Many companies routinely engage in corporate giving. Even larger corporations have established their own charitable foundations, such as McDonald’s Ronald McDonald House, General Electric’s GE Foundation, and the Coca-Cola Foundation. These three companies alone have contributed billions of dollars to philanthropic causes over the years.
The Motivation Behind Giving Back
Managing these charitable efforts demands substantial time and resources. So, why do companies do it? How does it benefit their businesses? And why should small manufacturing businesses take cues from these corporate giants?
If you answered, “It’s the right thing to do,” you’re not mistaken. However, you’re merely scratching the surface. When businesses engage in philanthropy, they reap a multitude of advantages:
According to a recent study cited on Double the Donation, 71% of surveyed employees said it’s “very important” to work at a company that supports nonprofit causes. Furthermore, 55% of respondents indicated they would willingly accept a lower salary to work for a socially responsible company. Employees actively participating in corporate giving programs tend to have 75% longer tenure with their employers.
Involvement in charitable causes fosters a stronger connection between employees and their company’s mission. This connection instills a sense of ownership and pride, enhancing camaraderie and strengthening employee relationships. Boosting employee morale has been shown to increase productivity.
Companies that support local charities earn a favorable reputation within their communities. Philanthropic efforts cultivate goodwill while simultaneously expanding a company’s network. Maintaining a positive reputation can translate into higher win rates and revenue as people gravitate towards businesses that demonstrate concern for their communities.
Donating to charities offers businesses tax advantages. For instance, in 2020, business owners could deduct up to 25% of their net income from charitable contributions. A study conducted by American Express and The Chronicle of Philanthropy revealed that small companies typically donate around 6% of their profits to charity. Your tax benefits are determined by your donation amount and your business’s revenue. However, it’s important to note that tax benefit regulations within the IRS tax code change annually.
Taking Action in Your Community
Attaining outcomes similar to those of mega-corporations requires resources smaller businesses may lack. Nevertheless, it’s crucial to acknowledge that even modest charitable efforts can positively impact your community and your business.
Here are some ways to consider getting involved in your community:
- Sponsor local events. Look at the calendar of upcoming events in your town or county and consider supporting one as a sponsor. Sponsorships help support events that bring your community together and raise awareness for your brand.
- Host seasonal events. My organization Sirois Tool holds a Hawaiian shirt event in the summer and an ugly sweater contest around the holidays. We also hold seasonal food and toy drives.
- Partner with local schools to provide apprenticeships and support work-based learning programs.
- Support the local Chamber of Commerce. Our Human Resources Manager is on the Berlin Advisory Board of the Greater New Britain Chamber of Commerce. She not only advocates for our business but also for workforce development and business development initiatives that benefit the entire town.
- Volunteer. We send our team to volunteer with For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology (FIRST), an organization that creates an annual challenge for high school students to design and build a robot that performs assigned tasks.
The Sirois Tool Hawaiian Shirt Employee Charity Challenge, where the organization pledged to donate $100 to the charity of choice for each employee that wore a Hawaiian shirt and took a photo.
6. Practice sustainability wherever possible helps to protect your community’s environment and resources.
Remember, your company’s contributions don’t need to be extravagant to create a positive impact on your business and community. Every small effort counts.
Alan Ortner, President & CEO of Sirois Tool Co. Inc., has been with the company for over 40 years. Located in Berlin, CT, Sirois Tool is a precision machining and tooling company that supports the aerospace, automotive, firearm, and medical industries. In addition to his role with Sirois Tool, Alan also serves on the board of the National Tooling and Machining Association (NTMA). He is passionate about volunteering with the NTMA and similar organizations to share what he’s learned and help others in the manufacturing industry succeed. Check out Alan’s other blog posts contributed for In the Shop: Investing in your People, Investing in Your Future, and Investing in Your Technology.