The 'feel good' effects of charitable work are obvious: It's inherently nice to do something which is for someone other than you.
I had lunch with one of my clients last week where we did the usual chit-chat of work, new things in our respective business worlds etc. It was all quite nice and normal. However, our conversation took off when we chatted about what we do outside of work, particularly our charitable involvement.
It's not something I discuss very often. Nobody likes a do-good'er and with an Instagram-driven society, often the motivations to do something charitable can be called into question rather quickly. However, this chat made me realise, it's probably the best thing you could talk about as an individual and an organisation. Not only can it impact the bottom line, as the Forrester study below mentions, but it can lead to:
- A stronger corporate identity (you care about more than making cash)
- A better PR (you have something real & relevant to show to the world)
- A better team-building (working on something immediate and tangible)
- Greater Employee retention (we all want to work for great employers)
- Building a stronger network (as a firm & for your individual employees)
People are genuinely interested in you and given that 1 in 4 people volunteer in the UK at least once per month, chances are that they will have a similar experience to share with you as well.
So, whether it's sitting in a tub of baked beans or plodding round a wet field in a fancy dress, make a big song & a dance about it. Not only will you feel the benefits of it, but it will probably encourage others to take up the challenge as well.
A recent study found that if given the choice between two companies which offered services or products at the same price, 82% would be influenced by whether the company was philanthropic. Other studies have shown that Millennials are 70% more likely to spend more on brands that support causes, so it is certainly worth considering the impact of your business’s relationship with charities.