For many people, December brings a renewed focus on generosity. Days like #givingtuesday are a breath of fresh air after the rush of Black Friday and Cyber Monday. As a business leader, you might feel a sense of pressure as you are flooded with end-of-year appeals from charities and nonprofits. Corporate Social Responsibility is a hot topic, and while expected, so is the ROI.
What if, instead of focusing on giving back once a year, you invested in philanthropic strategy as a core piece of your business model?
While we don’t claim to be the last word on generosity, Vers has experienced the rewards of building “giving back” into the bedrock of our culture. Here are a few benefits we’ve found along the way:
1: Keeping & Attracting Talent
When our clients come to us, they are often losing money on marketing that isn’t working and missing out on opportunities to grow. We get down in the trenches with them to develop unique strategies that elevate them to their full potential. We never get tired of it, and we love what we do.
Something magical happens when we focus time and resources on nonprofit organizations who need our help. The team gets a unique and fulfilling opportunity to give back to our communities and is challenged to become more socially aware.
According to Deloitte’s “2017 Volunteerism Survey,”nearly 9 out of 10 (89%) working Americans believe that companies that sponsor volunteer activities offer a better overall working environment than those that do not.
Team members feel good about using their talents to help those in need. When a team feels good about what they are doing, they function better.
2: Creating Connections
People are always watching. Our company has a set of core values, and our clients are looking to see those values in action.
Many of the charities we serve have connections to our clients—and vice versa. Through working with charitable organizations, Vers has the opportunity to create new contacts and maintain those relationships while positively impacting our communities.
3: Building Trust With Customers
A study from Bain & Company, published by HBR, supports that the highest level of value a brand can offer is self-transcendence. People are wired to want to be a part of something bigger than themselves. We’ve seen this in practice with organizations like Toms, Warby Parker, and Etsy. We’ve also seen this bomb when brands try to market their generosity without building sweat equity.
When you establish a culture of giving, you move from borrowing interest in a cause to building trust with your customers. In fact, customers are 85% more likely to buy a product or do business with a company that is associated with a charity they love.
You Can Do It Too
This holiday season, plan to give back to your community through serving nonprofits throughout the coming year—not just in December. Generosity doesn’t mean you have to give everything away for free. It can be equally philanthropic to extend reduced rates or provide extra resources. Decide on a percentage of income that you could earmark to help a nonprofit that aligns with your team’s values. If possible, involve your staff in making the decision about which organizations you’ll help throughout the year.