5 Ways to Make Philanthropy Part of Your Company Culture

Have you heard of corporate philanthropy? This practice can improve your company’s brand awareness and reputation, attract top talent, and even increase employee engagement. Creating charitable partnerships within the community benefits your business’s bottom line and enhances the company culture at the same time.

To better understand what corporate philanthropy is and how to incorporate it into your business, the first step is to assimilate what philanthropy means. The word, of Greek origin, means deep love for humanity.  Corporate philanthropy can be understood as the participation of companies in causes aimed at the well-being of the community.

Here are five ways to make philanthropy part of your business:

Time can be better than money:

If it is difficult to allocate a significant amount of money for charitable donations, consider donating part of your free time instead. Even companies who can’t afford to make cash donations can find ways to get their organization personally involved. 

Forecast donations in your budget:

Becoming a committed philanthropist means setting a budget where you can predict not only expenses and investments, but also the amount of money that can be donated periodically.  Determine how much can be earmarked for charitable causes every month without imposing on operations. Remember, if your financial situation becomes tight, you can always suspend philanthropy until the problem is resolved.

Invest in real change:

With the means and willingness to help, successful entrepreneurs like Thomas Kane and others make it a point to prioritize philanthropy. Thomas Kane enjoys getting to connect with new people and is involved in a number of local charities including the Chicago chapter of Friends of the Israel Defense Forces (FIDF).  

If you’re not sure how to get started, choosing a cause that directly relates to your personal beliefs is a good first step. For example, consider donating to religious organizations, orphanages or environmental preservation NGOs.  Further, scientific research, educational institutions and cultural initiatives often need financial assistance and can have a significant social impact on the world.

Choose reputable institutions:

Before choosing the institution you want to get involved with, it is best to do some research. Visit the organization’s website to verify the authenticity and history of their work. It’s also not uncommon for a potential donor to ask to see the charity’s activity report, financial statements and bylaws. 

Prepare for eventual donations:

Throughout the year, be sure to pinpoint charities’ campaigns for donations of food, clothing, books or money. If you want to participate in them, make sure to budget for these donations at the start of your company’s fiscal year.  The bottom line is, charitable giving is good business and you won’t be able to understand it unless and until you do it yourself.