Corporate Philanthropy: Caring For Your Community

6:46 AM

Corporate philanthropy is an important part of corporate responsibility because it gives successful businesses and corporations the opportunity to give back to their communities and the customers, employees and other stakeholders who make up that community. Adopting a strong policy of engaging in corporate philanthropy is not only good for the organizations, charities and individuals you are helping, it's also good for your brand. Giving back to the community that supports your business is great public relations and it makes the people around you feel like you're invested in them.

This type of philanthropy can take many forms. Many large corporations are in a financial position that they can make generous donations to nonprofit organizations and other charitable groups. Many schools, homeless shelters, churches and other nonprofits rely on sizeable donations from their largest corporate supporters as part of their budgets. Businesses that engage in corporate philanthropy through monetary donations can make a large corporate gift and organize giving among their employees and customers.

Corporate philanthropy does not always mean money. Some companies are able to provide goods and services in addition to or instead of cash. Computer companies might donate computers or computer equipment to children in need or local job training centers. Food companies and restaurants might donate food to charitable functions or soup kitchens. Gathering toys and clothing at holiday time is a good way for corporations to demonstrate their concern about people in need who might not be able to provide much of a season for their kids.

In addition to providing money, goods and services, an element of corporate philanthropy is time. Time is one of the most precious resources corporate employees have. When a representative of your company shows up to help out as a volunteer, guest speaker or other type of supporter, it goes a long way for both the charity and the company. Relationships between the most successful corporations and the most needy in that corporation's community are important, and often established through acts of philanthropy.

If your company does not make corporate philanthropy a part of its brand, you should seriously consider giving back a little bit more. It really does not cost you that much, and the return you get on your investment is huge. You will help people who need it, give credibility and support to worthy organizations and promote your own business, which gets to be proud of the great work it does for others.

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