While giving $100 to your favorite charity or volunteering an afternoon to help at a homeless shelter will make you feel great and provides an excellent example to others in your community, there is a practical limit to the long-term benefits and the social impact we can all personally have on our community through giving.
But when hundreds or thousands of people get together and coordinate their giving, as occurs during a well-executed corporate giving campaign, tremendous and lasting good can be done for the community. This effect is further enhanced as the CSR program continues over months or years.
Beyond the profit to the community, however, charitable giving provides important benefits to the business itself as well, both internally and externally.
When a company establishes a strategic CSR program, they will begin to see positive results in the commercial world almost immediately in several ways:
- Public Relations: The company’s philanthropic activity does not go unnoticed by the media. All charitable organizations and fund-raising events rely on the media to spread the word about their work, so any corporation having a large share in that work will be included in the heavy media coverage.
- Social Media: While some organizations are concerned about the potential backlash from negative comments on social media, a company involved in strategic corporate giving will be reaping the benefits of positive social media mentions and sharing. The impact of this kind of publicity cannot be overstated.
- Reputation: While it is less tangible than PR or social media coverage, there is no denying the fact that many consumers make buying decisions based as much on how they feel about a company as on how they feel about a product.
- Profit: All of the above leads eventually to greater profit as positive public perception and social media sentiment influences branding, and eventually, purchasing.
The benefits of a corporate charitable giving program are not limited just to external results:
- Employee Engagement: Recruiting top-performing employees and keeping them happy is a priority of all thriving corporations. Charitable giving improves employee engagement by boosting productivity, ethical behavior, gratitude to the organization, and pride in their work.
- Morale: With employees more engaged in their work and more pleased with the corporate culture, their morale will naturally be higher. This leads to less time and productivity lost to “illness”, tardiness, or extended breaks and lunches, as well as lower turnover rates.
- Teamwork: This generally positive attitude in the workplace extends beyond just the rank-and-file employees. When a corporate giving program brings together people from all levels of the organization – from the C-level to the mail room – everyone feels like they are working together toward a common goal. This feeling of effective teamwork will extend beyond the CSR program to positively influence other aspects of their work.