5 ways to make a business case for corporate philanthropy

Published · 2 min read

Doing good in the community often translates to doing well as a business.  If you’re ready to test out this theory in your own business, consider the following metrics from top companies your C suite can relate to, even if your C suite is just you –

  • 36 Percent of US employees found that volunteering improved their work skills. (Deloitte)
  • 89 Percent of US employees believe that companies who sponsor volunteer activities offer a better overall working environment than those who do not. (Deloitte)
  • Ameer and Othman found that companies in certain activity sectors which place emphasis on sustainability practices have higher financial performance measured by return on assets, profit before taxation, and cash flows compared to those without such commitments. (Source)

Still need convincing? Here are some reasons why a corporate volunteer program is a great idea for any size business. Use them as discussion points to get started.

1.    An opportunity to engage with the community

Corporate volunteer programs are a great opportunity for your company to become more engaged and keep a better pulse into your local community.  You can be more agile as a business when you know your community and their needs. Engaging with your customers in the nonprofit sector in a volunteer environment – and outside of normal business roles – may help you better understand their needs and how you can help them reach their goals.

2.    Start Small

You don’t have to partner with every nonprofit in your community.  Start by identifying one key nonprofit that aligns with your company’s core values.  One strong partnership through which you can donate volunteer time, business expertise, and financial resources is much more valuable than five superficial partnerships.

3.    Formalize your Program

A corporate volunteer program formalizes an activity that may already be taking place within your business.  By formalizing corporate volunteering, you create opportunities to recognize the work of your colleagues while promoting your business. A sea of your company logo branded on volunteer shirts in the community and through your social channels creates an image and impact that words often can’t convey.

4.    Build Morale and Team Cohesiveness

Involving your colleagues in volunteer events helps to build both morale and team cohesiveness. When “the boss” is hammering, or tutoring next to you, lines of communication are opened that may have otherwise been difficult to overcome.

5.    Increase Your Impact

Companies are often already supporting their local community with dollars.  By sending volunteers out to support these causes you can increase your impact. Your company can develop a relationship with a nonprofit and become a voice for them within the business community – dollars can’t do that!

There is a clear business case for corporate philanthropy and volunteer programs. A well-executed program will not only increase employee engagement but help your business develop new relationships with community partners. This can be the driver that helps you retain and hire top talent at your company.

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