Businesses are usually more attractive to potential customers if they participate in some type of philanthropy. Customers like to support good causes so they are more likely to purchase products and services from companies that commit a portion of their profits to improve their communities. Your company may also look more appealing to venture capitalists if it proves itself to be philanthropic. You obviously need your business to generate a profit so it can continue operating so you need to find a good balance between philanthropy and profit. Here are six cost-efficient ways you can incorporate philanthropy into your business practice.
Focus on a Specific Cause
A single business can’t support every good cause. If you attempt to support multiple causes, you will likely find that you can’t give them the proper time, attention or funds to make a significant difference. Choosing one or two causes or organizations to support allows your company to make more of a difference. Follow the example of venture capitalist Mark Stevens, a managing partner at Sequoia Capital. Because he is interested in promoting higher education and has a specific interest in neuroscience, he focuses his philanthropic efforts on medical programs from his alma mater. Your business should be similarly focused on one or two specific causes. Some of the causes you may choose to support are listed below.
- Climate change
- Childhood cancer
- Animal abuse
Contribute a Portion of Profits to Charity
Unless your business is non-profit, it needs to make a certain amount of money each year to operate effectively. Giving away all of your profits to philanthropic causes is a bad business practice, but committing a certain percentage of your money to a cause that is important to your company may help it grow. You should know your business’ baseline profits within a few years of launching the company. This information allows you to understand how much money your company needs to operate and how much it can donate. Even small percentages can add up to significant amounts of money by the end of the year and you can always increase your philanthropic spending as the business grows.
Partner With a Social Media Influencer
Social media influencers are great assets to your advertising campaign. Not only do influencers promote your company’s products and services, but they also draw attention to your cause. Many people are more likely to trust the brands that influencers recommend and you may even be able to reach a different audience than your target market, leading to increased sales and profits. This is a great way to make your brand visible while drawing attention to your philanthropic giving.
Donate Both Time and Money
Time is as important as money for many charitable causes. If you own a small business that is not yet generating enough profit to donate monetarily, consider using time as a substitution. Organize voluntary workdays for all of your employees and allow them to work with your chosen charity for the day. More employees are likely to participate if you pay them for these days. By donating both time and money to the organizations you choose to support, you show the community that you are passionate about the project and want your company to have a significant impact on the cause.
Support Local Organizations
Many companies, especially large corporations, support national causes. While this is a worthwhile philanthropic endeavor, it is also important to remember that local causes often have more of an impact upon specific communities. Small businesses may choose to support local organizations that enrich their communities to build a stronger local market. Customers like to support small, local companies and they are more likely to choose your business’ products and services if it enriches their communities in some way.
Promote Your Philanthropic Philosophy
While it may not feel appropriate to advertise your company’s philanthropic efforts because it detracts from the charitable giving, it is one of the best ways to make your business visible. People won’t know about your company’s philanthropy if you don’t advertise it. Your business may still be successful, but philanthropy is attractive to a wide variety of customers and they are more likely to shop with your business if they feel like it supports a good cause. You can promote your philanthropic philosophy without being obvious by posting cause-related content to your webpage or showing pictures of employees donating their time. This makes philanthropy less of a pat on the back and highlights it as a true company passion.
Incorporating philanthropy into your business model is a great way to grow your company. By making the company appealing to both investors and customers, you can set the business up for success. Launching a philanthropic campaign doesn’t have to be expensive. Use these cost-efficient tips to enrich your business through philanthropy.