Why “giving back” to the community returns the favor (and then some!) in terms of your bottom line

September 26, 2014 | Roger and Susie Engelau

Corporate giving has become almost a staple in the 21st century. An increasingly generous population of business owners see it as the right thing to do and fortunately for all of us, it’ll also make you and your company more money.

 

It used to be that providing really great goods and service was enough to make you profitable but today there’s an emotional connection that your company needs to make with customers, prospects, and the community in order to stay profitable.

 

Community involvement has become more and more of an essential business strategy for companies of all sizes, including small business.

 

Just how does giving to the community make your company more in profits?  Today’s customers are community-minded and they’ll go out of their way to “vote with their feet,” i.e. give their business to like-minded companies. In 2007 80% of people considered a company’s social issues compared with 60% in 2004. Your employees are the same—they’ll work harder, stay with you longer, and refer more business to you if they believe the company is supporting the community.

 

Need evidence and examples? That’s easy…

 

1. Improved Staff Morale, Recruitment, Performance, and Retention

Prospective employees today seek out companies with volunteering opportunities. In fact, a Net Impact/Rutgers University survey uncovered that:

 

  • Workers who are able to make a social or environmental impact while on the job are more satisfied with their jobs by a 2:1 ratio

 

  • 45% of employees who have volunteered with their company or co-workers report that they are very satisfied with their jobs, compared to 30% who haven’t.

 

  • 65% of students entering the job market today expect to make a social and environmental impact through their work and 44% indicated they would be willing to take a pay cut to do so.

 

Business 4 Better reported that the higher an employee rates their organization’s corporate citizenship, the more committed they are to the organization.

 

Employees’ view of a company’s corporate citizenship affects team member morale, spirit, and pride, trust in their employer, and a willingness to recommend their employer as a good place to work…that from aGolin Harris study.

 

Barclays found a correlation between employee participation in community involvement and job performance.

 

Several companies, including Manulife Financial and KPMG cite statistically significant correlations between employee community engagement participation and employee retention.

 

Profitability

According to Do Well Do Good, 56% of Americans will travel an extra 10 minutes out of their way to purchase a product that supports a cause they care about and that 71% are willing to pay at least $2.28 more for a $10 product.

 

Involvement with organization with shared values and beliefs directly or indirectly results in customer referrals by those who are impressed with your support for a community initiative

 

Harvard Business School research found that companies with more corporate social responsibility practices significantly outperform their competitors over the long-term.

 

Increasingly socially and ethically conscious investors are more inclined to invest in businesses that demonstrate community responsibility.

 

PRN Newswire reported that 59% of Americans are more likely to buy a product associated with a corporate-nonprofit partnership.

 

Underwriters Laboratories found that participation in signature volunteering generated a 56% business Return on Investment.

 

As you can see, when your business becomes involved with the community, you can realize some very tangible benefits and not just a “feel good” return on the investment.

 

Check back here next week for how to link your company to the causes that are “right” for your business and give “strategically.”

 

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