The 5 Benefits of Corporate Giving By Carson Leith
We all know that giving back is important. We’ve been taught that donating to charity is the right thing to do, and it’s true – we should be extending help to those in need and using our resources to change lives. But there are also benefits for you as the giver. If you’re part of a company that wants to differentiate itself from the competition at a high level, the results of being socially responsible are tremendous. They go far beyond a warm and fuzzy feeling (although you’ll probably get that too). Here are five of the tangible benefits that philanthropy can lead to for your business
1. Tax relief. The first and most obvious positive outcome of making charitable donations is the resulting tax deduction. If you run a Limited company in the United States and make charitable donations in the name of the business, up to 50 percent of your gross income can be donated and fully deducted from your taxes. Just make sure you record the amount in your profit and loss accounts. Also, if you want to claim tax relief on the amount, make sure that the charity you want to donate to is registered as a non-profit within the US.
2. Attractive hiring points. When looking to hire new staff, you need to convince strong candidates that choosing to work for your company is a no-brainer. You’re probably used to directing their attention to your 401K plan or a competitive salary. But what if you could also direct their attention to your company’s reputation for giving back? Providing details about your company’s charitable giving and involvement with compelling social causes creates a positive view of your business as you go through the recruiting process. Wells Fargo is an exceptional example: in 2012, The Chronicles of Philanthropy recognized WF as the company who gave the most cash to charity throughout the year. Its cash donations alone amounted to 1.3% of its pre-tax profits.
3. Positive media coverage. Have you had enough of those corruption-based news stories? Us too. Create some positive news by giving back to your community. It helps others, lifts the spirits of those who hear about it, and ultimately benefits your organization. Bill Gates is a household name for many reasons, including his lead role within Microsoft and his endless passion for making a difference. The world knows about this work through press releases produced by The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and through coverage in the media. Positive media coverage leads to a stronger brand image in the long run, and helps establish your company as a forward thinking organization within your industry.
4. Viral marketing opportunities on social media. It’s no secret that social media campaigns are an incredibly important part of any marketing strategy these days. However, social media marketing only works when a two-way conversation is created, and charitable giving provides you with opportunities to make this happen. Colgate used Twitter well by coordinating a toothbrush drive to raise money for the Ebola crisis. They also increased their social media buzz by becoming involved in providing health resources for schools. Try posting a short video of your team discussing what it means to give back, or ask your charity partners to give you a shout-out on their social media channels.
5. Stronger partnerships and referrals. Charitable giving helps you meet your corporate social responsibility commitment while creating lasting, mutually beneficial partnerships with charities. Your business can benefit from the additional publicity and referrals that come about through these partnerships. For example, companies who work with Chestnut Tree House, a children’s hospice, are included on their corporate sponsorship page. Involvement in specific fundraising events is recognized through their Facebook page. You can even ask your non-profit partners to spread the word about your product in their networks.