Supporting charities or social causes through your business isn’t only good for business, it can help you grow a business that’s more aligned to your heart, help you have a positive social impact and will enrich your life in so many ways. To not do this could actually be sending customers to your competition.
Many business owners and entrepreneurs are torn between their desire to make a difference and getting their financial needs met. However, as I discovered you don’t have to choose between the two, or wait until you have a successful business to support causes close to your heart.
Supporting charities and social causes through your business is actually a great way to get more clients, grow your business and have social impact.
Today I thought I’d share an extract from my book Give-to-Profit: How to Grow Your Business by Supporting Charities and Social Causes that outlines my top reasons for doing this:
- You’ll touch the lives of more people
If you like to help others or are motivated to make a difference, supporting charities or social causes through your business is an easy way to be of greater service and touch the lives of more people.
- It’s a great way to grow your business
You don’t need to wait until you have money to support social causes. In fact, there are many ways to strategically link your business and charitable giving that will help you grow your business and turn your business into a force for good. You can find out more in my blog 25 Ways to Support Charities and Social Causes Through Your Business.
- Charities and social causes need you
Around the world, countries, communities, and individuals are increasingly relying upon charities, social projects and volunteers to provide critical services. There are plenty of charities and social causes who desperately need your help and would appreciate your support.
- Consumers prefer businesses who care
There is a growing trend in socially conscious consumers who choose to buy from businesses who demonstrate they care about social impact as well as making a profit.
You don’t need to leave your heart at the door of your business. In fact, the sustainability of your business is dependent upon your ability to be human, connect to your heart and demonstrate to others that you care.
This is important particularly if your customers include Millennials (those born roughly between 1980–1995) or Generation Z (the cohort after Millennials). One report, the 2006 Cone Millennial Cause Study, revealed some startling findings it would be beneficial for all businesses serving these markets to heed:
89% of respondents said they’d be likely to “switch from one brand to another (if price and quality are equal) if the second supports a cause.”
83% said they’d be more likely to trust a company if it is socially and/or environmentally responsible.
68% considered a company’s social and/or environmental commitment when deciding whom to buy from.
45% were likely not to buy from companies that were not socially or environmentally conscious.
When you support causes (as well as delivering good products/services) people are more likely to buy from you and recommend you to others.
- You’ll attract, engage and retain staff with similar values
In a similar way that younger generations are choosing to buy from companies who do good, many also have similar considerations when it comes to who to work for. The more you integrate social impact into your business, the greater the potential for creating opportunities that attract and retain people with similar values.
- You’ll expand your network
When you get involved in charitable activities you’ll meet more people who share your values. Building relationships based on common values and strong emotional bonds often leads to more meaningful relationships, friendships, business partners, and clients.
When you support charities and connect with others because you have a passion for a similar cause, you’ll also find doors open that wouldn’t otherwise. If people like what you’re doing, they’ll want to support you and your cause, irrespective of who they are.
You’ll also build a community of followers, clients, collaborators, and partners who resonate with your vision, message or brand.
- Memorable stories sell
With so many people marketing their products and services it can sometimes be a challenge to be unique, stand out or be memorable. However, when you support a charity or social cause and put this at the heart of your business, this becomes part of your story, a reflection of your values and your brand. People who relate to this are more likely to feel a sense of connection and gravitate towards you and remember you. You’re also more likely to get free media coverage. When it comes to getting clients, people work with, promote and buy from those they know, like and trust. My clients and I have found that having a charitable story speeds up this ‘know, like and trust factor’ resulting in some people becoming customers more quickly than otherwise.
- You’ll find it easier to charge good market rates for helping people
It may sound mad but I meet too many people trying to build successful businesses helping those who can’t afford their products and services, especially well-being and personal development professionals – but this is a sure way to fail in business! If you struggle with charging good market rates, contrary to what you may feel, you don’t need to choose between getting paid well and serving those who need your help but can’t afford it. It’s possible to do both by selling products and services to those who will pay you well for them, and to develop a different strategy for supporting those who can’t afford them. The Give-to-Profit model enables you to do this.
As soon as I decided to do humanitarian work in Rwanda, I felt connected to a much greater sense of purpose and found it easier to split my time between well-paid work, and helping those most in need. Having these clear boundaries in place makes it much easier to say ‘no’ nicely to those who can’t afford my higher priced services (there are free and low-cost solutions they can access), and the time I spend doing unpaid work is with people and projects closest to my heart.
- Kindness is good for you
As I talk about in my book Heartatude, The 9 Principles of Heart-Centered Success, there are many scientific studies which evidence that when we are kind we are more likely to be happier, healthier and even look younger.
Supporting a charity or social cause that’s close to your heart or resonates with your values will also give you a deeper sense of satisfaction, connection and meaning – both personally and for your business. This often evolves and deepens as you form new connections with fellow ‘difference-makers’ and have more experiences together.
Have you ever found it easier to do something when you are doing it for someone else rather than for yourself? Whenever I’ve aligned what I’m about to do, to my desire to ‘help the young people in Rwanda’ I’ve found it easier to overcome mindset blocks and explore what’s on the other side of my comfort-zone. Learning and experiencing things you wouldn’t have done otherwise also gives you a different perspective on how you respond to events.
I know that how I now think, feel and act in response to human tragedies such as the current Syrian Refugee Crisis in Europe is greatly influenced by my experiences in Rwanda. I’m more likely to take practical action now, as well as donate money.
The more you get involved in charitable activities, the more you will grow as a person and feel good about yourself.
- Supporting social causes through your business is EASY and could save you TIME and MONEY
Many people think they need to set up a charity, social enterprise or foundation to operate a business with a social mission. But there’s a much easier way to do this – the Give-to-Profit model that I share in my book that links business and charitable goals strategically.
Setting up a charity, foundation or social enterprise may open up funding opportunities, and be the right solution for many, but running this type of organisation comes with the extra burdens of additional legislation, needing others to be involved (for example having a board of directors or trustees), and potential trading restrictions. These structures may also not be suitable models even if you want to grow a business with a charitable or social mission.
The Give-to-Profit model is a much simpler way to enjoy having the freedom to run a commercial business as you like, while also having a social mission and impact. It’s an easier and more flexible way to have social impact than setting up a charity or social enterprise.
I have clients who have wanted to support charities while they were growing their business but didn’t think they had time to do both until I showed them how to link the two strategically.
To sum up, if you are a heart-centered business owner or entrepreneur who likes to support charities or social causes, putting social giving at the core of your business is a great way to GROW your business – when you strategically link the two for greatest social impact.
I share more about how to do this in my book Give-to-Profit: How to Grow Your Business by Supporting Charities and Social Causes that you can get HERE.
I’d love to hear your ideas and thoughts – please do share your comments below.
Alisoun Mackenzie is The Compassionate Business Mentor, Author, and Speaker who inspires business owners and social entrepreneurs to turn their passions into profits and make a difference in the world.
She is also the author of two Amazon Best Selling books Heartatude, The 9 Principles of Heart-Centered Success and Give to Profit: How to Grow Your Business by Supporting Charities Social Causes.
Alisoun is also the founder of The Heartabiz Hub a business network and training academy and has written the following free ebooks:
- The 9 Secrets to Signing Up Clients Without Selling (click here)
- 101 Ways To Attract Great Clients, With Heart, Integrity & Social Impact (click here)
- 52 Ways to Raise Funds for Charities and Social Causes Through Your Business (click here)
You can connect with Alisoun here:
- Alisoun’s website – www.alisoun.com
- Alisoun Mackenzie Facebook Fanpage (for tips on authentic living and business mastery) – click HERE
- The Heartabiz Hub Facebook Fanpage (for details about our courses and events) – click HERE
- Give To Profit Facebook Fanpage (tips on supporting charities and social causes) – click HERE