Today, is it enough to just hope that our staff will continue to love working for us, that our customers will always adore our products and services, and that our business partners and suppliers will be loyal to us forever?
Or is it time to take a step back and look at what we can do to engage our people, increase customer loyalty, and be the brand of choice for our partners and suppliers?
And is it time to make a choice to do the right thing in terms of our social good activity?
So what does ‘social good’ mean?
Social good is an action that is taken which has a positive impact on society. There are many ways to have a positive impact on society – it could be donating to a cause, volunteering your time, choosing ‘social’ suppliers or trading ethically.
As a business owner or leader, you are likely to be among those who believe that it’s important for your business to contribute to society.
You may already receive requests for support and you may provide donations, or volunteer your own or staff time to support local causes. You may even sponsor charitable events and support local community groups.
Why is it important to include social good activity in your business?
So why is it important to include social good activity in your business – apart from it being the right thing to do?
Reason 1: Customers are asking for it!
A recent survey of 2,000 UK adults (Greg Sacker Foundation) canvassed public opinion on whether UK businesses are doing enough for not-for-profit organisations.
The results show many UK businesses are missing a trick by not focusing more of their efforts on philanthropic activities.
The findings revealed that donating a small percentage of annual profits to charity (up to 5 per cent) would significantly improve the image of a business to consumers. If consumers knew a UK business gave 5 per cent of its annual profits to charity:
- 43 per cent would have a more positive opinion of the company
- 20 per cent would use the company over its competitors
- 17 per cent would recommend the company to friends/family
The research also found that donating a percentage of profits isn’t the only option for businesses, with 41 per cent of those surveyed believing businesses should be doing more for not-for-profit organisations as a whole.
Offering free services that map back to the business’s specific area of expertise came out on top, with 25 per cent of respondents wanting to see more of this.
“UK businesses are already doing excellent work for the third sector, and the government’s tax relief incentives are certainly a step in the right direction.
However, what these results show is there is public appetite for more, morally and legally, time and time again we see the benefits a thorough social responsibility programme offers businesses.
By simply having a clear strategy around charitable giving, businesses are able to increase brand loyalty, positively shift perceptions, and increase their potential customer pool, all the while helping good causes.” – Greg Sacker
Reason 2: Employee morale / Teamwork
Taking an active interest in their own communities can also lead to a company achieving a huge boost in employee morale.
If a company chooses to make a corporate donation, workplace culture can improve, with increased employee involvement and a positive general attitude.
According to a 2016 Deloitte study on volunteering, millennials were ‘twice as likely to rate their company culture as very positive’ if their company participated in workplace volunteer activities.
Employees respect companies that care for their community – it simply makes employees feel good, and it increases the emotional attachment to their employer.
When applying for a job, a major concern people have – besides the potential salary, flexible working and benefits – is a company’s values and culture.
One way applicants can take a peek into the culture of a company is through the company’s social responsibility or social good activities.
Paul Thatcher, VP of Human Resources at Jive Communications said,
“Over the years, we have found that our employees feel respected and valued when they can contribute in meaningful ways. As we’ve increased our charitable efforts, we’ve not only seen an improvement in our employees’ happiness, but a significant increase in the number of qualified, enthusiastic job candidates.”
As any successful company knows, you can’t succeed without motivated, happy people on your team. A charitable business develops a sense of pride in its employees, which motivates and engages them.
Reason 3: Increase local visibility and reputation
One of the benefits of charitable giving is that a business can increase its local visibility.
A business can not only give financially, but also donate information or training in its area of expertise. This affords it the opportunity of increasing its presence in the community.
While providing visibility for the business in the community, there is also increased networking and marketing opportunities.
In addition, a company’s philanthropic activity will allow its customers to make buying decisions based on how they feel about your company rather than how they feel about a product or service.
Other businesses in the same field or industry can be encouraged to participate in a charitable endeavour and this can, in turn, lead to a collaboration among these businesses to make a difference in the community.
If you would like to find out more about including social good activities in your strategy and get some help for your business, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.