According to the Oxford English Dictionary, the definition of philanthropy is “the desire to promote the welfare of others, expressed by the kind donation of money to good causes”.
Most people are happy to help their elderly neighbor do some grocery shopping or buy a coffee for a homeless person. Small gestures like this make the world a better place. In the world of business, philanthropy is just as relevant, and if you approach it for the right reasons, it can even boost your business brand.
Learn from Successful Entrepreneurs
Many successful entrepreneurs understand the value of giving back to the local community. Gurbaksh Chahal is a classic example of a successful businessman who wants to do his bit for the greater good. Chahal left school at 16 and founded ClickAgents. He was the first person to harness the power of performance-based advertising and within 18-months he had sold the business to ValueClick for $40 million.
Since then, Chahal has founded a succession of equally successful businesses, but he has never forgotten his roots. Today, he runs the Chahal Foundation, a non-profit organization committed to helping end child sexual exploitation in India, funding education and schooling in third world countries, and creating scholarships and mentorships for talented students.
Chahal is not the only successful entrepreneur to recognize the value of philanthropy. Mark Zuckerberg has pledged billions to charitable causes, as has Bill Gates. But whilst philanthropy undoubtedly gives people like Bill Gates a warm, fuzzy feeling inside, it is also a powerful brand-building tactic.
Market research has indicated that people are more likely to do business with organizations that give back. Customers have more respect for a business that is proactive in helping the local community. By taking part in community events and supporting community projects, you can build your reputation as a business owner who truly cares.
Businesses can buy advertising, but they can’t buy reputation. A good reputation is priceless, especially if you market your products and services locally. You need to be proactive in this area. Don’t wait for your competitors so get a head start. Choose a worthy cause that actually means something personally and start supporting it in a visible way.
Employees are your most valuable asset. The more talent you have working within your organization, the more successful the business will become. Unfortunately, it isn’t always easy to hang on to talented individuals. They may be head-hunted by recruitment agents or become disillusioned with the workplace environment.
The modern workplace has changed beyond measure in recent years. Salary and financial benefits are no longer the driving force for employees. Instead, they look at other perks such as workplace benefits and whether the business is a happy and fulfilling place to work. Big tech giants such as Apple and Google understand this perfectly.
Help the Community
To attract talent, you need to make idealistic young recruits feel as if they could make a real difference in the world when they come and work for your company. One way to do this is to set up a philanthropic program. Encourage employees to spend time on charitable work or helping out local community projects. You could even organize your own charitable events or sponsor others within the community.
By creating a better workplace environment, you will find it much easier to recruit the type of people who can really make a difference to the future of your organization.
Profit is important, but for long-term success, it isn’t the only thing that matters. Think of philanthropy as a marketing tool and you are definitely on the right path.