Would you like to get involved in donations or corporate giving initiatives but don’t know exactly what they are or how to get started? We often think of donations as activities that are only carried out by certain charities, foundations and NGOs to support and promote a cause. The purpose is to make a social and beneficial impact and improve the reputation of the organisation – why shouldn’t you start doing the same?
You may get cold feet when you discover all the steps to carry out such activities, but don’t worry: we are here to help.
Businesses need to meet the expectations that their stakeholders have of them. And it’s not just about product quality or customer service. These days, customers are more sensitive and informed, and they expect their favourite brands to be socially responsible. This means that they comply with the law and much more. In fact, they need to take action aimed at making a real difference. For example, they could invest part of their profits in social and noble projects, such as projects to fight hunger, scientific research initiatives, educational sponsorship programmes, and so on. In this way, apart from the ethical and moral implications, they can also contribute to making a difference. They can also enhance their reputation as a company and attract those customers who truly value a human and proactive brand.
In addition, donation programmes can consist of cash and in-kind donations, e.g. digital and hardware infrastructure, facilities, etc, and can easily be managed by using the types of CSR software currently on the market.
Why do this?
Cash or in-kind donations to social and charitable organisations can bring many positive and tangible benefits to a company:
Social impact: helping social projects fulfil their mission through donations or proactive participation can increase their impact.
Brand image: Being a noble and committed corporate citizen can enhance your reputation.
Customer loyalty: People love brands that participate in social activities and they are more inclined to buy from them in the future.
Differentiation: At a time when competition is fierce in almost all markets, the reputation of a friendly and caring business can help you stand out from the competition.
A business can benefit and have financial advantages. In fact, most governments promote philanthropy and therefore try to encourage companies to do so. The widely used technique is to create an economic system that is attractive to companies and give them tax exemptions for their donations. This is another benefit of corporate charity.
How can this be done?
Corporate donations can take many forms. The most common form is a corporate donation to a charity through a foundation. It can be either recurring or one-time. But there are also solutions where employees can get involved, which we will discuss in more detail.
There are many names of corporate giving programmes. Each of them has its own characteristics that are fundamental.
Voluntary community service programmes
Some companies want their employees to volunteer in the community. They may get involved in a non-profit organisation. Then the companies give money to these organisations as a reward for the employees’ efforts. This is not only an encouragement but also a way to show commitment to the community.
This applies to individuals, but also to a team of employees. The latest is a great way to do team building!
This is a great way for companies to support their employees’ investment in their communities. When one of them donates money to a charitable organisation, he refers to his company. The company donates the same amount as the employee (or more in some cases). The employee doubles (or more) their donation! This is like companies donating money internally to their employees to give to the community. This is a great way for companies to support causes that employees care about.
Donations managed by the company
Companies can set up automatic payroll deductions from their employees’ salaries. Workers must choose a charity suggested by the company. Then the company takes over the responsibility. This way, it is easier for employees to donate. This kind of corporate philanthropy programme can really help the brand image.
Maximising the impact of corporate giving
To maximise the benefits of corporate philanthropy for the company, the company needs to carefully choose the project to support.
Target audience: If the goal is to attract new customers or retain them to the brand, one of the selection criteria could be related to the buyer persona and the interest of this persona. This creates familiarity and has a significant impact on their minds.
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Location: The idea is also that people see that the company has an impact. It can be advertised through the media, or it can be in the same area where the target group lives. This way it becomes even more real for them.