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10 ways to build your business by helping others

As companies become more transparent and as customers are closer to the business than ever before, philanthropy as a business function can help in building a successful org.

As soon as you recognize that your business forms a part of wider society, you begin to see that the opportunities are endless.

We all prefer to do business with nice people. Therefore, by doing nice things for others, your own popularity and success will increase.

Read any large company’s annual report and it will talk about ‘corporate social responsibility’. Read further and you’ll discover how this means they’ve been ‘doing good’, usually because it enhances their image. Increasingly, people running small businesses are discovering that social impact can deliver tangible returns. Here are ten ways to market your business by ‘doing good’.

  1. Mentor – A great way to give to the community is by mentoring others. By mentoring future business leaders, you not only earn a lot of respect but also mentees can work like evangelists for your business. If you want to learn the benefits of becoming a mentor, check our post here. And if you want to know how to become a good mentor, read our post here.
  2. Give away products – Whether you’re building a consumer product or an intangible product like software, give away a redundant product to someone who would not normally be able to buy or use it.  You can also try to press coverage for your charity.
  3.  Share knowledge – By sharing knowledge with others you gain respect for yourself and your business. Take advantage of guest speaking opportunities as well as opportunities to share your experience and advice with people starting a business from a disadvantaged background.
  4. Offer work experience – It’s not just the youth that needs work experience but there are people who are rebuilding their confidence from a setback and need reintroducing to the world of work. Providing work experience shows that you care. And, people prefer to trade with people who care.
  5. Sponsor people – A way to sponsor people are for instance funding your local sports team’s shirts and printing your company’s/brand name on the back. This way you are sponsoring sports as well as getting local publicity.
  6. Host visits – Allow others to see how you run your organization. The visit will inevitably be promoted to a wide audience and many who come might be potential customers. You can also host students to show them how the company works.
  7. Raise money – If you employ people, get them to agree on a local good cause and help them to raise funds as a team. There are a lot of things you can do as there are many causes you can support. This activity can not only help the cause but also motivate your team.
  8. Teach kids – Explaining what you do to a group of 12-year-olds is both a great and challenging experience. It will certainly make you think because kids ask a lot of questions and demand credible answers. It’s good to have your basic assumptions challenged.
  9. Share Scrap – You can donate things like unused stationery to poor kids in schools. If you make things, your waste materials or packaging items could be useful to a social enterprise that reuses materials.
  10. Offer free consultation – What does your business stand for? What industry does your business operate in? Based on the industry you represent you can offer free consulting or educational courses to people who need such services. For example, if you offer business services, you can offer free advice sessions for startup businesses. Your free clients might bring you new paid clients in the future.

As people running businesses, we succeed by helping others succeed. So if we help certain sections of our society, we not only gain good karma but indirectly create positive branding for our business.

If you enjoyed reading our post, please read our other business-related posts on our blog

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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) – Philanthropy as a Business Function

Q: What is philanthropy as a business function? A: Philanthropy as a business function refers to the practice of incorporating charitable activities and social impact initiatives into a company’s overall business strategy. It involves using resources, such as time, money, and expertise, to support community development, address social issues, and make a positive impact while also benefiting the business itself.

Q: How can philanthropy help in building a successful organization? A: By embracing philanthropy as a business function, companies can enhance their reputation, increase customer loyalty, and attract socially-conscious consumers. Philanthropic initiatives can generate positive branding, create goodwill, and strengthen relationships with stakeholders, ultimately contributing to the long-term success and sustainability of the organization.

Q: Why should businesses care about being transparent and close to customers? A: Transparency and customer proximity are crucial in today’s business landscape. Customers expect openness and honesty from companies, and being transparent builds trust and credibility. By actively engaging with customers, businesses can better understand their needs, preferences, and concerns, allowing them to tailor their products, services, and communication strategies accordingly.

Q: How can philanthropy enhance a company’s image? A: Philanthropic efforts showcase a company’s commitment to social responsibility and community well-being. When businesses actively participate in charitable activities, it enhances their public image and demonstrates their dedication beyond profit-making. This can lead to positive media coverage, increased brand reputation, and improved perception among consumers.

Q: What are some ways businesses can market themselves by “doing good”? A: Here are ten ways businesses can market themselves through philanthropic initiatives:

  1. Mentorship: Engage in mentoring programs to support aspiring business leaders and gain respect and recognition within the community.
  2. Product Donations: Give away products, whether tangible or intangible, to individuals or organizations that may not have access to them, generating positive publicity.
  3. Knowledge Sharing: Share your expertise and experiences through guest speaking engagements and providing guidance to entrepreneurs from disadvantaged backgrounds.
  4. Work Experience Opportunities: Offer work experience opportunities not only for young people but also for individuals rebuilding their confidence after setbacks, showcasing care and compassion.
  5. Sponsorship: Sponsor local sports teams, events, or causes, displaying community support and gaining local publicity.
  6. Open House Visits: Host visits to your organization, allowing potential customers and stakeholders to see your operations and build relationships.
  7. Fundraising: Encourage employees to support a local cause and participate in team fundraising activities, fostering team spirit and benefiting the community.
  8. Educational Outreach: Teach and engage with young audiences, such as school children, sharing insights about your industry and challenging assumptions.
  9. Material Donations: Donate unused items or materials to schools, social enterprises, or organizations that can repurpose them for the benefit of others.
  10. Free Consultation: Offer free consulting services or educational courses to individuals or businesses in need, demonstrating expertise and building long-term relationships.

Q: How can philanthropy indirectly create positive branding for a business? A: By actively participating in philanthropic activities, businesses demonstrate their commitment to social responsibility and contribute to the betterment of society. This creates positive associations with the brand and can lead to increased customer loyalty, word-of-mouth referrals, and a positive reputation in the market. Helping certain sections of society not only generates good karma but also indirectly enhances the branding and perception of the business.

Remember, each business should assess its specific capabilities, resources, and goals to determine the most appropriate and impactful ways to incorporate philanthropy into its operations.

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