How small businesses can change the world

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The impact of giving back goes way beyond profit margin and increased sales. When businesses choose to do good things for the world, the world changes for the better and giving doesn’t only refer to giving money to charities.

According to Philanthropy Australia, it’s “the planned and structured giving of time, information, goods and services, voice and influence, as well as money, to improve the well-being of humanity and the community”.

Small business philanthropy is growing in Australia

The 2016 Giving Australia Report revealed that in 2015-16, Australian businesses gave $17.5 billion to charities and not-for-profits. Interestingly, $8.5 billion came from small and medium businesses, with 70 per cent of all small and medium enterprises giving to charity.

Just because a business is small does not mean it cannot commit to giving back, even a start-up business can give back and if it is part of your strategy from day one, it becomes part of the fabric of your brand.

These figures show that small businesses are doing more than just collecting coin donations. Some are supporting charities by donating a percentage of their profits to charity, matching their customers’ donations, hosting fundraising events, or providing pro bono goods and services to help charities fundraise or deliver their much-needed services.

What can you do?

As part of your giving-back strategy consider the following:

  • Which charities do you want to support?
  • Is there a cause that aligns with your business’s purpose?
  • Do you want to support a local charity to demonstrate a commitment to the community you are based in?
  • What type of giving is best for you? Time, expertise or money.

A long-term giving strategy can be part of any business plan. Think strategically about your giving – does it align with your brand and do you share the same values? If so consider what you can do to give back.

Giving is almost always a good thing. From a for-profit business’s perspective, strategic giving is even better. The best purpose-driven marketing, however, occurs when a business integrates its social goals with its financial goals so that its day to day operations help the community while also advancing the need to serve its customers and enabling it to profit. This integrated approach can be impactful and more sustainable. Think about how “generosity marketing” can work for your business.

Giving back makes good business sense. You can impact lives, people grow and develop, and the world becomes a better place and isn’t that something we all want?

Lisa Evans, Director and Chief Storyteller, Speaking Savvy