Generosity and business have been linked together for millennia. Traditionally, philanthropic donations come from wealthy individuals and successful businesses after particularly bountiful seasons.
In other words, the more a business can "get" or the more successful they are, means the more they can "give" through generous endowments, donations and grants to the community.
However, today in the era of social media, online research and mobile apps, companies are increasingly reversing this relationship to "give" in order to gain.
As markets and marketing shifts in an online age, and as consumers have more information at their finger tips, and demand greater transparency than ever before about the brands and products they buy, smart business owners are focusing much of their marketing on “giving" to gain and retain customers.
Examples include restaurants hosting free meals for the homeless, or providing a "pay it forward" model for repeat customers. Some companies intentionally source products and services from ethical suppliers and promote them through their social media. Other companies grant staff volunteer hours in the community, and/ or host community events, benefiting from the positive social media and awareness buzz these all create.
In an article titled ‘Charitable Companies:5 Benefits of Corporate Giving’ by Ben Gran, more ways that companies can benefit from being generous are explored. He lists tax deductions for donations and sponsorship, retaining quality staff who enjoy working for a company connected to the community, positive publicity and even free publicity as the story spreads, stronger customer support.
Increasingly successful corporate leaders understand that waiting for a bumper season to consider being generous is not good business practice. Generosity is now linked to boosting positive PR of the company, boosting internal morale of staff and gaining and retaining new clients.
No matter what types of business you have, small or big, being able to give generously to communities for charitable causes is tied closely to business success.