With the holiday season upon us, we want to bring attention to the important role that generosity plays at this time of the year.
According to the CAF World Giving Index, the United States is second only to Burma when it comes to the world ranking of the most generous people in the world, as measured by acts of charity and social service. With a storied tradition of community spirit, selflessness and volunteerism, Americans of all backgrounds regularly come together to help those in need.
With the holidays right around the corner, it’s important to remember that your business and employees have a prime opportunity to make a real impact in the lives of others outside of normal business operations. According to Charity Navigator, in 2017 businesses across the country accounted for $20.77 billion of philanthropic giving and charitable work.
Such generosity fulfills a moral need to help others, but also plays an important role in the development of a robust corporate responsibility program and in the improvement of a business’ long term financial stability.
Businesses that give back see an increase in employee retention rates, productivity and overall satisfaction. According to a study conducted by the University of Southampton, “[w]hen workers are given a social incentive such as a charitable donation linked to their job, performance increases by an average of 13% and rises to 30% amongst those who are initially the least productive.”
Many businesses have leveraged a charitable match program to unlock the social benefits associated with acts of generosity: as employees give to particular organizations of their choosing, their employer will match all or part of this contribution. It is also common for some employers give employees a few days paid leave to devote to charitable work and community development.
In addition to the important social benefits that come from giving, there also exist some fiscal advantages. In the United States, all corporate contributions to 501(c)(3) organizations are tax deductible (up to 10% of the corporation’s yearly income). As such, Uncle Sam has given businesses a “free pass” to transform their tax liability into philanthropy. Donations give corporations the opportunity to mold their marketing budgets into a tax-deductible expense geared towards improving the communities in which they operate.
The corporate and financial benefits above may pale in comparison to the impact that giving may have on your community. By helping those in need, you are strengthening the role your organization plays locally. Note, too, that your company’s marketing efforts can also get a boost from philanthropy. What’s a better way to tell your brand’s story than partnering with a charitable organization that is already doing good work in a community? Many large charities offer sponsorships for significant events, galas or drives that are coupled with extensive corporate branding opportunities. Be sure to look into them as you consider options for your company to get involved with.
By implementing a strong social responsibility presence within a business, employees are given the opportunity to see their employer through a different light. As we approach the peak of the holiday season, keep in mind all of the ways your company can help make a change that lasts year-round!