The Social Side Of Your Business

Although most businesses are concerned with making a profit to fuel growth and innovation, the days are gone when that should be the only driver behind an organization’s decisions. Today the public, governmental authorities, stockholders and employees themselves expect an organization to take into account how their actions impact the community that supports them commercially. In many ways, this recognition of social impact has become a business driver itself.

In June 2013, the UK Prime Minister, David Cameron, announced the creation of the Social Stock Exchange: a vehicle for investing in companies based primarily on their social impact in addition to their financial forecasts. This is a great example of a trend in modern society where more emphasis than ever before is placed on the legacy an organization leaves behind and the reputation it creates while going about the business of business.

How do you balance social responsibility with profitability? It can be a tricky endeavor, but in order to achieve success in both areas, you need a strategy for corporate responsibility that is as complete as a strategy would be for any other area of business.

One part of your strategy should focus on creative giving, and while you can select any one of the following ideas, it is always best to implement two or more strategies that complement each other. Creative giving options include:

Consider The Environment – Make an effort and commitment to becoming a sustainable, eco-friendly business. This means using sustainable materials, creating a recycling plan, improving energy efficiency and limiting the amount of pollution produced at your place of business.

Donate To The Cause -Corporate donations can include monetary contributions as well as the donations of products and services. You can set up a corporate foundation for this purpose.

Workplace Volunteering – Offering pre-approved volunteer opportunities to employees, including offering paid time off for volunteer activities on company time.

Employee Donations – Making it easy for employees to donate financially to various causes, either on a one-time basis, or on an ongoing basis via automatic payroll deductions.

Match Employee Gifts – When the company matches the monetary donations from employees, even to a set amount, this doubles the impact and inspires employees to give.

If it makes no business sense or runs contrary with a company’s established culture and goals, a CSR program will not be sustainable, and the social impact of the program will be less than optimum. To ensure that the program will thrive, set up the CSR program strategically in line with company business goals and the dominant business culture.

You need to have a balanced and well-planned approach to a strategic charitable giving program, so ask yourself these types of questions:

Is this CSR program financially feasible for our company?

Will we have enough of an impact to justify the effort and investment?

How can we effectively mine business benefits out of charitable efforts? (Do not be ashamed to use your CSR program as a source of positive media, talent recruitment or savvy accounting.)

Is the company set up to support this charity fully?

Is the culture of charity or philanthropy already in existence at the company or does this need to be improved?

Are the top-level managers visibly supporting these efforts?

Of course, even if each of these questions garners a positive result, you need to ensure that your CSR plan is run efficiently. The proper management of finances and employees is a huge priority. Every department of your business needs to be run efficiently and monitored and reviewed to ensure maximum growth. This is certainly true with corporate giving programs, and this process can be made far easier by enlisting the services of a partner company that specializes in the management of corporate social responsibility programs. As the manager of your company’s CSR program, using a partner organization allows you to spend more time encouraging managers and employees to participate and also gives you some extra time for your own personal participation in charitable giving.

Sebastian Troup enjoys writing about philanthropic solutions for businesses and non profit organizations. For additional information about the importance of business philanthropy, or to find some corporate giving programs, please go to the Truist website today.

Why Charitable Giving Is Important To Businesses

Donating a portion of your time or income to a charity that is dear to your heart is always an excellent idea. Not only are you helping others, it makes you feel good and sets an example for others to follow. However, when it is just one person giving, the benefits are worthy but small.

Take that one person and add hundreds or perhaps even thousands more helping out and donating to a well-designed corporate social responsibility (CSR) program, and you will see a tremendous impact. If that charitable program continues for weeks, months and years, the impact is even larger. Not only will the charity enjoy the benefits, but the company itself will experience many external and internal benefits as well.

Once you have set up a social responsibility program within your company and begin taking part in or organizing fund-raising events, you will quickly see a positive effect. Charities rely on the help of media professionals and social media to help spread the word about their programs and big events. Because you are supporting the charity, your company will be mentioned in all of these press releases, social media bursts and also in media coverage of events. This immediately creates a good impression within the community.

While it is less tangible than PR or social media coverage, there is also 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. All of the above leads eventually to greater profit as positive public perception and social media sentiment influences branding, and eventually, purchasing.

While corporate giving helps others and creates a positive brand image, there are also plenty of internal benefits to be had. Employees tend to be more engaged in their daily tasks if they work for a company that gives back. Corporate social responsibility programs have been shown to boost the productivity of employees, and employees also typically enjoy working for companies that demonstrate that they are committed to giving back. People have more pride in their employer, as well, and morale definitely increases especially when executives also take part in these charitable programs and events.

When you get everyone in the company involved in the CSR plan, the level of teamwork within the company also increases. People are more positive about working together for daily assignments and tasks when they have all worked together in a positive way to help others in the community. The benefits are even greater when managers and executives work alongside all other employees doing charity work. This type of positive interaction will have a definite effect back in the workplace.

Sebastian Troup enjoys writing about philantrophic solutions for businesses and non profit organizations. For more details about company charitable giving campaigns, or to know how to set up regular corporate donations to charity, please visit the Truist.com site today.

Corporate Giving: How It Benefits Everyone

While we certainly encourage the joy and value of giving during holidays and other special times, we often simply talk about giving at a personal level. But corporations can employ the principle that it’s better to give than receive as well.

In the same way that giving gifts is good for our personal wellbeing, corporate giving is good for business. Companies that engage in giving programs reap a wide variety of benefits leading to greater employee engagement, improved business performance and stronger relationships with their clients and customers. Here are six ways that giving back is good for business.

People want to feel good about the places where they work. Not feeling connected to a job or feeling ambivalent about an employer means employees invest less of themselves in their work. Like every other manager, you know the quality of your employees’ work is key to your success as a company.

Companies that focus on giving back to the community can forge stronger emotional connections with their employees and help them to feel good about where they work and for whom. Philanthropy and corporate giving campaigns show employees that you care about more than just the bottom line.

Employees often learn new skills when taking part in corporate philanthropy programs, and this certainly can benefit your company. Learning how to manage and organize people or resources is one example of a new skill that employees might gain. Creating and executing successful social media and marketing campaigns for the philanthropic cause also are skills that can benefit the company. Making connections with other businesses is yet another benefit, and chances are that your employees will be able to easily integrate these new skills within their day to day work.

Corporate giving allows you to really get to know the community and provides you with an opportunity to build up empathy within the company. This was one of the principles of business encouraged by Steve Jobs, who stressed the importance of truly understanding the feelings of the customer. When you and your employees get out into the community, your efforts at giving back will allow you to create deeper and more meaningful connections with customers, and you will have a better grasp on how your corporation fits into and can strengthen the community.

Philanthropy solidifies company values, and these core values are not only what guides your overall corporate mission; they help strengthen bonds between the company and the employees as well as with customers and the community. When you target organizations that match your core corporate values, this just furthers the mission of your company, and this trickles down into every part of your day-to-day operations.

New skills, community engagement, and a new perspective certainly can help a business succeed, making giving back worth the effort. It is also important to remember that giving back is a lot of fun, too. Companies that volunteer or donate to the community rarely have any regrets about it, and once they start, they generally find they enjoy it and only want to give more.

Sebastian Troup likes blogging about philantrophic solutions for businesses and non profit organizations. For further info about workplace giving programs, or to find some employee giving campaign ideas, please check out the Truist.com website today.

The Positive Benefits Of Giving

While certainly helping others benefits those who are in need of support, it also has a positive effect on those who give. When employees are participating in a corporate philanthropy project, it improves the overall productivity of your team. This is because when an individual participates in something that is meaningful that is supported by the company, they become more connected to the company. They realize that their value as employees and as people extends beyond their workday tasks.

While companies often initiate social events as a means of building a communal experience in the office, it is hard to take the “work” atmosphere out of the workplace. By volunteering together outside of the office, coworkers have the unique opportunity to spend time with each other in a different context. Volunteering teaches valuable teamwork skills that can be applied to the workplace. Most importantly, the positive experiences that come out of volunteering and helping others allow coworkers to bond and create lasting friendships that make the workplace a more enjoyable environment.

A great way to get employees excited about volunteering is to schedule an event that allows workers to enjoy the great outdoors. There are hundreds of studies that show the positive effects of spending time outside, and going outdoors to volunteer is a great option that will mix things up a bit and provide a change of scenery. This might seem like a small detail, but it will have a huge effect on your workplace morale. Employees will return to the office energized after spending a little time in the sunshine.

Increasing profits is a worthwhile goal, but your company also needs to present the message that there is more to the company than profits. A corporate giving program provides proof that your company’s mission is not just about the profits. Not only does this create a positive image for consumers, it fosters a better working environment for all of your employees. After all, it’s easy to feel a sense of pride in your company when you know that in addition to hard work and profits, you also make a commitment to helping those in need.

Your corporate giving plan provides proof that it’s not just about how much money the company can make. The profits are great, but consumers also want to do business with companies that care about more than the bottom line. In addition, you will forge better relationships with other businesses and community organizations.

The best way to build excitement about your corporate giving program is to make a conscious effort to spread the word. Get on social media and highlight what your employees are doing and why. Not only will this get the word out among the community, it will generate positive support among the employees.

Sebastian Troup enjoys writing about philantrophic solutions for businesses and non profit organizations. For additional information about a competitive advantage of corporate philanthropy, or to find about employee giving programs, please go to the Truist website now.