Some companies take a ‘here and there’ approach to donating to charities but there can be a much greater benefit to both recipients and the contributing companies if there is a structured and deliberate approach to giving to charity.
Sharing your earnings with a deserving cause has many benefits such as helping people in need, giving people opportunities to better themselves and creating a better community overall.
A ‘here and there’ approach to charity, in which a company gives to charities on an ‘as asked’ basis or on a whim, is good for the charities but it isn’t as effective for companies when compared to a structured approach. Although it seems somewhat incongruous to discuss donating to charity in terms of R.O.I., businesses can maximise the benefits of their donations for both the charity and the business itself.
When formulating a plan on giving to charity, it is important to have a focus. To use 1st Street as an example, our core market is young families so we chose to focus on charities that would give back to this market. Our main focus is on youth sport and education which includes sporting clubs, sports associations and schools. To be able to benefit from your donation by way of referred business, it is important to have a consistent and long-term approach with your chosen charity or charities. 1st Street usually supports a specific charity for at least a year and on several different occasions throughout the year.
By donating to charity you are rewarded with feel-good moments and seeing the results of your efforts, and if your charity program is well structured you’ll see greater benefits for the business too. As donations are considered an expense, there are tax deductions available to reduce your tax liability. Your reputation can grow within specific communities or groups and your services can become ‘front of mind’ for those in that demographic. Often clients also feel better about using a business who gives back to the community so your charity program can enhance your image. By donating to charities you can also make your work-life more interesting by attending different events and meeting all sorts of people. While supporting the Hot Shot tennis program, I met former undisputed heavyweight champion of the world Mike Tyson, and let's face it can’t hurt to have people like him on your side.