November 8 2021
More and more enterprises acknowledge their responsibility to share their profits with the society in which they work and grow. It is not just a matter of “good consciousness”, but rather a step that is quite logical and well based in human everyday experience: Sooner or later you will need another one’s support and help, so it is just fair to be ready to support and help others. It is part of that “give and take” approach that is a key to success in private and business life.
So, how to do it with diligence and realistic expectations?
1. Define long-term goals: What impact do you want to make with your contribution? The clearer the goals are, the easier it will be to define a coherent strategy.
2. Assess your assets: Can you give money or are there other resources you could share like employees’ work hours, real estate properties, vehicles, or immaterial goods like copyrights for photos, videos, or other creative works?
3. Define the beneficiaries: Who shall take profit from your giving? Set up a list of people, groups, institutions or causes that you want to help, based on your goals and assets. You might want to make a certain focus, like region, age group or the kind of institutions you want to support.
4. Define the key relationship your brand or organization has with potential beneficiaries: There should be a clear and convincing link. As an example, a publishing house might support a small project helping fight functional illiteracy in the same city rather than a whale-saving project in Iceland. The opposite might apply to a travel agency. It all depends on a credible story that connects donor and beneficiary.
5. Define who you want to tell your story: There’s nothing bad with sharing your plans and experiences in social giving – as long as you carefully consider who might actually be interested in learning about it and who not. Don’t spread the news indifferently but select a few media outlets that might really care and understand your activity. And don’t forget the employer branding effect of your commitment.
6. Connect beyond money: Enter a true partnership with who you support. Learn more about them, and let your team really engage here on an emotional level. The deeper the relationship is, the more impact it will have on your own company.
7. Be faithful: If you really want to make an impact, stick with the strategy and the supported partner/group/institution at least for a few years. This will teach you more and, in the end, have more positive impact than changing direction every year.