By Tilly Kidman

Philanthropy in business, are you aware of it? Do you practice it? If not, maybe it’s time to listen up and expand your thinking behind this new business model because Philanthropy is becoming increasingly important for businesses of all sizes!

So what do we mean when we say “philanthropy?” Well, this can mean anything that gives back, whether it’s getting involved in the community, volunteering, supporting charity or setting up your own fundraisers. Not only does it give back to others, it also gives back to your own business in so many ways! Do you want your company to be viewed as ethical, morally responsible and charitable? Of course you do, why wouldn’t you? It makes perfect business sense, and by presenting yourself as a philanthropic business, this can only be positive.

So who can benefit from philanthropy? Well, it’s simple really – everyone! Whether you’re a start-up or internationally operating super brand, everyone can do SOMETHING. Let’s just take a look at a few examples.

Let’s start with a big player -Nike. Global sports brand Nike are widely known for their positive philanthropic approach to business. Not only do they support various charities to tackle worldwide issues such as global warming they also offer scholarships and programs for youths. This brand aren’t all about the sportswear, there’s much more to this giant than meets the eye and it enables them to position themselves as a brand that cares about more than just sneaker sales.

But it’s not just international businesses that are getting involved in philanthropy. Even start-ups are beginning to see the benefits and are setting up their businesses in a unique way that will not only benefit them but others too. Just take glasses brand Miki Moko, they donate 50% of all frames sold to the Nepal Youth Foundation. Not only does this provide them with a fantastic USP, it also encourages customers to engage with them, and support them. Buy a new pair of glasses and help charity at the same time? It’s a no brainer!

It doesn’t just stop at B2C businesses either, UK based water cooler supplier Cooleraid have donated over 5 million pounds to their own charity, the Lifeline Fund. Through donating a percentage of their profits they have managed to transform the lives of others, and their dedicated customer base always remain loyal. You don’t necessarily have to adopt such a dramatic approach to philanthropy, there are many ways in which your business can ‘do good’. At this point you might be thinking great, but what’s in it for me…?

Customer Loyalty

As touched upon, philanthropy is a fantastic way to improve customer loyalty. If your customer is choosing between two similar brands or services and one helps charity, which would they pick? It gives your company a great boost and presents a positive and honest image to your potential customers. After all, would they prefer to see profits going towards good causes or in the back of the managing director’s pocket?

It Creates a Brand

It can develop your brand and build a great brand identity. It’s also a good talking point! You can share your updates and progress on social media, use it as press release material and that’s just the start!

It Builds a Connection

As humans, most of our decisions are based upon emotions. If you create an emotional tie with a potential customer then you’re halfway there. If your brand resonates in their minds as a positive, charity supporting and caring business then they’re much likely to develop a stronger connection to you.

So, with that in mind, will you be considering a more philanthropic business approach? Whether you start by organising fundraisers or spend your Friday afternoon getting the team to volunteer for a local charity, there is something everyone can do!