Philanthropy is a critical part of the fabric and culture of your business. But in order to practice it the right way, you must be intentional and ensure your personal core values align with the charitable efforts you make.
For instance, my wife and I strongly believe in helping those in need. We focus many of our efforts on helping at-risk inner-city children find ways out of poverty. Beyond that, we started the David & Teresa Disiere Foundation to further charitable activities across Texas and the nation by collecting donations and scholarships for educational institutions, building relief funds for those affected by national disasters, and offering financial assistance to children growing up in at-risk families.
Because charity matters so much to me personally, I encourage all of my employees to be involved with philanthropy, too. As a result, I have found that good works can draw just the right candidates when the time comes to hire.
Aligning Philanthropical Efforts.
When it comes to business, philanthropy must align with your company culture. While charity donations can encourage greater customer loyalty and increase sales, they can also be seen as a marketing gimmick if a company is not careful.
The “2017 Cone Communications CSR Study” found that 87% of people purchase a product because the company selling it supports a cause they care about. Seventy-six percent refuse to buy from a company that supports an issue in conflict with their beliefs.
The key is to ensure your work for social good stays true to the heart of what you believe and what your company is built on. Create a mission statement that showcases your core values and how you treat your employees and customers. This will let your employees, future hires, and customers know where you stand and how what you do in business drives what you do to help the community at large.
Attracting the Right Candidates to Your Organization.
Choosing your philanthropic efforts wisely can attract the right candidates and customers to your business. In fact, a recent “Best Workplaces for Giving Back” list shows that employees who have a positive experience working to give back to the community are four times more likely to work harder on the job. They also have more pride in the company and a stronger desire to stay on as employees for longer.
Some top companies are creating a C-suite role tied to employee hiring and retention specifically. This chief people officer increasingly looks to focus on philanthropy and helping the community and world at large.
Look for gaps and opportunities in your human resources and leadership roles. If you identify a need, find someone to focus on your charitable goals, and encourage everyone in the company to get involved to help you meet them.
How to Merge Philanthropy and Human Resources.
Follow these three steps to merge your charitable giving initiatives with human resources, hiring, and promotion efforts:
1. Know which charities your employees are passionate about.
When your company creates and implements an organizationwide plan to donate to or volunteer for charity, it is imperative that your employees have a passion for what they are taking part in. Poll your staff to find out what high-level focus and individual charities they would most like to support, and then choose one that aligns with your mission and objectives.
2. Never force giving; encourage it.
Encourage your employees to volunteer or participate in fundraising, but do not pressure them or require them to sign up. Certainly never threaten their position if they are not passionate about getting involved. You want your employees to feel motivated to take part, never forced.
3. Hire based on values.
Finally, when you create a company culture that incorporates philanthropy, you attract employees who share your values. This is especially true when recruiting Millennials — the 2011 “Deloitte Volunteer IMPACT Survey” found that 70% of this demographic strongly favors companies that are committed to helping the community. Millennials are also more likely to work for a company that aligns with their own values.
However, this demographic also questions whether businesses behave ethically and feel disenchanted with companies that appear to only be interested in their own agendas. For this reason, authenticity is key.
It is time for philanthropy to take center stage for the right reasons. Choose charitable efforts with integrity and thought, and encourage your employees to get involved if they have a passion for the cause. Not only will this empower them to feel pride in your company, but it will also encourage them to become external advocates of your brand.
You will find that your culture continues to get stronger as professionals who care about your mission and philanthropy join your team.
David Disiere is the founder and CEO of QEO Insurance Group, an agency that provides commercial transportation insurance to clients throughout the U.S. He is a highly successful entrepreneur who has launched business endeavors in the real estate, oil and gas, agriculture, and automotive sectors. David is equally passionate about philanthropy, and he works to help underprivileged children through the David & Teresa Disiere Foundation.