Here’s why having a formalized corporate giving program spells “OPPORTUNITY”
Ever wondered how to hold onto key employees while at the same time establishing your position in the marketplace?
Launching a strategic Corporate Philanthropy Program (otherwise known as corporate social responsibility or CSR) can help you do both successfully. A focused Corporate Philanthropy Program positions you as an active community partner who makes a positive difference. When backed by strategy, it’s a powerful move to gain customer and employee loyalty while simultaneously building community goodwill.
Does your company’s existing giving program yield the results you want?
If you’re like most businesses, your corporate giving program is unfocused and scattershot. Perhaps it looks like this:
- You budget and donate small amounts to various charitable organizations (either planned or upon request) until the allocated dollars are spent.
- Every few years, your marketing folks rally employees to volunteer at a company-sponsored community event. The media is invited but, if the event isn’t enticing, they won’t show up.
- On a hit-or-miss basis, your marketing coordinator shares pictures on social media of various employees volunteering in various community activities.
This “mile wide and inch deep” giving approach spells Missed Opportunity! Spread thin, your activities and donations lack impact with any of your stakeholders: customers, employees or the community at large.
Ramping up a strategic Corporate Philanthropy Program pays off in the long (and short) run.
At Ayers Public Relations, we’re taking a leadership role in the business world to underscore the importance of strategic CSR Programs. In fact, we believe this is a “need to do” not a “nice to do,” whether your company is large or small.
Throughout your organization, you’re likely seeing Boomers retiring, Gen X-ers moving into leadership roles and Millennials doing much of the heavy lifting day-to-day. All these people approach their work differently but are united in the value they place on serving an organization with a social conscience, especially Millennials and the generation that follows them – Gen Z. The time to act is NOW if you want to hold onto your employees, clients, vendors and supporters.
Here are 3 sound business reasons to create a Corporate Philanthropy Program:
- Attract and retain good employees – Millennials are now the largest generation in the workforce. With today’s low unemployment rate, job seekers can pick and choose where they work. When push comes to shove, they’ll choose the company that exhibits an authentic corporate conscience over one that doesn’t.
- Build customer loyalty – When your company does good works in the community (and raises awareness of those good deeds), it helps to attract and retain customers. Given the lack of loyalty in customers these days, Corporate Philanthropy Programs enable you to build meaningful, long-term relationships with both your customers and prospects.
- Gain goodwill in your community – If an issue or crisis arises, people in the community will believe in your ability to make things right because they’ve seen you in action. They’ll recognize your company as a caring community partner – one that will do whatever necessary to make things right. (And remember, no company is immune to crisis.)
How to start? Let’s build on your team’s passion to give back in a meaningful way.
Supported by a clear strategy, your company can tap into employees’ unrealized enthusiasm around philanthropy AND help you elevate awareness of those good works. Plus, we can often achieve real results within your existing corporate giving parameters by rallying employees, securing in-kind donations and sharing resources with your non-profit partner.
We’ll start by uncovering your company’s special interests. Here are some ideas:
- For personal reasons, is your CEO acutely aware of the need for certain community resources? – A family situation can be a powerful driver to create an effective Corporate Responsibility Program. In fact, CSR Programs need to come from a place of authenticity from inside the organization, or the program won’t work. There has to be real commitment around it.
- Is your tech team excited about supporting STEM programs? – Employees could judge school science fairs or guide teachers to present STEM project-based learning activities. Often, the media is more than happy to show up at these creative, community-oriented events.
- Are your employees, especially Millennials, passionate about making a difference? – Millennials have a community, environmental and global mindset. They may be active volunteers, and you may not know it. Let’s capitalize on that drive to make a difference!
Instead of scattershot, your efforts can be strategic, focused and impactful.
If your existing corporate giving program is all over the place, you’re not making enough of an impact. Your company’s good works are virtually invisible. You’re missing the opportunity to elevate awareness and reap the rewards. Together, let’s identify your focus then create a powerful CSR strategy. We believe you CAN make a difference – and realize solid benefits for your business.
Get guidance NOW.
Schedule your complimentary 30-minute call with Sydney Ayers, APR, Fellow PRSA