We have previously talked about the importance of core values and how you can create values for your organization. Today, we discuss why philanthropy should be a part of your core values, and how you can incorporate charity and social service in your business.
Why Businesses Should Actively Pursue Philanthropy
It’s not rare for business leaders to think of philanthropy as extra effort, or something that they never find time to engage in. The modern market, however, is now encouraging companies to look at philanthropy and corporate volunteering as an integral part of doing business.
This is known as ‘social responsibility’, and it helps to create a new identity for your business giving your customers and employees an additional reason to engage with you. Both these groups are increasingly looking to work or buy from businesses that give back to the community.
Philanthropy As A Core Value
Corporate giving, or any kind of giving for that matter, starts with ideas, not money. And just like developing other corporate values, you need to answer questions like:
- What issues will we address?
- Why this issue?
- What form of philanthropy should we consider?
- What do we want to accomplish?
- What are the long-term goals?
Most importantly, you need to think about how a philanthropic initiative aligns with your existing company values.
You can also consider learning about and implementing the triple bottom line approach, where businesses try to achieve greater value by considering the social and environmental aspects along with the financial one.
Create a Solid Business Model
Before you can venture into corporate philanthropy, you first need to have a solid enterprise. Here we are not just talking about profits, but organizational stability. The solid your enterprise, the easier it becomes to incorporate philanthropy into your business. You need to ensure that your business succeeds as a standalone venture. Many times, business owners become so preoccupied with the philanthropy aspect that they end up neglecting the financial one.
Setting a Philanthropy Target
There is more than one way you can engage in giving, and thus it is essential to find a model that blends with your company mission, vision, and values. Along with or instead of giving away money, you can consider donating products and services, especially volunteering based on your unique skills. This is ideal for companies that are just starting out. They can volunteer their time and skills until they start making a profit, after which they can start giving off a percentage.
How much to give differs from business to business. Many companies give an average of 1% or 2% of the gross profit.
At Hartman, one of our values is to ‘honor God’ by ‘operating the company in a manner consistent with biblical principles’. We incorporate this value in our workforce by doing activities like company sponsored bible studies, chaplain service, discipleship, and prayer. In addition, we give 10% of our profits to churches and other faith-based organizations.