According to the Giving USA 2021 Annual Report, corporate giving jumped to $21.08 billion in 2021, with Americans giving $484.85 billion in charitable donations. Clearly, charities play a significant role across the country and the world.
As a global, humanitarian organization committed to making a positive impact on the world, Food for Life Global recognizes the utmost importance of incorporating corporate social responsibility (CSR) into your business. By being caring and philanthropic, your company can contribute to the betterment of society while enhancing its own reputation and fostering strong relationships with the community.
In this article, we will explore the countless reasons you should support charitable organizations and how you can integrate CSR into your business for Five Powerful Benefits.
Understanding Charitable Giving In Business
Are you wondering how or why your business should get involved in charity, provide goods, or facilitate others in making charitable donations?
One of the most immediate benefits of incorporating corporate social responsibility (CSR) comes from charitable donations and contributions. By allocating a certain percentage of your profits to support charitable causes, your business can make a big difference in the lives of those in need. Through corporate donations and charitable giving programs, you can establish a charitable initiative that aligns with your company’s values and positively impacts the local community and its nonprofit organizations.
Charitable Donations Come In All Shapes and Sizes
Focusing on local organizations allows you to create a direct and tangible impact on the community. By supporting local charities and nonprofits, your business can help address the specific needs of your immediate surroundings. This both enhances your company’s image and brand identity and fosters a sense of pride and belonging among your employees, as they witness the positive changes in their own neighborhoods.
At Food for Life Global, our affiliates have served nearly 8.5 billion meals worldwide to those in need. As the international hub of an Earth-changing movement, we are proud to be aligned with 250 affiliate projects in 65 countries. Thanks to companies, businesses, and partners like you, we provide over 1 million nutritious, plant-based meals every single day.
The benefits companies have enjoyed from corporate giving, whether to a partner, charity, or other nonprofit organization, are numerous. Here are just five of the biggest perks for large, medium, and small businesses.
Charitable Contributions Increase and Improve Corporate Identity
What is your business mission statement? What do you aim to achieve beyond offering products and services tailored to your customer base? How do you envision giving back to your community and making that community a better place?
Can you improve the day-to-day lives of your clients and customers?
Perhaps the biggest benefit for companies in making charitable donations or embracing charitable giving is the impact on brand and image.
Enhancing Your Company’s Image Through Charitable Efforts
Large, medium, and small businesses can enhance their images through corporate social responsibility in various ways. When companies get involved in charity through cash donations, a specific charitable giving program, or a corporate foundation, they have an amazing opportunity to boost their image.
For instance, at Food for Life Global, we only work with companies that contribute to our mission and vision in identifiable ways. Some companies are corporate sponsors, helping us to streamline our platforms and marketing through accounting systems, SEO marketing, cryptocurrency, and legal services. Other companies provide products and services more clearly tied to our vision, such as vegan snacks, animal sanctuaries, and natural healing modalities. Some companies provide us with cash donations.
By partnering with relevant and meaningful charities, companies and businesses like yours can leverage their involvement to boost their image. They can show that they care beyond their bottom line, thereby developing a reputation as a responsible, impactful brand outside corporate culture.
Strengthening Customer Perception and Loyalty
Through charitable gifts, local organization connections, and community outreach, many businesses can improve their public relations and brand awareness while solidifying their customer loyalty.
Businesses and companies can bolster their client base efficiently and profitably by giving back to the community. Philanthropic contributions can accomplish the following:
Align With Shared Beliefs: When a company supports charitable causes that align with its customers’ values and beliefs, it creates a sense of shared purpose. For example, a company that donates a portion of its profits to environmental conservation may resonate with environmentally-conscious customers. This shared commitment strengthens customer perception, as they see the company actively addressing issues they care about.
Forge An Emotional Connection: Charitable giving can evoke strong emotional responses from customers. Companies that support causes that touch the hearts of their customers, such as providing food for the hungry or supporting children’s education, can create deep emotional connections.
Foster Trust and Transparency: Transparency is always key. Companies, whether small businesses or large conglomerates, should always be open about their charitable and corporate giving. Show how money, products, or services directly impact the world. What’s the measurable and observable effect? When customers trust that a company is ethical and socially responsible, their perception of the company strengthens, leading to increased loyalty.
Increase Word-of-Mouth: Customers who perceive a company as socially responsible and charitable are more likely to share their positive experiences with others. They become brand advocates, promoting the company’s initiatives and generating positive word-of-mouth. This, in turn, attracts new customers drawn to the company’s reputation for giving back.
Drive Repeat Purchases: Customers who feel emotionally connected to a company through its charitable initiatives will be more likely to make repeat purchases. This may be especially important to small businesses or niche companies that rely on faithful customers.
Business owners should target charities or even a single chosen charity that makes practical sense. If you’re in the fitness space, you may give back to the community through healthy food, workout equipment, or charitable events for sports. If you’re a law-based business, you may provide legal support or engage in corporate giving for organizations involved in legislation reforms.
Don’t donate to charities blindly or align with a charitable organization without research. At Food for Life Global, we’re very careful about our affiliates, aligning with vegan product companies, animal rights organizations, and local organic producers.
Create and Expand Marketing Opportunities
Speaking of aligning company culture and charity, sometimes the right relationship does wonders for a business’s growth. A small business, in particular, may experience rapid expansion through new and exciting marketing opportunities.
A company engaging in charitable projects opens doors for increased brand exposure, positive PR, and enhanced customer engagement. There are many ways in which charitable giving and corporate philanthropy can create and expand marketing opportunities.
Cause-Related Marketing Campaigns
What is at the heart and soul of your business? What fuels your workers, clarifies your vision, and drives your mission? Is there a local charity, charitable event, or larger nonprofit organization that helps local communities that you just need to be involved with?
Companies can leverage their charitable giving efforts to develop cause-related marketing campaigns. By partnering with a charitable organization or cause, companies can create marketing materials and campaigns to highlight their commitment to the cause. This collaboration raises awareness about the charity while promoting the company’s brand and products/services.
For example, a company donating a portion of its sales to cancer research can create a campaign showcasing its support, encouraging customers to contribute while driving sales. Regarding our endeavors at Food for Life Global, many plant-based snack companies and health food providers have aligned with our values.
Collaborative Marketing Initiatives
Collaborating with charitable organizations allows companies to pool resources and reach a wider audience. Joint marketing initiatives, such as co-branded events, campaigns, or product collaborations, can generate significant exposure and engagement. For example, a company partnering with a nonprofit to organize a fundraising event can mutually promote the event, leveraging each other’s marketing channels and networks.
A business owner can benefit greatly by showing how both entities work together to make a meaningful impact. Nothing beats big benefits that are mutual, lasting, and built on the foundation of a healthy partnership.
Positive PR and Media Coverage
Sometimes, large and small business owners really need a good story. Have times gotten a little rough? Is your brand or business’s reputation stagnating or lessening? Has bad PR in the past hurt your bottom line?
Why not consider giving to, or helping out, some reputable charities?
Fortunately, charitable giving provides companies with unique stories that resonate with the media and the public. Businesses supporting charitable causes often attract media attention, leading to positive PR and media coverage. News outlets, both traditional and digital, may feature the company’s philanthropic efforts, helping to increase brand visibility and reach a broader audience.
Social Media Engagement
According to industry averages, nearly 60% of people across the globe use social media, with the typical daily usage reaching two and a half hours. That’s a lot of social media screen time!
And also the perfect opportunity for your business to showcase its social responsibility.
Charitable giving initiatives provide companies with compelling content for social media platforms. Sharing stories, photos, and videos of charitable events, donations, or the impact created by the company’s contributions can generate significant engagement. Customers who resonate with the cause are likely to share, comment, and promote the company’s posts, expanding the reach and impact of the marketing message.
Since everyone seems to be on their computers or phones these days, you’d be missing out on a huge chunk of a potential customer base by not highlighting your charity work on social media.
The beauty of doing ‘business’ with a charity is that you have countless avenues and opportunities for marketing and advertising your brand. Some charities may be working with multiple other entities that are giving money, delivering products and services, donating stocks, providing volunteers, and fundraising.
Through these efforts, a business can truly broaden its horizons and form relationships never imagined!
Make Your Business a Marketing Machine
Overall, charitable giving can lead to strategic partnerships with other organizations, including other businesses, nonprofits, or influential individuals. These partnerships can create potentially lucrative ventures, such as joint promotional activities, shared marketing materials, or powerful endorsements. Collaborating with like-minded organizations amplifies the marketing reach and impact, tapping into new customer segments and markets.
To put it simply, businesses that give to charity are smart businesses. These efforts are not only socially responsible and outright good, but they also create and expand numerous marketing opportunities. Through cause-related marketing campaigns, collaborative initiatives, positive PR and media coverage, social media engagement, and corporate partnerships, your business can take its reputation – and revenue – to the next level.
Boost Employee Morale and Engagement
Have you ever stopped to assess the temperature of the room? How do employees at your business feel? What’s the vibe or sentiment that pervades your workforce? Are they motivated and empowered? Do they enjoy coming to work, feeling they have a sense of purpose and trusted business support when problems arise?
Do they feel a connection to new and existing customers? Whereas small business owners are more likely to relate to their employees, large corporations often lose sight of how their employees are functioning. Fortunately, one of the big benefits of corporate giving and working with charities is improved worker morale and engagement.
Increasing Employee Satisfaction and Retention
Cross-industry research reveals one thing: employees have to care about what they do to stick around. People and culture, aligned values, and meaningful benefits are three main aspects that your business must have to satisfy and retain employees.
Charity and community activism can help.
When employees contribute to charitable causes through their workplace, it enhances their sense of fulfillment and personal satisfaction. Giving back to the community or supporting meaningful causes allows employees to connect with their values and make a positive impact beyond their daily work responsibilities. This sense of fulfillment enhances job satisfaction and creates a stronger emotional connection to the organization.
Businesses Can Maximize Engagement Through Charitable Work
Working with charity giving programs can also boost employee engagement. Seeing how your work directly improves lives can touch the heart. It can motivate your employees to go the extra mile, collaborate with colleagues, and contribute their skills and talents to achieve the company’s goals. This increased engagement not only improves satisfaction and retention but also cultivates a more work-positive environment.
By promoting a culture of giving and philanthropy, businesses can significantly increase employee satisfaction and retention. Engaged employees who feel connected to the organization’s values and mission are more likely to stay committed, work diligently, and grow with the company over the long term.
The Right Business for the Right Charity
At Food for Life Global, we’ve seen numerous engaged employees across businesses and companies. Why are they engaged? Simple. Because they care. Our food philosophy is one that our partners truly live and breathe.
We believe food should be a medium of love, and every food choice should be an expression of that love.
Both water and food carry a literal vibration, and if energy is filled with pain and anguish, as opposed to light, love, and hope in our vegan meals, those negative feelings and perceptions spread.
We reject slavery to convenience, mindless tradition, and holier-than-thou pretense. Our principles are about setting a noble and loving example in everything we do, so when we work with businesses, log volunteer hours, organize donations, or coordinate large and small business events, we let our actions speak.
After all, charity is fundamentally about love. When your business aligns with the right charity or cause, your employees won’t just know it. They’ll feel the love and show it.
Corporate Donations Bring Tax Benefits and Savings
Tax benefits are crucial, especially in our current economy. Tax deductions are even more beneficial to small businesses that may feel crushed by regulations and bureaucratic red tape. Whether you own a small business or head up a larger entity, you’ll be happy to learn how your business can enjoy a tax deduction or two (or many) by giving money to charities.
When it comes time for that dreadful tax return, rest easy knowing that you have an advantage. Although tax laws and tax requirements vary over time, you canenjoy benefits in the following areas:
Deductibility of Charitable Contributions – Under the U.S. tax code, businesses can generally deduct those contributions made to qualified organizations as business expenses. The specific rules and limitations for deducting these contributions are in section 170 of the Internal Revenue Code (IRC).
Qualified Organizations – To qualify for tax deductions, donations must be made to eligible charitable organizations. Generally, these include nonprofit organizations that are religious, charitable, educational, scientific, literary, or dedicated to preventing cruelty to children or animals. However, it’s important to note that certain organizations, such as private foundations, may have different rules and limitations for deductibility.
Limits on Deductibility – There are limits on the amount of charitable contributions that you can take a tax deduction on in a given tax year. The limits vary based on the type of organization and the nature of the donation. Generally, cash contributions to public charities are deductible up to 60% of the taxpayer’s adjusted gross income (AGI). For donations of property or contributions to private foundations, different limits and rules may apply based on your adjusted gross income.
Carryover and Carryback Provisions – If the total amount of the contributions made in a tax year exceeds the applicable tax deduction limits, the excess can be carried forward and deducted in future tax years, subject to certain limitations. The carryover period is typically five years. Additionally, in some cases, contributions made in a tax year can be carried back to the previous tax year to offset taxable income.
Donations of Appreciated Property – Businesses that donate appreciated property, such as stocks or real estate, may be eligible for additional tax benefits. When such property is donated, the company can generally deduct the fair market value of the property, subject to certain limitations. By donating appreciated property, businesses can potentially avoid paying capital gains tax on the appreciation.
Corporate Sponsorship vs. Charitable Contribution – It’s important to distinguish between corporate sponsorships and charitable contributions. While sponsorships provide benefits to the company in terms of advertising or publicity, they may not be fully tax-deductible as charitable contributions. The IRS has specific guidelines to determine the deductible portion of sponsorship payments.
It’s worth emphasizing that tax laws and regulations can be complex, and the specific tax benefits and savings for businesses that donate to charity can depend on various factors. Therefore, you should consult with a qualified tax professional who can provide personalized advice based on the most up-to-date tax regulations and your specific circumstances.
Nonetheless, your large or small business can certainly benefit from charity-related tax savings.
Make a Positive Impact on the Local Community and Beyond
This may seem like a no-brainer, but it’s worth reiterating. Whether you work with local nonprofits, national charities in developed or developing countries, or massive organizations with global reach, your business can make a real difference.
Too often, a business or individual may give money without really knowing where it’s going. Are the proceeds or funds being used appropriately? Is the intended cause improved? Do the charities or organizations have honesty, integrity, and transparency?
After all, the so-called charity business is about more than helping your corporate bottom line. Many communities impacted by your company’s contributions may be areas in which you live, travel, shop, eat, or otherwise partake. These are places, people, and things that indirectly and directly affect your life and the lives of your employees.
So before anything, know where your money is truly going.
Discerning Your Business-Charity Impact
From small businesses to industry titans, companies can determine the soundness of their charity partners in seven critical ways.
Research and Due Diligence: Before partnering with a charitable organization, large and small businesses should conduct thorough research to ensure the organization aligns with its mission and values. Thorough research includes reviewing the organization’s financial reports, transparency, governance structure, and track record of impact. Utilizing resources such as charity rating websites or requesting audited financial statements can provide valuable insights into an organization’s credibility and effectiveness.
Direct Engagement: To have a better understanding of how their donations are utilized, businesses can actively engage with the charitable organizations they support. Direct engagement may involve regular communication, site visits, attending events, or participating in volunteer activities. By establishing direct relationships with the organization’s leadership and staff, businesses can gain firsthand knowledge of their impact and verify the appropriate use of resources.
Defined Partnership Agreements: When entering into partnerships with charitable organizations, it’s beneficial for businesses to establish formal agreements that outline expectations, goals, and reporting requirements. These agreements can include provisions for regular progress updates, financial reporting, and outcome measurement. By setting clear expectations and accountability measures, businesses can ensure transparency and monitor the progress of their donations.
Impact Reporting: Charitable organizations should provide regular reports to the company detailing how the funds have been utilized and the impact achieved. These reports should include financial breakdowns, project updates, success stories, and measurable outcomes. By reviewing these reports, companies may assess the effectiveness of their donations and make informed decisions about continuing or modifying their charitable support.
Independent Evaluations: Businesses can commission independent evaluations or assessments of the charitable organization’s programs and projects. These evaluations are conducted by third-party experts or specialized agencies that objectively assess an organization’s activities, impact, and financial management. Independent evaluations offer an additional layer of assurance and help verify that resources are being used appropriately and efficiently.
Collaboration and Collective Impact: Companies can also consider collaborating with other businesses, nonprofits, and community stakeholders to address complex social issues collectively. By pooling resources and expertise, businesses can leverage their charitable donations for a more significant community impact. Collaborative efforts often involve collective monitoring and evaluation mechanisms to ensure transparency, accountability, and the proper utilization of resources.
Employee Responsibility: Finally, businesses should involve their employees in the charitable giving process by encouraging volunteerism, matching employee donations, or organizing company-wide fundraising events. Engaging employees in the decision-making and monitoring of charitable activities creates a sense of ownership and accountability within the company, fostering a culture of social responsibility.
By implementing these strategies, large and small businesses can make informed decisions about their charitable donations, establish effective partnerships, and have confidence that their contributions are used appropriately and honestly to create a positive community impact.
At Food for Life Global, we are 100% honest and transparent about our numerous ways to make an impact.
Start Enjoying The Many Benefits of Corporate Philanthropy Today
Are you ready to experience potentially massive business growth with a leading global powerhouse in food relief? At Food for Life Global, we are dedicated to addressing the root cause of worldwide hunger while ameliorating all socioeconomic issues that drive inequity.
Our affiliates, sponsors, partners, and advocates work with us across the world in many interrelated ways.
Our results speak for themselves. This is more than charity. This is Life.
Ready to heal the world like never before? Get involved today.