Ms Evans says, “I believe that you don’t have to be big to have a big impact on those who need your help.”
How businesses can change the world.
Business owners and organisations have the ability and social platforms to make an impact that is greater than any individual, and many are inspired to do so.
When businesses do great things, the people around them do great things. When people are involved with a business that has giving back as part of the bigger picture it makes them feel part of something larger than themselves.
A business can benefit in many ways by behaving responsibly and ethically and thinking beyond the individual, and the impact of giving-back goes way beyond profit margin and increased sales. When businesses choose to do good things for the world, the world changes for the better.
I have heard some sceptics argue that businesses ‘give back’ as a marketing ploy (interestingly these sceptics are not currently giving). Perhaps instead of questioning the intention consider the premise that no harm can be done by giving back and embrace their contribution.
Giving doesn’t just refer to giving money to charities. According to Philanthropy Australia, it’s ‘the planned and structured giving of time, information, goods and services, voice and influence, as well as money, to improve the well-being of humanity and the community’. There are so many ways to give back.
For many business owners, these causes can be personal and dear to their hearts. I am always interested to know why a business chooses a particular charity, as there is usually an interesting back-story.
The concept of a triple bottom line is the impact on “people, planet and profit.” The term was coined by John Elkington in the 1990’s and is defined as active communities and a healthy environment combined with profitability.
Small business philanthropy is growing in Australia.
The 2016 Giving Australia Report revealed that in 2015-16, Australian businesses gave $17.5b to charities and not-for-profits (NFP).
Interestingly, $8.5b of that $17.5b came from small and medium businesses, with 70 percent of all small and medium businesses giving to charity. But don’t let the numbers put you off.
Just because a business is small does not mean it cannot commit to giving back, even a start-up business can give-back and if it is part of your strategy from day one, it becomes part of the fabric of your brand.
There are many ways to give back.
These figures show that small businesses are doing more than just collecting coin donations. Some business owners are supporting charities by donating a percentage of their profits to charity, matching their customers’ donations, hosting fundraising events, or providing pro bono (free) goods and services on an ongoing basis to help charities fundraise or deliver their much-needed services.
What can you do?
As part of your giving-back strategy consider the following:
Which charities do you want to support?
Is there a cause that aligns with your business’ purpose, or one with which you have a deep personal connection?
Do you want to support a local charity or NFP to demonstrate a commitment to the community in which you live or operate?
What type of giving is best for you? Time, expertise or money.
Do you want to give cash donations, raise funds on the charity’s behalf or, offer pro bono (free) goods or services?
A long-term giving strategy is part of my business plan.
These are some of the small things that I do to make a difference.
-Offer pro-bono coaching for selected people who don’t have the funds to pay me but who want to share their recovery stories.
-Community Ambassador and Speaker for RUOK?
– Host regular live storytelling events with all profits donated to charity (note – you need to seek approval to be an ongoing fundraiser for a charity).
– A regular direct donation to a giving circle – a NFP that has a high reach and significant impact. The giving circle that I am part of is called 100 women
– Speak or MC at selected events and waive the fee if the client donates to charity instead.
– Donate time to deliver a training session as part of a skills share for a selected charity.
Think strategically about your giving – does it align with your brand and do you share the same values? If so consider what you can do to give back.
Giving is almost always a good thing. From a for-profit business’ perspective, strategic giving is even better.
The best purpose-driven marketing, however, occurs when a business integrates its social goals with its financial goals so that its day to day operations help the community while also advancing the need to serve its’ customers and enabling it to profit. This integrated approach can be impactful and more sustainable. Think about how generosity-marketing can work for your business.
Giving back makes good business sense.
Lives are impacted, people grow and develop, and the world becomes a better place and isn’t that something we all want?
My latest project that is donating part-profits to charity is a new book which is now available. The book is called Stories From The Heart: Tales of Inspiration. It is a multi-authored book with 16 short stories. All stories have been previously told at one of my live Stories From The Heart Events. $2 from every book will be donated to Heart Kids