“And in the end. . . the love you take is equal to the love you make!” The Beatles put it in those musical terms, but it was just their way of expressing the universal laws of dynamic exchange and, in particular, the evolutionary customs of humankind – which generally reach their apotheosis around this time of year.
However, these two intertwined activities – perhaps better defined as giving and receiving – are not just restricted to individuals, nor to any particular season. All year long, we at Business View Magazine hear from companies, large and small, who practice some sort of philanthropic activity as an integral part of their corporate mission.
And for those companies that do actively encourage a robust culture of giving, the rewards of receiving are often commensurate – if not greater. They include: a more positive workplace environment, increased employee engagement, a stronger public image, and enhanced relationships with consumers who want to purchase goods from companies that are doing good in the world. As Anne Frank was reported to have opined: “No one has ever become poor by giving.”
Today, corporate philanthropy comes in all shapes and sizes – direct monetary donations, matching grants, holiday food drives, sponsoring youth sports teams, holding contests where the prizes go to local charities, underwriting events – the opportunities are as endless as are the needs. And the trend is growing. Corporate giving reached $18.45 billion in 2015, an increase of 3.8 percent from the year before. It’s estimated that 2016 will see yet another slight increase.
Another way in which companies give back to their communities is by providing incentives for their employees to volunteer their time and energy to their own chosen charities and organizations. In fact, some of the biggest corporations on the planet allow a specific number of hours each year that are allotted to volunteerism. And, again, the benefits to the company are real: the ability to volunteer provides employees with a sense of fulfillment that carries over to the workplace.
Indeed, a recent poll of Millennials – the next generation of workers – found that nearly two thirds of people between the ages of 18 and 34 were more likely to want to work for a company that gave to charity than one that did not.
If your company is not yet actively engaged in some sort of charitable venture, this holiday season may be a good time to start. And don’t be put off by the mistaken notion that you must give selflessly with no thought of recompense. Giving and receiving are two sides of the same coin. There is nothing inherently wrong about wanting to do well by doing good. The Beatles told us that. And who are we to argue with the Fab Four?