We all make New Year’s resolutions for ourselves, but what about our businesses?
With the start of a New Year comes the opportunity to rethink and refresh your business. The beginning of a new year also means an increased and renewed focus on giving and paying it forward to help society. Maybe you’ve been considering ways you can give back through your organization, or you’re looking for something you can do beyond writing a check at the end of the year. Or, perhaps you are looking for a way to bring your passions into your business through a charity partnership. We’d like to think that our generosity stems from an altruistic place, and hopefully it does, but in truth, charitable giving is also just plain good business.
In this post we’ll explore different ways you can incorporate charitable giving into your business model to align with your passions and interests, and help your bottom line.
[Did you know... Greetly visitor check-in app offers a 30% discount off any plan to registered non-profits.
Happier employees through volunteering
Choosing to align your business with a charity or a nonprofit organization gives you the opportunity to support your community, as well as your employees. And it’s worth noting that if you don’t find yourself in a situation where your company can donate dollars, it can make perfect sense (see what we did there!?) to donate your time.
Through many nonprofit organizations you can bring a team of volunteers out for a day out of the office where they’ll have an opportunity to interact with one another in a non-work setting, build new leaderships skills, and work with new people. Not only can you give them the opportunity to choose where the team will spend their time, but you can give them a few extra days out of the office to volunteer and feel a huge sense of accomplishment and pride in their work. In 2016, Deloitte’s Impact Survey findings revealed “that millennials who frequently participate in workplace volunteer activities are more likely to be proud, loyal and satisfied employees, as compared to those who rarely or never volunteer.” This means that while you’re of course helping the organization, you’re also helping your team to feel happier about where they work.
Improved brand perception
People like supporting companies that support charities.
Knowing that consumers are looking to support brands that support good causes, what’s stopping you?
While it’s of course necessary to speak with your accountant, there can be many tax benefits to donations through your business. In order to qualify for a tax credit, there are some basics that must be met. This includes donating to an eligible charity, making an eligible donation, keeping track of all records and paperwork, among other requirements. You can read up on this aspect in more details on IRS.gov and SBA.gov, in addition to consulting with your finance and accounting team. While this hopefully isn’t your sole reason for donating, it certainly doesn’t hurt!
Approaches to giving
We’ve touched on giving through volunteering, as well as cash donations, but consumers also love feeling like their purchase is directly supporting a good cause. Once you’ve identified an organization you want to support, there are a number of unique ways you can donate, and engage your consumers in the process.
Unique Packaging: Consider creating a unique package that has a strong call to action for the shopper, connecting their purchase directly to your chosen cause. A great example of this is (RED) with the many organizations that have partnered with them.
Custom SKU: Depending on the product or service you offer, consider a custom offering where proceeds go directly back to charity. This could apply to any special item or promotional offering. This could also help you run through overstock of certain items, or test out a new product you’ve been considering. Don't forget to have some fun with it!
Percentage Back to Charity: Provide a simple, clear message that goes across all your marketing materials that communicates the donation. This can be as simple as “10% of all profits are donated to _____” or “$1 from each sale directly supports ____.”
One For One:This could even been called theTom’smodel, where for every one of your products sold, another (sometimes similar) item will be donated to a specific cause. In the case of Tom’s, for every pair of shoes or glasses sold, they’re donating a pair to a child in need. If you have a product that could support those in need, Tom's has paved the way for this approach, and it's certainly worth considering.
So, as we kick off the New Year and you’re looking at ways to support different causes, think about what matters most to you and your employees, analyze the best way you can support the cause, and then find a unique way to get your customers and fans involved.
Tell us, what have you seen other companies do to give back, and has it influenced your purchase?
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