1 April, 2018 Six Ways to Incorporate Philanthropy Into Your Business
hen a business finds a unique way to give, it can raise more awareness for a good cause while significantly enhancing a brand or how staff and customers feel about an organisation. Not all philanthropic efforts require funding. Sometimes a business can make a difference to its community, employees and customers by simply getting involved in or starting an initiative.
“Giving is personal. It is more than simply a business decision. For this reason, you need to take a look at what is important to you,” the Chief Operations Curator of The Philanthropic Collection™ Liane McGowan. “Ask yourself: What causes matter to you on a personal level and why you want to engage in philanthropy as a business? Do you want to help your community, build team spirit and motivate staff, attract and retain staff, or build and enhance customer loyalty?” she says.
Here we look at different ways that organisations can incorporate philanthropy into their businesses:
Offer Free Advisory Services
This idea may involve some costs, but it can bring a business much more in brand awareness and even new customers. For example, a legal firm could offer a free community legal clinic once a month. The clinic could focus around themes, such as home ownership, tenancy issues, rights for single dads or moms, or even immigration and taxation laws.
Banks and other financial companies or medical companies can offer free advisory lines – whether 24/7 or at dedicated times only – to provide free advice to cancer patients or HIV/AIDS sufferers who are customers. A percentage of funds from certain business products can be donated to a non-profit organisation supporting these illnesses.
Partner With Education Institutions
Consider mentoring and educating students from local high schools, colleges or universities. Staff can opt in to attend career evenings as professionals or give educational institutions the opportunity to allow selected students to visit the company or spend a day with a member of staff – a doctor, engineer or electrician.
Leading organisations often establish a graduate programme or partner with institutions and set up giving schemes that support these programmes or institutions and their development.
Leverage Tours To Help Charity
Any funds raised from tours can be donated to a relevant cause. Tours of newspapers, television studios, well-known organisations, restaurants or other business, such as a candle factory, clothing factory, winery, chip factory or even a honey bottler/farm could be of interest to schools and the public.
Tours and talks can raise awareness about a relevant issue – for example, management/debt relief (banks), natural resources or the importance of bees (honey farm). Relevant television programmes locally and internationally may showcase the business for educational purposes as well as what you are doing to give back to the community or support a cause.
Schedule An Opt-to-Give Day
An annual day when employees across the company can opt to donate to various charities are popular. These give-days can encourage teams to work together to support causes, such as local environmental clean up projects or community upliftment programmes.
Taken further, businesses can involve employees in suggesting, championing and voting for the charities they want to support. This can serve as a team building activity that raises awareness about various causes and ends up getting staff involved directly with initiatives – whether this is in building homes, volunteering at local food shelters, or running marathons to raise funds for cancer research.
Add In A Giveback Option Into Your Product Or Service
Many companies donate a portion of all products and services to a specific cause, or give customers the option to add a percentage of their transaction to charity at the end of an online purchase. Let’s also not forget the importance of bequest giving. Legal call centres or lawyers can ask callers or clients if they would like to leave money in their will to a charity of their choice.
This concept can be extended to trading in or handing in old items, such as mobile phones, IT equipment, shoes or even eyewear. IT, mobile phone, retailers, and optometrists can offer to donate the items to worth causes or some or money from the sale of the items to support charities.
Establish A New Community Programme
See a need and take steps to start an initiative. Some food retailers, for example, have seen how food is going to waste while many go hungry. They have simply taken the time to identify a problem and take simple steps to make a difference.
In another example, fashion retailers and designers have helped communities by establishing programmes like “Change your look, change a life” or “Power dressing for work” to help communities, including the homeless or unemployed, create positive change in their lives.
Whether new to corporate philanthropy or a seasoned practitioner, every business, including yours, can find a way to make a difference.
– By The Philanthropic Collection –
The Philanthropic Collection™ is a boutique social enterprise,
where we tailor haute-couture brands for philanthropy.