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American businesses gave nearly $21.09 billion to charitable organizations in 2019, notes the National Philanthropic Trust (https://bit.ly/3nK317E); that’s a 13.4 percent increase from 2018. However, businesses still have a way to go to come even close to what the typical American gives each year.
Many financial experts suggest larger corporations could give more than 1 percent to worthy charities, and some are stepping up to the plate. But for smaller B2C home service companies, it makes more sense to look closer to home when donating to a charity.
Think about your community and investigate nonprofits that might align with your corporate philosophy, but will also help your neighbors. If your business is pet-friendly, donate money, and possibly staff time, to a local humane society or rescue organization needing assistance. Other worthy nonprofits to support are veterans’ groups, food banks and cancer support organizations.
Working with a designated nonprofit partner can foster goodwill in your community — with consumers and with your employees.
Once you have chosen the charity or charities, let the community, your employees, your neighbors and your customer base (and potential customer base) know what you are doing and why. Here are some reasons it’s good business to raise awareness about your charitable giving:
• Help your chosen charity get more attention. By letting your business’ supporters know you have decided to partner with a charity, you are helping the charity not only by giving to their cause, but also by letting people know about its mission, possibly influencing others to donate as well.
• Show your community that your organization cares. This is not about glorifying your business; this is about drawing attention to a good cause. Tell the story of how your business decided to donate to the charity you chose. Post on all your social media channels and your website, and send the story to your local news stations. They are always looking for a feel-good story, and you’ll help the charity by giving them publicity.
• Use charitable giving to help with recruitment efforts. Potential employees are looking for employers who care about causes they care about. A great place to feature your charitable giving is on the careers page of your website with a link to a “giving” page. Potential employees will be able to see what your company believes in and how you give back.
• You can attract like-minded customers. By featuring your company’s charitable giving on your website, social media and through press releases, B2B and B2C customers who possess an affinity for the charity you support will be more likely to endorse your business. And they might be more likely to make a purchase or use your services.
Showing that your business cares about the community is important to 80 percent of employees who responded to a 2018 Porter Novelli purpose survey (https://bit.ly/3dpC18T). The study also reveals that 78 percent of Americans believe companies must do more than just make money; they must positively impact society as well. And a 2019 study reveals that when employees feel deeply connected to their company’s giving and volunteering efforts, turnover drops by 57 percent.
Letting the world know about your causes isn’t just about gaining publicity for your company; it’s a way to help the nonprofits you believe in by publicizing their causes. Many smaller organizations do not have their own PR agencies, so by promoting them, you are giving more than just a donation. And, if other service businesses are inspired to support charities, that’s even better.