Some people believe in karma, and some don’t. But the fact is, when it comes to doing good business, philanthropy pays off every time. Many companies use this to their advantage, by supporting causes purely in hopes of securing branding opportunities. However, true philanthropy does far more to help businesses build trust, foster strong relationships, and – if you believe in it – throw some good karma back in their direction.
Building a Good Reputation
The larger a company is, the more communities look to it as an exploiter to grow profits. This is the case with many big corporations and organizations like Exxon, Bank of America, Wal-Mart, and even the federal government.
So, when organizations, and the individuals behind them, give back to the community, it helps reduce the perception that the organization is only there to take what it can get for its own benefit. After all, there is no immediate monetary gain from supporting the local football team or donating money to cancer.
Often, brands launch several efforts to improve the wages, infrastructure, or other problems in the communities where they are located. Not only does this help make life better for the residents, but it also helps make the community a better place to live and work for the company’s executives, and regular employees.
Better infrastructure and higher incomes also provide companies with more customers. This is true even when they must also pay their own workers a little higher. They are, after all, only employing a portion of the community. Other organizations foot the rest of the bill.
Networking has existed at the center of business and success, since time immemorial. And through philanthropic activities, organizations gain the opportunity to network with people they would never have otherwise met. This can also create great opportunities for finding brand ambassadors championing the company. It may also come in handy later on when the company needs a favor.
Boosts Employee Morale
No one wants to work for the bad guy. By working for an organization that gives back to the community, employees begin to feel as if they are a part of a charitable force. This makes them feel better about where they work and boosts their morale and sense of pride.
If you don’t believe this is true, imagine the inverse, where employees work for companies under investigation or under fire for public wrongdoing. The pressure is high, and employees start looking for employment elsewhere, even at the executive level. This is because while working at a company, its actions are viewed as extensions of our own – good or bad.
So, this boost in morale improves employee productivity, reduces turnover, and increases employee loyalty. Employees then become more invested in the organization and become more in sync with its objectives and goals.
Measuring success in business purely in financial terms leaves out many of the aspects that make a company successful. This includes not just the environment in which it operates, but the disposable income of its patrons, the commitment of its employees, the connections it creates, the champions of the brand, and its overall reputation in the community and the world at large.
To achieve all these benefits on the pathway to successful business, there is no better driver than goodwill strategies, and working towards high levels of corporate responsibility.
Elie Hirschfeld is a seasoned real estate developer based in New York.