How Supporting a Charity is Good for Business

Millennials represent about US$2.45 trillion in spending power, and they have changed the way businesses need to approach sales and marketing. Campaigns that show support for a cause tend to attract the most attention, such as TOMS, a fashion brand that founded its success on donating a pair of shoes to someone in need for each pair purchased. Since 2006, the brand has expanded its lines and its campaigns. The company has been criticised by some, who say that the campaign uses poverty in Ethiopia (as well as other parts of the world) as a marketing tool.

For this reason, choosing your cause and the way in which you support it, should be central to your social responsibility choice. It seems that many consumers are not aware of the lack of quality and manufacturing costs of TOMS shoes (the shoes reportedly cost only US$3.50 – US$5 to manufacture, are sold for about US$52 a pair). A strong marketing campaign that is often extended before and media coverage can ensure that your campaign remains buoyant and keeps your customers focused on the ‘feel good’ lazy activism that millennials seek.

However, there are benefits to your business that do not attract negative press.

Marketing

As we’ve discussed, the marketing around your social responsibility choice is important. If you choose to sponsor a public event, make sure that it aligns with your company philosophy. If you company sells paper, supporting the building of a local park or planting trees might improve your optics, boost morale and promote your business. However, campaigns can backfire. If you choose to align your business with a cause, be certain that your marketing department knows the details and is prepared to face challenges or speak about the company choices.

Staff Morale

Working for a company that is committed to supporting a social cause, especially in the local community, can boost morale. A 2016 Deloitte study on volunteering found that millennials were “twice as likely to rate their corporate culture as very positive” if their company participated in workplace volunteer activities.

Tax

You donations lead to tax savings. In most regions, businesses can usually receive tax deductions from sponsoring charities or events. However, you should know the rules and go about the process in the right way in order to comply with all tax requirements.

Your Community

Your charitable contributions do help your community. From children’s playgrounds to improved access to healthcare services, real people are impacted by the choices you make as a business. Whether you choose to support a local charity or an international cause, the donations you make to make a difference to the organisation that you support.

Despite criticism or negative press, if you research and your business reflects the values of the charitable cause you select, you will make positive contributions to your community, your employees and your business.

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