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Senior Managing Director | The Opes Group LLC

How Can Philanthropy Benefit Business?

When you think of philanthropy, you are probably picturing some of the world’s wealthiest individuals donating vast sums of money to any number of reputable causes; Richard Branson, Warren Buffett and Bill Gates are a few of the names that come to mind. However, humans far too often look at philanthropy on a singular level. We forget that philanthropic endeavors can happen on a large scale. Any company, ranging from a small business to an international corporation, can practice philanthropy. Another misconception about philanthropy is that it can only benefit the, well, benefactors or recipients of your donations; this is not necessarily true. Philanthropy can be a two way street and often provides a host of benefits to the donor as well. Here are a few.

Tax Deductions

This is likely the most obvious benefit of donating to charitable organizations. Most philanthropic contributions are tax deductible. As long as a business complies with all local city and state laws while donating, the company could stand to save a good deal on taxes. However, I hope that a business (or person) would not be involved in philanthropy solely for financial gain and tax incentives.

Community and Public Image

When a business gives back to its local community, there is a positive effect that is two-fold. Firstly, obviously, the community can improve and become a better place to live. Companies can donate to help the construction of a local park, donate to local hospitals or health organizations and even sponsor local marathons and fundraisers. All of these are fantastic ways for companies to provide much-needed funds to any number of causes. The second effect is public image. When a business takes an active interest in its community, the public will notice. Community members will then become fond of the company, and use its products or services and maybe even advertise it for free. Philanthropic endeavors are a great way for companies to increase their visibility.

Employee Engagement

No employee wants to work for a company that they do not like or respect. When companies practice philanthropy, employees, much like the community at large, will come to respect their place of work. Businesses could even conduct an office-wide survey of charitable organizations and causes that employees truly care about and donate to the most common ones. This will show employees that the company truly cares about their values, which will lead to a positive work environment and, hopefully, more productivity.

Networking

Plain and simple, philanthropy is a great way to make new business connections. In most cases, those who donate to charitable causes are well-known individuals, and so by becoming a part of the philanthropic world, companies can expose themselves to new and powerful people.

Philanthropy is an important cause, one that the Opes Group takes very seriously. That is why we are so involved in our community. We want to create a better world. So, if any of you entrepreneurs or business professionals are considering philanthropy for your companies, I highly recommend that you get involved as quickly as possible. The benefits are endless.