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How To Add Philanthropy To Your Business And Create A Win-Win

How To Add Philanthropy To Your Business And Create A Win-Win

Consumers are looking more and more to buy from socially responsible and philanthropic businesses. The Cone Cause Evolution study found that “83% of Americans wish more of the products, services and retailers they use would support causes.”

TOMS Shoes is just one example of a business following this model. By giving away a pair of shoes for every pair they’ve sold, TOMS has undoubtedly increased their bottom line, while giving away over 10 million pairs of shoes.

But it’s not only for large businesses with a sophisticated plan for corporate giving. More businesses could (and should) make a greater impact, as well as increase their their bottom line, by integrating philanthropy into their business model. Here’s why and how.

Your business will stand out from competitors

As mentioned above, customers latch on to powerful stories that involve social movements. Incorporating this into your business makes customers feel good about buying from you. Every time they do, they’re helping a cause.

Customers may be more loyal when they know this, too. The Cone Cause study above explains, “Forty-one percent of Americans say they have bought a product because it was associated with a cause or issue in the last year.” Businesses supporting causes clearly have an edge when they incorporate important causes and issues their customers care about.

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Motivation for employees

According to the Cone study, “Employees who are very involved in their company’s cause program are 28 percent more likely to be proud of their company’s values and 36 percent more likely to feel a strong sense of loyalty than those who are not involved.”

If employees feel their work is meaningful and makes a difference, they may work harder. Incorporating a giving program where employees are involved may create a more engaged and motivated workforce, which benefits both charity and your own bottom line.

Save on taxes

Depending on how you incorporate philanthropy into your business, you may be able to take a tax deduction. This is often true if you’re supporting a certified charitable organization.

The Small Business Association lists what you can write off, which includes:

  • Money. Cash contributions to charitable organizations are typically deductible.
  • Donation of goods. You can typically deduct the value of any goods you donate, including products you sell.
  • Volunteering. While you can’t deduct for the value of your time, other expenses can be deducted.

There may be even more tax deduction opportunities, so be sure to check with a tax accountant on what you can deduct.

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More media coverage

Erin Giles, a business owner and proponent of turning your business into a movement, received major media coverage just one year into launching her business. With Entrepreneur.com, Inc.com, Forbes.com, USA Today, and other major publications picking up her story, she was able to both further her business as well as her philanthropic movement, End Sex Trafficking Day.

While you don’t want to do good only to take advantage of press, it’s another nice bonus to giving back.

You’ll feel good

There’s something powerful about helping a cause. To start, if you’ve ever felt good after giving, that’s no surprise. This study from the Harvard Business School found giving to charity can make you happier.

If you read the title and decided to read this article, you likely agree with me that helping the world is an awesome feeling. But why limit it just to our personal lives? Integrating philanthropy into business can make your impact much more powerful and your work more rewarding, too.

How to do more with philanthropy

Once you’ve made the decision to include more philanthropy, you need a plan to do it right to really achieve a win-win.

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Share your story

While giving to charity and talking about it might seem tacky or like you’re bragging, I don’t buy this if you’re truly genuine in wanting to help. By talking about it more, you’ll hopefully garner even greater support.

Communicate to customers and clients clearly what you’re doing and why. Who are you helping?

Don’t use weak language like, “We donate a portion of all revenue to charity.” That’s boring and unlikely to get much support from anyone. Consumers want to know more about the charities you’re supporting, so give them all the details you can. Who are you supporting? How are you supporting them? And most importantly, why are you doing it? Outline all these things clearly in your marketing.

Pick a cause related to your business

Picking your cause is much more powerful if it already relates to what you’re doing. TOMS shoes didn’t decide to give away free t-shirts for a reason. Their business is shoes, so that’s what they give.

Customers likely already have some sort of attachment to the product you sell, and doing something related to that can mean they’ll care more about the cause you’re supporting, too.

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Be genuine in making an impact

While incorporating philanthropy can help your bottom line, that’s not the only objective. Don’t launch a philanthropic campaign for selfish reasons. Customers can sniff out fakes.

Some campaigns we’ve seen by large businesses just aren’t as convincing to me, especially when they exploit “cause marketing” merely to benefit their bottom line.

Maybe their intentions were good, but you still need to be careful it doesn’t come off as a marketing ploy. Go all-out in your efforts to support charity, and everyone will win at the end of the day.

Has your business incorporated philanthropy? If yes, how?

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How To Add Philanthropy To Your Business And Create A Win-Win

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Last Updated on March 29, 2021

5 Types of Horrible Bosses and How to Beat Them All

5 Types of Horrible Bosses and How to Beat Them All

When I left university I took a job immediately, I had been lucky as I had spent a year earning almost nothing as an intern so I was offered a role. On my first day I found that I had not been allocated a desk, there was no one to greet me so I was left for some hours ignored. I happened to snipe about this to another employee at the coffee machine two things happened. The first was that the person I had complained to was my new manager’s wife, and the second was, in his own words, ‘that he would come down on me like a ton of bricks if I crossed him…’

What a great start to a job! I had moved to a new city, and had been at work for less than a morning when I had my first run in with the first style of bad manager. I didn’t stay long enough to find out what Mr Agressive would do next. Bad managers are a major issue. Research from Approved Index shows that more than four in ten employees (42%) state that they have previously quit a job because of a bad manager.

The Dream Type Of Manager

My best manager was a total opposite. A man who had been the head of the UK tax system and was working his retirement running a company I was a very junior and green employee for. I made a stupid mistake, one which cost a lot of time and money and I felt I was going to be sacked without doubt.

I was nervous, beating myself up about what I had done, what would happen. At the end of the day I was called to his office, he had made me wait and I had spent that day talking to other employees, trying to understand where I had gone wrong. It had been a simple mistyped line of code which sent a massive print job out totally wrong. I learn how I should have done it and I fretted.

My boss asked me to step into his office, he asked me to sit down. “Do you know what you did?” I babbled, yes, I had been stupid, I had not double-checked or asked for advice when I was doing something I had not really understood. It was totally my fault. He paused. “Will you do that again?” Of course I told him I would not, I would always double check, ask for help and not try to be so clever when I was not!

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“Okay…”

That was it. I paused and asked, should I clear my desk. He smiled. “You have learnt a valuable lesson, I can be sure that you will never make a mistake like that again. Why would I want to get rid of an employee who knows that?”

I stayed with that company for many years, the way I was treated was a real object lesson in good management. Sadly, far too many poor managers exist out there.

The Complete Catalogue of Bad Managers

The Bully

My first boss fitted into the classic bully class. This is so often the ‘old school’ management by power style. I encountered this style again in the retail sector where one manager felt the only way to get the best from staff was to bawl and yell.

However, like so many bullies you will often find that this can be someone who either knows no better or is under stress and they are themselves running scared of the situation they have found themselves in.

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The Invisible Boss

This can either present itself as management from afar (usually the golf course or ‘important meetings) or just a boss who is too busy being important to deal with their staff.

It can feel refreshing as you will often have almost total freedom with your manager taking little or no interest in your activities, however you will soon find that you also lack the support that a good manager will provide. Without direction you may feel you are doing well just to find that you are not delivering against expectations you were not told about and suddenly it is all your fault.

The Micro Manager

The frustration of having a manager who feels the need to be involved in everything you do. The polar opposite to the Invisible Boss you will feel that there is no trust in your work as they will want to meddle in everything you do.

Dealing with the micro-manager can be difficult. Often their management style comes from their own insecurity. You can try confronting them, tell them that you can do your job however in many cases this will not succeed and can in fact make things worse.

The Over Promoted Boss

The Over promoted boss categorises someone who has no idea. They have found themselves in a management position through service, family or some corporate mystery. They are people who are not only highly unqualified to be managers they will generally be unable to do even your job.

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You can find yourself persistently frustrated by the situation you are in, however it can seem impossible to get out without handing over your resignation.

The Credit Stealer

The credit stealer is the boss who will never publically acknowledge the work you do. You will put in the extra hours working on a project and you know that, in the ‘big meeting’ it will be your credit stealing boss who will take all of the credit!

Again it is demoralising, you see all of the credit for your labour being stolen and this can often lead to good employees looking for new careers.

3 Essential Ways to Work (Cope) with Bad Managers

Whatever type of bad boss you have there are certain things that you can do to ensure that you get the recognition and protection you require to not only remain sane but to also build your career.

1. Keep evidence

Whether it is incidents with the bully or examples of projects you have completed with the credit stealer you will always be well served to keep notes and supporting evidence for projects you are working on.

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Buy your own notebook and ensure that you are always making notes, it becomes a habit and a very useful one as you have a constant reminder as well as somewhere to explore ideas.

Importantly, if you do have to go to HR or stand-up for yourself you will have clear records! Also, don’t always trust that corporate servers or emails will always be available or not tampered with. Keep your own content.

2. Hold regular meetings

Ensure that you make time for regular meetings with your boss. This is especially useful for the over-promoted or the invisible boss to allow you to ‘manage upwards’. Take charge where you can to set your objectives and use these meetings to set clear objectives and document the status of your work.

3. Stand your ground, but be ready to jump…

Remember that you don’t have to put up with poor management. If you have issues you should face them with your boss, maybe they do not know that they are coming across in a bad way.

However, be ready to recognise if the situation is not going to change. If that is the case, keep your head down and get working on polishing your CV! If it isn’t working, there will be something better out there for you!

Good luck!

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