Corporate Responsibility: Doing Business through Doing Good
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Corporate philanthropy directly impacts community-led organizations in meaningful ways, creating a ripple effect on giving and volunteerism locally. The events of 9/11 prompted a dramatic, lasting shift in the worldview of Americans - it broke our collective heart - a tragedy instilling empathy and compassion across the nation like never before.
The terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, inspired Americans to step up and help their neighbors like never before,donating billions of dollars to families who lost loved ones. According to the Chronicle of Philanthropy, Americans contributed a record-breaking $2.8 billion to help the victims of the worst terrorist attack on U.S. soil. This Washington-based news agency tracks institutional charities like the American Red Cross.
~ New York (CNNMoney)
Stewardship has grown in epic proportions during the decades since, in no small part due to the inherent benefits on many levels. Post 9/11, clients and customers prioritized doing business with companies - large and small - who gave back to their communities. This prevailing attitude prompted a seismic change in the definition of corporate responsibility and their respective roles in the marketplace, sending stakeholders to the table to hone their mission and vision statements and redirect their investments.
“Doing business through doing good” became the mantra of visionary organizations, redefining the role of the C-suite as leadership took on a new aspect. The significant benefit of engaging in corporate philanthropy is the commitment to giving back to the company's community.
Philanthropy initiatives reinforce and enhance a company's public reputation, promoting intentional goodwill, propelling growth and revenues. Committing to corporate giving supports the community, employees, and individuals who work hard to improve society each day. Customer engagement and recruiting/retention efforts increase.
Despite uncertain economic conditions and a raging pandemic, philanthropic programs continue to grow in popularity. The impetus behind this movement is multi-dimensional, from the apparent to the illusory:
· Giving back to local communities is a good thing; improving society and enlisting employees is intrinsically rewarding.
· Supporting relevant social causes and investing in underserved communities is personally fulfilling and drives employee unity.
· Enhancing the brand's reputation within the community leads to increased engagement and profitability
· Generating brand loyalty within the community for their products and services, reinforcing respect
· Bonding with local communities increases engagement of employees and stakeholders, positively affecting culture and morale
· Recruiting and retention improve as millennials and Gen Zers assume a more significant percentage of the workforce. When seeking employment, their influence on workplace culture places a high priority on civic and social issues.
Corporate giving initiatives unite people from all levels of the organization – from the C-suite to the mailroom – as they work together toward a common goal. The domino effect of this teamwork extends far beyond the program itself, increasing productivity and positively influencing other aspects of their work.
Corporate philanthropy increases employee engagement levels. Companies who have higher levels of engagement from their workforce enjoy higher productivity than employees who are just going through the motions to earn a paycheck. The difference between these two outcomes is a productivity increase of more than 200%. ~ Benevity
Corporate philanthropy is rising, shifting from general giving to a keener focus on cause-based initiatives. Stakeholders are opting for a more holistic and tailored approach in closer alignment with their strategic interests, values, and visions.