February 8, 2023

5 Ways Company Giving Helps Make a Better World

By Kelly Nelson

If you've been ignoring the national conversation in your company's business plans for 2023, your company may have a problem of disconnection between your customers and staff, and you could be missing out on a major opportunity to give back and delight/attract new customers. But where do you find the time to prioritize helping non-profits as a for-profit business? Learn the reasons why now is the time to jump into the conversation.

1. Businesses that give back provide communities with hope

Today in the United States, we’re facing a challenging time in history. “Poll finds significant portion of U.S. public feel their life is worse today than it was in 2019. Americans are also increasingly pessimistic about the future of the United States. The Pandemic, a faltering economy and an atmosphere of increased domestic tension have impacted the mental health of millions.” (Newsweek).

However there is a silver lining: in response to this, it seems a heightened sense of social responsibility has exploded across the United States. People see that their communities are hurting and they want to help. When Amazon recently announced the end of their 0.5% philanthropic giving program of the customer’s choice, AmazonSmile, customers and nonprofits alike took to social media in the millions to voice their outrage.

“We are making this company (Amazon) rich — we are. At the very least, they can be good corporate citizens to pay it forward in the communities that are patronizing them” stated Ezekiel Taylor Foundation, which provides scholarships to young Black men from Chicago whose lives have been affected by gun violence (Fortune).

Regardless of Amazon’s internal reasons, their customers had been enjoying the feeling of empowerment to do something about the current situation when they made a purchase. Since Amazon provided this benefit, then took that away, it understandably angered customers for disabling a free-to-them method to personally give back to causes they cared about. That sense of connection and giving is very powerful, and other companies ought to take note: customers are going to feel much more emotionally engaged with companies that allow them to give back. In return, companies can expect to see increased customer satisfaction, loyalty, and advocacy.

When you can make it easy on customers to give as a part of shopping with your brand, to the nonprofit of their choice (a very democratic solution), you empower them and provide hope. America needs more of this today than ever.

ralph waldo emerson quote image via wikipedia {{PD-US}}
Ralph Waldo Emerson, American leader of transcendentalist philosophy movement

2. Give to nonprofits when they need it most

Rising homelessness, addiction, crime, you name it - America’s nonprofits are busy helping those in need, which has increased due to the issues noted above. Providing real, monetary contributions to these organizations helps make a measurable difference for people in need. Not only does it show your company is a solid believer in social good, but it helps you give back in ways that change many lives around you for the better.

"Charitable nonprofits embody the best of America. They provide a way for people to work together for the common good, transforming shared beliefs and hopes into action. They give shape to our boldest dreams, highest ideals, and noblest causes." (National Council of Nonprofits)

There are over 1.5 million nonprofits in the United States and they range from helping children get needed materials for school, environmental protection, funding animal shelters, alleviating food insecurity, and countless others. The impact of nonprofits is immeasurable in a capitalist society.

With minimal effort, your company can rise above a profit-only model to provide so much needed support in the programs that are helping people today in real time. Company giving programs improve not only the human element, but the economy as people are aided to get back on their feet and back to being productive members of society.

3. Uplift your staff and boost company morale

Employees overwhelmingly want to make the world a better place, and the best employees view their employment with a sense of purpose. By helping them fund the causes they care about, either through customer-focused giving programs or employee-giving bonuses, you can help them see the impact of their work reflected in the causes most important to them. This can sometimes go well beyond the traditional bonus and work party structure, and helps them feel more at ease with your company’s mission.

Knowing what matters to your staff and customers is essential to the growth of any business. With so much at stake, it's more important than ever to tune into their needs and reciprocate.

Madam C.J. Walker, philanthropist and America's first female self-made millionaire (via Guinness Book of World Records)

4. Boost abundance mindset in your company and beyond

Abundance mindset (or “growth mindset”) is one of the fastest-growing shifts in thinking of the 21st century. Based in social science and modern neuroscience, abundance mindset is rapidly replacing scarcity mindset - or traditional thinking around economics and human welfare.

“Scarcity mentality refers to people seeing life as a finite pie, so that if one person takes a big piece, that leaves less for everyone else. Most people, particularly in the corporate world, have been conditioned to have a scarcity mindset… A scarcity mindset is what keeps many of us from achieving our goals. An abundance mindset refers to the paradigm that there is plenty out there for everybody.” (Forbes)

Rather than fearing shortages and recessions, instead try giving back to show support and improve morale that will inevitably pay you back many times over. By showing your company is changing along with the mindset of the majority of people, you stay in step with the current conversation, lead positive change, and infinitely boost the growth possibilities for your business. "By embracing an abundance mindset, business leaders can become more innovative and growth-oriented in their own worlds" (US Chamber of Commerce Foundation).

Scarcity Mindset:

  • Failure is a limitation
  • I don’t like to be challenged
  • I stick to what I know works
  • I can only do what I know
  • There isn’t enough to go around

Growth Mindset:

  • Failure is an opportunity to grow
  • Challenges help me improve
  • I like to try new things
  • I can learn to do anything I want
  • There is plenty to go around
wayne dyer abundance quote
Wayne Dyer, motivational speaker. Photo by Phil Konstantin

5. Because your company is a force for good.

You didn't start a company because you wanted to go along with what everyone else does, so it's worth drawing outside the lines a little, and getting creative with the traditional business model. You want your company to attract, delight, engage, and re-engage customers again and again - what better way to do this than recognize the social impact you can achieve with very little effort?

Your business gives you an opportunity to improve the lives of your staff, customers, and your connected wider community when you give back to those who support you. And yes, the ROI is positive - about 15% return on the investment from our calculations. You will look good, you will feel good, and you will do good. This is a win-win and then some. Why wait? The world needs you today.

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