Giving is good for the soul. It’s also good for business. While charitable acts are contributed without expectation of return, dedicated corporate citizens can benefit well beyond the immediate effect of their generosity. Companies that provide giving programs, support volunteer opportunities, or establish philanthropic goals are often rewarded with improved financial gain.
Corporate social responsibility describes a business’ initiatives to positively impact society. Investing in these efforts can lead to improved business performance, higher employee morale, and development of a stronger economy and community. Let’s take a look at three reasons why giving back means getting ahead.
- Builds a positive public image.
In today’s society, consumers place great importance on social responsibility when making buying decisions and are keenly aware of companies demonstrating a charitable culture. They feel good about supporting a business who gives back a portion of the profits to which they contribute. According to a 2015 study by Cone Communications and Echo Research, among brands with similar price and quality, 90% of consumers are more likely to switch to those associated with a good cause. 1 Businesses that create awareness of their philanthropic efforts will more likely earn the favor, trust, and loyalty of its consumer market.
- Attracts quality employees seeking more than a paycheck.
A company that shows it cares about more than the bottom line is more likely to attract and retain happier, valuable employees who take pride in their workplace. In a 2015 survey by Net Impact, 53% of employees indicated that having a job “where I can make an impact” contributes significantly to their happiness. 72% of students ready to enter the workforce responded the same. 2
As evident, employees seek a workplace with values that match their own. Joining together in philanthropic efforts also allows employees to benefit from team building experiences, creativity, resource management, and improved networking. Such skills will likely be incorporated into their daily work and contribute to increased productivity.
- Broadens perspectives and connections.
Companies with a dedicated connection to the community are better positioned to earn its support. Giving and volunteering allow a business to look beyond its walls and gain a new perspective on issues important to customers and investors. This broadened understanding provides a strategic advantage when evaluating how well its products and services fit community needs.
Charitable engagement also affords a business and its employees the opportunity to expand professional networks and foster strong working relationships with both existing and new clients. As like-minded professionals tend to support those they know and respect, these connections are invaluable to business development and resulting success. Partnering with other businesses and organizations in collaborative pursuits further strengthens corporate leadership within the community.
With an expectation by today’s consumers to do more than generate income, businesses poised for success are those also achieving positive social outcomes.
- “2015 Cone Communications/Ebiquity Global CSR Study PDF.” Cone Communications. N.p., 2015. Web. 12 Aug. 2016.
- Meister, Jeanne. “Corporate Social Responsibility: A Lever For Employee Attraction & Engagement.” Forbes. Forbes Magazine, 7 June 2012. Web. 12 Aug. 2016.
Ginna Holleman is the Chief Executive Officer and Executive Director for United Way of the Greater Clarksville Region, a local nonprofit organization and funder of programs serving educational, health and financial stability initiatives. In this capacity, she plays a leadership role in mobilizing staff, volunteers, donors and community partners to maximize United Way’s mission of effectively identifying critical community needs and aligning resources to address them. Dedicated to improving the lives of those most vulnerable, her involvements span the areas of fundraising, community impact, building community collaborations, spearheading volunteer initiatives and advocating for humanitarian concerns.
Holleman began her career in banking and has worked in both the private and not-for-profit sectors. She graduated from Austin Peay State University with a Bachelors of Business Administration degree and is also a graduate of the School of Bank Marketing and Management. She is currently a member of the Board of Directors of Clarksville Convention and Visitors Bureau, a member of the Clarksville Academy Board of Trustees, an alumni of Leadership Clarksville, an alumni of Leadership CMCSS, Founding Member of the Reagan Giving Circle and a member of The Network, an organization of local leaders dedicated to advancing leadership opportunities for women.