(credit SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images)

(credit SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images)


By definition, businesses are driven to make a profit, yielding sustainability and success. It is a given that hiring talented, hard-working individuals and creating a strong marketing presence are vital tools required to boost the corporate bottom line. Giving away money may not, on the surface, seem to be a viable way to establish or sustain success, but the spirit of corporate philanthropy does just that. Here’s how.
 
Corporate Giving
Making money without an established corporate conscience is a lot like eating a steady stream of desserts without ever serving the main course. A higher purpose nourishes businesses by providing a foundation of caring, which is motivating to both employees and customers. Small businesses known to support local charities take on the mantel of stake holder in the community, with an established persona of reliability and trustworthiness that customers like. Large corporations committed to doing good work in the world position themselves as doers, committed to improving our planet and the people on it. Companies known for a strong stand around any issue, be it the establishment of community gardens or the end of child trafficking, are perceived as being the good guys, motivated by making a difference as well as turning a profit.
 
Employee Giving
It stands to reason that company employees will have causes of their own they are passionate about, from the local ballet company to eradicating cancer. Today’s most motivated employees, turned on by their jobs and eager to give their best, feel supported by their employers when they receive a credo of caring from them, as well as a paycheck. Supporting employee giving fosters involvement in the workplace and higher levels of productivity, which typically generates greater profit as well as a powerful, productive work environment. Business can support their employees by establishing matching gift programs which double each contribution made, encouraging grass roots volunteerism and spreading the word about causes important to them.
 
Customer Satisfaction
The ability to generate positive change and have impact is not always easy. Many people are unable to make large contributions on their own, or find time to get involved, even if their hearts are in the right place. When people are given the opportunity to support causes through the businesses they frequent, it helps them feel involved and good about themselves. Smart companies see this as an opportunity to generate income as well as good will. One example of this is sock manufacturer Bombas, which has become synonymous with supporting individuals in need by donating one pair of socks to the homeless for each pair of socks sold. Another is Walgreens, whose Get a Shot. Give a Shot vaccination program generated high levels of customer approval and increased foot traffic in their stores.
 
Become the Change You Wish to See in the World
Successful businesses do not flourish in a bubble. They become profitable by generating good will within the community and selling products or services with integrity that meet needs, forging a mutual relationship not only of finance but of trust. As with all relationships, the business-consumer connection requires care to remain healthy. By increasing philanthropic good works, companies acknowledge the need to thank their customers and give back, generating profit in the long term and most importantly, making the world a better place.

 

Corey Whelan is a freelance writer in New York. Her work can be found at Examiner.com.