Whether you’re an employer or an employee, philanthropy is an important motivator of people. Philanthropy is not about making you feel good by helping others or giving employees the opportunity to volunteer in their local community. It’s a real commitment to bringing benefits to help strengthen communities, whether locally or much more widely, and though for businesses involved in it there are undoubtedly expenses to be incurred there and significant advantages to corporate philanthropy.
Giving Back to Your Community
All businesses have to start somewhere and often fledgling companies get great support from their local community, perhaps in terms of tax breaks and start-up support from their local administration, from the customers who buy into the products and, of course from the employees who devote their time to helping the business become successful.
It’s why corporate philanthropy is how you can give things back to your community, perhaps offering financial support or grants to charitable organizations that can then fund the programs and supplies they offer, or giving employees time to volunteer to give additional manpower to charities or other community-oriented organizations so they can fulfil the obligations they have set themselves.
Setting an Example
Businesses need to have influential leaders prepared to be philanthropic, and a case in point is Pete Briger, Principal and Co-Chairman of the Board of Directors of Fortress Investments. This is a highly successful investment company and Pete Briger puts this into practice as he serves as a board member of Tipping Point that serves low income families in San Francisco as well as serving as a board member for Silicon Valley Leadership Council for the Global Fund for Children.
When your business encourages philanthropy it can have a major effect on employee morale, getting those who volunteer – and have paid time to do that – to work together closely in different environments and contributing to teamwork that will be a benefit to the business.
Consumers are more and more interested in the ethical and philanthropic aspects of the companies they choose to buy from. Marketplace choice is huge, and those organizations that don’t appear to have leaders interested in philanthropy and ethics can suffer as a result. Consumers can be fickle but if they understand that a business has sound policies for helping people and its employees they are more likely to be loyal and appreciative.
Leaders such as these set an example for others to follow suit and, as well as helping to improve character, make a major contribution to making less fortunate lives much better.