Charitable giving is often thought to be a selfless act, but research has shown that supporting good causes actually has benefits to the giver. A study published in the International Journal of Happiness and Development shows that when charitable deeds or goods are gifted, it increases a person’s happiness, especially if the gift creates a social connection.
For businesses, charitable contributions are often made as a way to reduce their annual tax burden. By choosing a cause that’s either relevant or important to the business’s head office, businesses can show a greater percentage of expenditures to income, effectively decreasing the amount of money they owe taxes on each year. But this isn’t the most important reason businesses often participate in charitable giving.
When a business choose a cause that’s local in nature, any contribution is seen as support for the community as a whole. A company whose product appeals to children can put its full support behind youth-oriented charities like a childhood cancer research hospital or an after-school program for disadvantaged youth.
Some businesses choose to donate their own products, services, or team members to local charities on a regular basis. Staff may volunteer to man booths at a local 5K run or mentor children each year. This creates a presence at local events, while also providing a great networking opportunity for the business itself. When organizations donate products for giveaways at charity dinners or other events, for instance, those organizations benefit by having their name associated with the donation. It’s great for building and aligning a brand.
Whose Turf Is It Anyway?
Often, businesses find themselves in a position to respond to a major news story with a donation. Such was the case in Arizona recently, when a consumer complained to a local TV station about her malfunctioning artificial turf. Two local turf companies stepped forward to replace the turf for free. A story that started as bad publicity for one company turned into excellent publicity for the two competitors who were willing to fix the first company’s error.
Natural disasters also provide a great opportunity for businesses to give back. This is especially true when the disaster is within that business’s own city. Tornadoes, floods, hurricanes, and even massive power outages can bring a great opportunity to help out families in need while also emphasizing a business’s support of the community. Supporting a cause that impacts a team member personally can also be a great way to build team morale.
In addition to getting great publicity and networking in the community, businesses that involve the entire staff find that charitable giving is a great morale booster. If a company hasn’t already chosen a charity, polling staff members can be a great way to get ideas on which community programs to support. An employee may have a family member suffering from a particular disease and want to run a marathon. Throwing your organization’s full support behind that employee will likely bolster morale for the entire team. Since high morale has been linked to increased productivity , companies often benefit as a result.