As a business owner, I understand all the responsibilities that one has when the entrepreneurial bug hits you, and you have the courage to follow your dreams and create a business in the area of your expertise and passion. It can seem like there aren’t enough hours in the day to do all the things it takes to develop and maintain a business.
Your focus is on building and maintaining your client base, marketing, and advertising, and managing day to day operations. In the hustle and bustle of running your business, do you ever think about how you can utilize your business as a tool to make a difference in your community by supporting a non-profit organization?
Non-profit organizations were started to meet a need in the community that the founder, staff, and board are passionate about. However, the vision and mission of a non-profit organization are too large for them to achieve on their own. They need support and resources from the community to not only implement their programs and services but also to provide support for programs and operations. The resources they need are both financial and non-financial, such as volunteers, in-kind donations, and financial contributions. Individuals and organizations in the community must provide those resources to ensure that non-profit organizations are sustainable and can continue to do their work in the community.
There are many ways your business can benefit from supporting non-profit as opposed to supporting the organization as an individual. Let’s take a look at some of them:
1. Increased marketing
Charitable companies are among the most influential in the world. As an example, Apple matches employee donations and has contributed over $78 million to non-profits since 2015. Charitable sponsorship is a tremendous way to do give back to your community while also gaining free publicity.
Donations place your company’s name in the marketplace, especially if you host an event. Just ensure that the charity or event reflects the purpose of the company. For example, if your organization produces sports gear, you might consider partnering or sponsoring local sports tournaments or teams. This will tell your potential and existing customers that you are concerned about your community and your business.
2. Recruiting the best employee
Engaging your company with your community is a terrific way to keep your staff happy and boost morale. Giving your workers time to partake in events, especially during office hours, is super fun for the whole workforce!
Beyond keeping your existing employees happy, it will also lure a higher class of recruits applying for open positions. In a Deloitte 2007 study on volunteerism, 62 percent of 18- to 26-year-olds said: they would like to be employed by a company that offers volunteer work opportunities to its employees. The bottom line for your business is that you’re more likely to attract this kind of prospective employees if you provide this kind of experience.
3. Tax break
This is one of the most instant advantages of corporate donations. While you may not notice instantly how your donation benefits your entire community, you will immediately notice the tax savings.
However, companies should not donate with the sheer expectation of financial gain, except that there are tax rewards for supporting a non-profit in need. Generally, businesses can benefit from tax deductions from sponsored events or charities; it is important to make sure you adhere to the rules and properly conduct the process to meet all tax requirements.
4. Get Customer Support
Giving the community back will help you earn massive traction with your consumers, especially if it’s a fundamental and cherished cause to them. A survey conducted by Cone Communications found that 85 percent of customers have a better perception of the businesses that donate or support the charity they care about.
5. Networking and connections
In the hit television series “Mad Men,” a very successful character once remarked, “Philanthropy is the door to power”. Charitable organizations are often one of the most influential people in the world. Coming into such organizations connects us with these people. For a businessman or entrepreneur, these networks are an invaluable asset. The people in your circus determine what you can do as well as the opportunities you can tap into. The people you meet in these organizations tend to develop mutual respect and mutual trust that are crucial enablers of doing business.
6. It’s good for your community and your business
Charitable donations have many benefits, but the most crucial is clear: you must support your community. Charitable contributions help build your community, and the public will be aware if a corporation is making a real effort to better its environment. Your company’s philanthropic contributions could help improve parks or schools, thus giving kids safe locations to play and learn. If you decide to support a non-profit organization that carries out medical research, you could also aid in curing illnesses. The opportunities are unlimited and extremely useful.
I encourage business owners to consider serving as a corporate partner to a non-profit organization that has a mission you believe in and are willing to support. Support the organization in a way that aligns with your core values and those of your business and with your resources. Although it is my wish that more business owners become corporate partners with good nonprofits but getting your company involved in making a difference in your community is more important.