businesses. Job-hopping for millennials is exceptionally prevalent with the average tenure for employees at major companies is just one to two years.
To attract new talent, many startups are offering more extreme employee benefits, including in-house massages, yoga, and free food every day. However, there might be an easier way to keep your turnover right low: get them involved in philanthropic causes.
Top executives of Fortune 500 companies like Microsoft and PNC Financial Services have said that they have seen a benefit in giving younger workers the opportunity to get involved in volunteerism. The Millennial Impact Report found that 55% of respondents said that a person is more likely to accept a job offer if the company is involved in a charity. This motivation to join comes from a desire to contribute to a philanthropy themselves and also from the idea that if a company is doing social good, it is more likely to be a better place to work.
Retention also might be lowered because if someone who is devoting their talents to a social good project, their feelings of loyalty to the firm will also increase, especially if they can work in groups.
Millennials Buying Power
Aligning yourself with a cause not only helps your employees happy, but it might also bring in more business. Recent studies have shown that 70% of millennials are more likely to spend money with brands that advocate for a charity. Millenials are more likely than any other generation to purchase a product based on the cause the company sponsors. Since millennials currently have more than $2.45 trillion in spending power, helping a charity seems like a great move to capture this huge market.
When you partner with a charity, it can help you build stronger relationships with your existing clients, and gain new ones. Of course, making sure you do your research and make sure you are identifying and working with a reputable charity. Millennials are more likely to do their research in a company and see if it is cause they would like to support.
One of the most immediate benefits of corporate donations is the tax donations. While you might not see immediate benefits in your community, you will notice the tax savings nearly immediately. Of course, you shouldn’t donate just for the fiscal benefits, but you might as well take advantage of the tax benefits you can get when you do give back! Business can typically get tax deductions from sponsoring charities, but make sure you follow all the rules and comply with all tax requirements.
Good for the Community
Not only does donating benefit your company, but most importantly, it benefits the community. It can create much-needed awareness of an issue. CSR helps improve the community and people take notice of companies that make an effort. By supporting a cause, you can improve schools, parks, or help someone in need.
Partnering with a nonprofit gives them opportunities they might not have had otherwise. If you are helping to support an event, the charity might not have been able to put it on without your financial help or volunteers. By working with a cause, you can spread your reach and help more people in the process.
And as an added benefit, you feel great after volunteering! Volunteering helps connect you to others and is good for your mind and body. You never know who you might meet while you are volunteering and who could become a future customer or partner in your business. According to a study, 76% of people that volunteered in the past 12 months said that they felt happier as a result. Giving back can bring fulfillment into your personal life and your business.
CSR doesn’t look the same for every business. Evaluate your business and decide what you can reasonably do with the funds you have. If you are able to donate funds, products, or just volunteer hours, it can all make a difference in your community and within your own company. Add a philanthropic cause to your business model to start seeing the benefits for yourself.