Is your business a philanthropic one?
Here at First Utah Bank, we pride ourselves on giving back to the communities we serve. As Utah’s premier community business lending bank, we understand that it is incumbent on us to ensure we support the communities we operate in. Businesses and individuals in the Salt Lake City area are here for us and thus we should be here for them. And we certainly were here for them in 2021. We aren’t only about business checking or business loans. We want to give back as a business and we want businesses in our area to know how to do the same.
But what about your company? How much of an emphasis do you place on philanthropy in everything you do. And before we get into how you can be a philanthropic company, let’s get into the question of why. In what ways does doing good for your community help your business? Obviously, doing good deeds is a good thing, but it goes beyond more than that.
Newer generations look for companies that show they care for the communities they operate in. They look for companies that have sustainability cred and make decisions based on what is best for the employee and community and not necessarily the stockholder. It’s not enough for a company to just make money and returns for shareholders. Current and prospective employees also feel encouraged to work for companies that care about the communities they operate in.
Giving back shouldn’t be about just looking good and putting on a veneer of interest. But there’s still nothing wrong with generating new opportunities because other businesses and entities in the area respect the work you do for your community. Do this by forming relationships with non-profits and finding ways for your employees to volunteer their time. And more than anything, allow them the time they want and need to volunteer.
Being a philanthropic company is important. Donating time and money is also important. But process change is also a critical part of a company’s survival and its ability to evolve in a changing environment. Updating your company’s processes to include philanthropy and giving back can make a big difference. When a company makes changes to “go green,” not only does this show your sustainability efforts, but it could save your company money on energy costs and improve your company in other ways. The simple act of viewing how you operate through a philanthropic lens might wind up having side benefits that previously might not have occurred to you.
Conservation and philanthropic initiatives might have a larger up-front cost, but they usually pay off in the end. Whether it be seeing more future profits as a result of present giving or expanding your business simply because of the connections you’ve made as a result of your efforts, short-term philanthropy can lead to long-term gain.
Team-Building and Motivation
Just as we talked about prospective employees being attracted to businesses that give back, your current employees also benefit from the spirit of giving. For employees who suffer from burnout, a volunteer activity gives them a sense of purpose and motivates them to want to do a better job. It breaks the tension and gives your employees a platform to learn more about each other and about the community they work in. They will feel good about the positive impact they’re making and in return that will improve their productivity and motivation when they return to work.
Philanthropy, Products and Services
Consider donating a portion of your sales, products or services to charity. You can even build a percentage of the price of a product or service that goes to charity. When your customers or clients know the purchase they make is going to help the community in some way, they may feel more inspired to make said purchase. There is nothing wrong with using charity as a way to not only sell more of your products but ensure a portion of your profits goes to the community. This is a win-win-win for everyone.
Another option is donation matching. Have your employees provide you with a list of charities they support and then provide a matching donation amount when they give to the charity of their choice. Your employees are then empowered to give back and will appreciate you joining them in their giving. This may be more difficult for small businesses, but you can set up a percentage match that works for your bottom line.
We pride ourselves on supporting small businesses in our community through small business lending, checking and savings products and services. We focus on products and services that benefit our customers, but we also focus on activities and donations that benefit the communities around Salt Lake City, Lehi and beyond.