Tis the season of giving. Just what exactly are the benefits of charity work for businesses? Here are nine to get you started.
‘Tis the season of gratitude and giving. And giving isn’t just for individuals and families. In fact, there are many compelling reasons for companies to participate in charitable works and philanthropy.
What are the benefits of charity work for businesses? Here are just nine. (Hint: It’s not just about the finances).
1) Charitable Companies Attract Top Talent – Especially the Younger Generations
As employees, Generation Z and Millennials put a premium on corporate culture, making loyalty decisions based on the company’s social value.
A PWC 2021 survey of workers in 19 countries found that 75% preferred to work for organizations that will make a “positive contribution to society” by giving back. They want to be part of an environment where their work is tied to community.
2) Charitable Giving Helps to Boost Employee Morale
As LegalZoom points out, it “feels good to help others.” Employees benefit psychologically when they make a difference in others’ lives. Local contributions and connections can be especially meaningful, because it’s easier to see firsthand the impact of contributed time or treasure.
Corporate donations, even when employees are not directly involved in the giving, can lead to a boost in employee morale and contribute to general positive attitude across the workforce.
3) Benefits of Philanthropy Include Increased Brand Awareness
Companies that have earned a reputation for philanthropy are some of the largest, most recognized brands. Among others, TOMS, Walt Disney, Patagonia, Starbucks, Apple, and Microsoft are some of the most charitable companies in the world. Each garners tremendous publicity and good will for their consistent funding of nonprofits, sponsorship of community initiatives, and support to social causes dedicated to changing the world for the better.
On a smaller scale, companies of any size can often secure special interest coverage in local media outlets, or promote their commitment to named nonprofits by supporting and celebrating on social media.
4) Working with Charities Creates Networking Opportunities
You may already be involved in professional organizations and industry associations as a way to keep up with developments and expand your network. Working directly with charitable organizations, too, is a way to meet like-minded others. Participation in charitable events may just help you discover your next business partner, executive, or employee.
5) Giving Back Can Give You Customers, Too
Millennials were behind the social responsibility movement of recent years, and they spend more money on the brands that support the causes they care about. Business customers, too, want to be associated with companies that stand for something – and support organizations that are making a difference.
Look for ways to make your contributions relevant to customers. Are you a federal government contractor? Look for reputable organizations that support veterans. Are you in the construction industry? Consider organizations that help with homelessness in the communities you serve. Is your company in the energy sector? You could find ways to support sustainability initiatives.
6) Charitable Works Bring Teams Together
When your members of your team work together for a charitable cause, the shared experience helps to build camaraderie as they interact in a place and ways that they don’t at work. As team members see each other in a new light, they may build bonds that last inside and outside the workplace.
7) Charitable Contributions Can Connect Remote and Hybrid Workers
If appropriate, share photos of charitable work experiences with the rest of the company and on social media. Even if people can’t be together, find ways to include everyone. A company-wide virtual 5K walk or run to raise money for a charitable organization can be something that everyone can do the same weekend or within the same two-week window.
We know companies that have a monthly drawing for one employee to select a nonprofit for a company contribution in their name. This works well for local and remote workers. Sometimes, the employee gets to share why they selected the nonprofit, which reveals personal ties and stories that might otherwise not be shared at work.
8) Charitable Initiatives Help to Strengthen Soft Skills
While skill development is not a top reason for employees and companies to sign up for charitable activities, the fact remains that interacting with others while helping those in need can build some of those “soft skills” that are so valuable at work. Adaptability, collaboration, communication, integrity, and respect are all soft skills that are valuable at work and in the community.
9) Yes, You Will Likely Get a Tax Deduction
While there are more than nine benefits of charity work for businesses, the last one we will mention here is a tax deduction. Like individuals, businesses can usually receive tax deductions for sponsoring charities and nonprofits. Check with your tax advisor to ensure that your contributions are eligible and to ensure that you comply with all tax requirements. This benefit will help your bottom line – a bonus benefit in addition to all the other reasons to give back.
We have one quick tip for your charitable works. To help ensure you’re getting involved with a reputable nonprofit, check Charity Navigator for ratings of nearly 200,000 charities on the overall health of their programs. We have no relationship with this organization; we’ve just found this resource helpful as we – and the organizations we’re a part of – make giving decisions.
If you’re looking for other ways to attract, develop, and retain an engaged workforce, download our Competency Management Toolkit to see how a competency-driven approach can help. Or contact us to find out how Avilar’s WebMentor Skills™ competency management systems may support your next steps.
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