Explore four ways that giving back can benefit you, your business and your staff.
Did you know that 82% of all U.S. consumers consider corporate social responsibility when deciding what products or services they buy?
This staggering statistic suggests that, as an entrepreneur, you can’t afford not to make giving back one of your key goals. Not only can it lift your bottom line, it can lift the spirits of your employees and elevate your brand. Here are four ways giving back can benefit you, your business and your staff.
Businesses like Toms Shoes have giving back built in. For every pair of shoes bought, they donate a pair to a child in need. This do-good philosophy has propelled them to be a multimillion-dollar company with undeniable brand recognition and incredible loyalty among their 90-person staff. Allowing and encouraging employees to pursue their own charitable or community passions can generate fierce loyalty, too. Employees who feel the business they work for supports their passions or values are more willing to go the extra mile, might work the extra hour and take the time to make sure your business is running smoothly
Increase your revenue
Women drive 70% to 80% of all consumer purchasing – and are much more likely to buy from socially responsible companies. By 2020, millennials will have a collective spending power of more than $1.4 trillion and are willing to pay more for a socially responsible product (women millennials even more so). With two of the biggest market segments buying from companies who do good, investing in charitable causes is a smart way to help your company do well.
Boost your reputation
Distinguishing your business from your competitors by giving back can also boost your all-important word of mouth and social media presence. While you are giving back, you build trust and goodwill among people in your local community, as well as potential new customers. Someone who has had a positive interaction with you or your business at a community or charitable event is more likely to recommend you or your services to family and friends.
Lower your taxes
Giving back can have added tax benefits as well. If you are organized as an S-corporation, you can deduct charitable donations on your income tax returns. And your charitable contributions don’t just need to be monetary – they can be in the form of equipment or other types of donations. Check with your tax professional to be sure the organization you are giving to is a registered nonprofit that has official recognition from the IRS.
As you think about increasing your philanthropic endeavors, here are some steps you can take:
- Ask your employees about their charitable passions. Allot a certain number of paid hours they can use to volunteer at their favorite organization.
- Talk to your financial advisor about creating a strategic giving plan, personally and professionally.
- Showcase your company’s community spirit on dedicated social media pages. Get snapshots and short videos while you or employees are on-site at a charitable organization and talk about what you are doing and why. Invite customers to participate, too.
Raymond James does not provide tax or legal services. Please discuss these matters with the appropriate professional.
Sources: Entrepreneur; Cone Communications; Bloomberg; The Motley Fool; Marketing Charts; Entrepreneur; IgniteSpot; Raymond James, Inc., The Balance