Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Protecting Your Corporate Image Through Altruistic Giving

Americans are some of the most giving people in the world. The good nature of people in organizations regularly push for corporate donations to help those less fortunate. According to National Philanthropic Trust American corporations donate a whopping $16.76 annually with over 62% saying they are “giving back to the community” (1).  Altruistic corporate giving enhances the image of your company while helping the community.

Corporate philanthropy offers great benefits beyond developing a stronger public image. It can provide tax incentives, stronger labor pools, higher community relations in addition to image development (Syverson, 2006). The corporate strategy should try and maximize the benefits of giving for special causes and ensure the biggest bang for the corporate buck. 

Despite its benefits corporate giving can cause a backlash on the company if the entire process is seen as self-seeking (Kota, et. al. 2014). If the public views the purpose of the giving processes as a promotional tool then it will reflect poorly on the company. It can be difficult to disassociate corporate giving and taking advantage of the needed once it is connected. 

To counter any perception of opportunism it is a good idea to let the cause be something that interests people within the organization. Let employees vote on and choose the cause so that it is an expression of the collective will of workers. This will help to ensure that the charity strengthens commitment to the organization as a responsible company. 

Don’t try and overtly spotlight your company in the process. In other words, keep the needs of the charity or group in focus and the company second.  The difference between genuine corporate giving and opportunistic marketing is the beneficiary.  

Corporate giving is an important part of creating opportunities for people to succeed. At a time when concerns of income imbalance are prevalent it is beneficial to find a way to give back and encourage opportunities for those less fortune. Putting together corporate giving strategies that are sound and altruistic helps to focus resources where they are needed while providing periphery benefits to the company’s long term brand.  

Kota, K., romana, D. & Mallikarjuna, V. (2014). Cause related marketing: antecedents of corporate motive. Journal of Indian Management, 11 (3). 

Syverson, N. (2006). Corporate philanthropy in America: better to give than receive. Industrial Maintenance & Plant Operation, 67 (1).

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