Donations are a great way to capture tax breaks, and some companies make it a point to do charitable works in order to have a tax write-off. Sure, taxes are a great reason to focus on charity, but there a plenty of other reasons to give back.
While being charitable to save money may not be intuitive, over time these benefits will all improve your bottom line—in addition to your branding and your company culture.
Sixty-five per cent of Fortune 500 companies offer gift-matching programs, representing serious funding opportunities for the nonprofit sector. Donations of money, skill, and time are all appreciated by nonprofits, and charities often show their thanks by publicly praising generous companies.
Many consumers consider corporate responsibility when making a purchase: 90 per cent would consider switching to your competitors in order to support a cause. Take advantage of your customers’ generous nature, and you could make it to the top of your customers’ favorite brands as well.
There’s a good chance your employees (and potential employees) will notice, too. That’s particularly true for millennials, 53 per cent of whom say having their passions and talents recognized is a great reason to stay at their current company.
Companies that focus their donations on communities close to home can garner added benefits, as Mark Zuckerberg and Facebook discovered. Plans to move its headquarters in the San Francisco Bay Area alarmed California residents, so Facebook made the decision to donate millions to improve local schools and infrastructure to ease tensions. And now, Facebook employees and other residents get to enjoy beautiful, new, company-funded bike paths on their way to work, plus cutting-edge schools for their children.
A lack of employee engagement costs companies hundreds of billions of dollars a year. Perks, like those that resulted from Facebook’s donation to improve its community, can help improve employee happiness, and therefore engagement. And guess what? Workplace giving is the most common component of employee engagement.
Networking: It’s how business is done. The hard part about networking is “running into” the right people with a valid excuse to strike up a conversation. Charity can help with that, too. If you’ve ever been to a charity event, you know that some of the business world’s elite can be found in the chair next to you or at a table across the room.
When choosing a cause, try to focus on those that speak directly to your customers or align with your business values. That’s what Maaco and Mienike did when they hosted the Cars and Stripes event.
Most CEOs would agree that properly training employees is key to a company’s success, but finding the resources to do so can be challenging. Costs include trainee wages, hiring trainers, and covering gaps in the schedule while employees are busy training. Corporate spending on training and employee development can reach $130 billion worldwide.
What if you could write off a big chunk of those training expenses? According to a Deloitte study, that’s exactly what many companies are doing. They’re sending their employees out to practice skills and learn new ones while volunteering at nonprofits. Not only will you save a bundle on hiring trainers, but you’ll also get to write off the hours that employees spend volunteering.
According to a study by UnitedHealth Group, people who volunteer feel better emotionally, physically, and mentally. Doesn’t a happier, healthier, less-stressed workforce sound like a worthwhile goal? CEOs, managers, and other leaders aren’t immune to these effects either, so focusing company resources on charity could benefit everyone, from the top down.
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