My favorite holiday has always been Thanksgiving. As a child, I remember waiting patiently for my mom to present a perfectly cooked turkey, mashed potatoes, homemade pumpkin pie, and all the other fixings. I loved the aroma that wafted throughout the house, the holiday music subtly playing in the background, and of course, the chance to steal an olive off of the tray on a beautifully decorated holiday table. The atmosphere felt so inherently extraordinary. To this day, there is something supremely special about a delicious feast surrounded by family and friends whose sole goal is thankful appreciation. I’m grateful for the awareness that Thanksgiving brings; that we are fortunate.
Beyond this, it also reminds us of those in need and the occasion to lend a helping hand. The very nature of Thanksgiving reminds us of the power of giving, gratitude and grace, but these feelings don’t have to occur within individual households exclusively. In fact, some companies have astutely made giving back a foundation of their business. The truth is that giving back is good for business. Not convinced? We identified some compelling reasons why your company should make giving the cornerstone of your business.
Companies such as TOMS, the Company Store, and Good Spread have made giving a pillar of their businesses. These companies understand the power associated with sales driven charitable giving. Perhaps more importantly, consumers understand that their purchase makes a difference in the lives of someone else. Suddenly, consumerism feels purposeful. This cause-based marketing strategy affords customers the opportunity to do more than simply purchase a product or service. They get to vote with their wallet. They’re able to support the causes that matter to them. The end result is that the customer gains strong brand affinity and yet another reason to purchase. Both of which provide tremendous benefits to the company.
Of course, if contribution isn’t part of your company’s mission or purpose, you can structure philanthropy seasonally. Companies such as ToysRUs, UPS, and Disney sponsor the Toys for Tots holiday season charity which provides toys, books and other gifts for less fortunate children. These major brands remind their customers that big can be beautiful especially as it relates to giving. Without corporate sponsorship, Toys for Tots would have significantly less ability to have far-reaching impact. I trust that Disney knows that associating their brand with this important charity generates more revenue for them in the long-run while providing great content marketing stories to share.
Other companies such as King Soopers grocers allows shoppers to easily add a dollar or more to their check out, which provides needy families with groceries during the holiday season. The ease of the offering as well as the direct distribution channel reinforces to shoppers that their local grocery store cares about their community. Of equal import, King Soopers employees receive the pride of working for an organization that gives back. What a great opportunity to foster employees as brand ambassadors.
Companies giving back can also come in the form of the corporation donating time to local charities. These companies allocate a certain day(s) for employees to collectively volunteer their time at Food Banks and other charitable organizations during the holiday season. I’ve always admired these programs because beyond the obvious benefits, this approach provides an ideal employee team building exercise. It also affords an excuse to get out of the office, away from the corporate ego, and really get to know your employees. This is when true synergy occurs. When employees and executives let down their guard and focus on something greater then themselves, magic can happen. This is evidenced by the number of companies who allocate volunteer hours on an annual or quarterly basis because they have experienced the advantages firsthand.
There are numerous reasons to structure corporate giving programs. Not the least of which is the chance to shed a little light on, and offer a helping hand to those that are less fortunate. During this holiday season, and indeed every day, it is important to remember that giving is good.