Today, corporate philanthropy is a core value for many businesses, designed to engage and attract talent, and demonstrate its commitment to being a strong corporate citizen.
Sponsoring galas and golf tournaments are not enough. To be sure, non-profits appreciate and desperately need the financial support, but if a business wants to put a stake in the ground and authentically make a difference, the investment has to be comprehensive and strategic.
Whether your business has a formal foundation or an employee-led philanthropy committee, a strong philanthropy strategy will result in tangible benefits. Rather than haphazardly writing checks to sponsor various events whose benefits are never fully leveraged, a philanthropic strategy guides your business and employees to be more intentional in the initiatives and organizations it supports resulting in a wiser use of resources.
A philanthropic strategy should be driven by employees. When employees are engaged in the process, they feel valued, and your philanthropic intentions become more authentic.
Employee turnover is high and the war on talent has never been stronger. Studies show that employee health and production improve when they have opportunities to volunteer and give back through their work.
- Survey employees to learn what organizations, causes or initiatives are important to them
- Provide employees with paid time to volunteer
- Create a rotating committee of employees who evaluate requests for support
- Designate a fund to donate to organizations employees support
- Extend the opportunity to employees other than senior executives to attend sponsored events
A philanthropic strategy is critical to building goodwill in the community and establishing credibility with civic and community leaders. Today, businesses are valued not only for their quality products and services, but for their efforts to see beyond the bottom line to operate as a respected corporate citizen.
No matter if you are a B2B or B2C business, through philanthropy, your company can attract business partners, clients and consumers whose values align with yours. Philanthropy should not be viewed as a non-revenue generating expense, rather an investment in the future of the business resulting in a stronger brand position that will ultimately attract talent and fuel growth.