Philanthropy and your bottom line

5 reasons you should establish a corporate philanthropy program.

Corporate philanthropy is the widespread business practice of donating money, goods, and services to charitable causes. Philanthropy on the part of major companies, at least, has come to be expected as part of a company's social obligations, yet corporate giving is a relatively recent phenomenon of the 20th century. It began to spread after World War II, showing especially striking growth between 1975 and 1985. Corporate giving in that time rose from just under $1 billion to $5 billion, peaking at $6 billion in 1990.

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. The benefits of corporate philanthropy include:

  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.
  3. Positive media coverage. 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. 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. 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. You can even ask your non-profit partners to spread the word about your product in their networks.