There’s no doubt that corporate philanthropy and charity outreach are integral parts of modern business. Research shows that companies that engage in charity work often see improved sales and a stronger sense of brand allegiance. That’s why more and more firms are turning to charity outreach as a viable and rewarding way of developing a business. This article explains how charity outreach can help grow your business.
Builds positive brand awareness
In this day and age, consumers are increasingly ethical about where they spend their money. In fact, a survey conducted by the Cone Research Institute discovered that 82% of Americans have a negative view of companies that can’t be bothered to give back.
That’s why it’s so important for businesses to develop a corporate social responsibility policy – it makes your company more trustworthy and appealing to potential customers. While you should expect some backlash from a handful of cynics, charity outreach helps businesses build positive long-term brand awareness. It also encourages prospects to recommend your business because they know you value giving back as much as making money.
Helps attract skilled employees
As well as boosting public engagement, charity outreach can help businesses attract skilled employees as well as customers. In fact, it’s been found that a surprising number of young people today look for job opportunities at companies that have a positive impact on society.
Improves company culture
While many business leaders see charity outreach as a way of giving back to the community, they often fail to recognize its other benefits – such as how it can help improve company culture and employee retention. If your employees are happy, open-minded, and passionate about helping others, you’re going to see improved productivity across the board, which means more sales and profits for your business. That could be what makes or breaks your business in today’s world – so, don’t underestimate the importance of charity outreach.
Improves community relations
With today’s increased competition, business leaders have to be more forward-thinking than ever before. That means thinking outside the box and considering how your business interacts with the community.
That’s why charity outreach can help a business improve its community relations by showing people what your company is all about. With many buyers saying they consider the reputation of a product when they make their buying decisions, it makes sense for businesses to protect their image and develop positive, productive relationships with the public.
Helps attract new customers
Of course, there are some companies who conduct charity outreach simply because they want to help people in need – which is an added bonus, if you’re able to do so.
However, there’s also a more strategic reason for some businesses to develop corporate philanthropy strategies. According to new research conducted by Cone Communications, one in three Americans are likely to switch brands if they find out that competitors are involved in charity outreach. That means developing positive community relations is no longer an option – it’s the only way forward if you want your business to succeed in today’s business landscape.
Keeps customers engaged
Charity outreach can help you keep customers engaged as well as loyal to your brand. This is especially true if it’s conducted in a unique and creative way – such as sponsoring a local event or producing marketing materials that encourage people to give back.
Better social media engagement
Charity plays a huge role in social media engagement. With more and more people using blogs and other platforms to share their opinions about companies, it’s crucial that businesses involve themselves in social good if they want to protect their online reputation.
Conducting corporate philanthropy through social media is one of the easiest ways for business leaders to promote their brands. In fact, studies have shown that consumers are 67% more likely to recommend brands on Twitter if they engage with them online. This allows your business to gain valuable exposure which brings us back full circle – by improving public relations and creating positive long-term brand awareness, you can build a better company and enjoy improved profitability as a result.
Employees feel more motivated
Charity outreach can help motivate your employees even when times get tough. When people feel like they’re making a difference in the world, this can boost productivity and lower turnover rates. With most companies working on tight profit margins and having little wiggle room with expenses, it can be difficult to convince staff why they should bother making charitable donations or volunteering their time during off-hours.
Giving back feels good
One of the most obvious reasons for engaging in charity outreach is that it gives your business a chance to give something back. While this might not seem particularly important when you’re trying to run your business, it can actually help employees recover from difficult situations faster, which can improve work efficiency. It also makes customers feel better about doing business with your company which means they’ll be more loyal and open-minded about making referrals.
It may seem like charity outreach needs loads of effort, time, and money, but it doesn’t have to mean huge donations or fancy events – all you really need are some ideas that are easy to do or implement on a regular basis.
For instance, Michael Savage New Canaan created a non-profit that ships donated clothes, toys, books, and household items to Honduran families in need. This act of generosity is a rewarding way of giving back after achieving financial success. Fundamentally, it feels good to do good. If your business can afford it, then charity outreach is an amazing way of rewarding the communities and causes that are dear to you and your company.
Protects your business from negative press
Corporate philanthropy can also help protect your business in the event of negative press. This is especially true when you get involved with charities that are complementary to your business interests and products. For instance, a sports equipment company would be smart to partner with an after-school program for kids who want to learn how to play their favorite sport or even get into it for the first time.
With more than half the population expressing concern about companies’ social values and ethics, it is crucial that businesses understand why corporate philanthropy matters and how they can make an impact on society through positive actions. It might not seem like charity outreach will improve your business overnight, but if you make it a long-term strategy that gives back to the communities and causes you truly believe in, it can definitely help your business grow and develop better public relationships.
So, how do you create a philanthropic strategy for your business? Well, it’s up to you to act now so that you know why corporate philanthropy matters. It doesn’t have to be costly or time-consuming – if writing a check helps ease your conscience, then consider this as an option before looking at other ways of giving back.
As with any form of marketing, knowing what works best for your specific audience is key. If they appreciate social media engagement, then use hashtags or reply to Tweets about relevant topics or keywords to make sure they find you when they need the most help.
While this article has only covered the basics of how charity outreach can improve your business, it’s certainly an option worth considering for growing businesses that want the best for their products and customers alike. There are many ways it can be implemented, but whatever choice you make, positive community relations will ultimately benefit both your company and the customer base that you serve.