As awareness of social and environmental issues has grown in recent years, consumers, employees, investors and other critical stakeholders now place a high priority on the causes that matter most to them. The importance of these causes permeates everything they do — from shopping, to employment, to leisure and more. To reflect a commitment to these shared values, businesses have risen to the challenge with Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) initiatives.
While CSR encompasses many efforts — such as inclusive hiring, sustainable product innovations and environmentally-conscious operational choices — corporate giving is the cornerstone of a robust CSR program. In this blog, we'll show you how corporate giving works, and explain why you should start.
What is corporate giving?
Corporate giving is when an organization donates time, money, in-kind donations or some combination of the three to support a charitable cause — but it's much more than a simple donation. When done correctly, corporate giving can:
- Advance your company values
- Strengthen your organizational culture
- Engage your employees
- Differentiate you from competitors
- Reduce your tax burden
- Build a stronger relationship with your customers
You'll also experience the benefits of corporate giving in your bottom line. A survey of 30,000 consumers in 60 countries across the globe found that 66% of consumers (and 73% of Millennials) are willing to pay more for products and services from companies that are committed to positive social and environmental impact.
But not all corporate giving is created equal; businesses everywhere can claim they support a cause without verifying how much or how often they donate — if at all. Additionally, nonprofits receiving donations should always have verified nonprofit status and should be able to demonstrate their impact.
That's why certified corporate giving (philanthropy that is verified by a third party) is so important; a corporate giving certification partner can verify that you have met your corporate giving goals and that your certified nonprofit partners have made the biggest impact possible with your donation. But in order to get there, you'll first need to find the right nonprofit match.
How do you find the right nonprofit partner?
Just like any relationship, you need to make sure the nonprofit(s) you partner with share your values to be successful. Start by asking yourself what matters to you as an organization: A sustainable future? Social justice? Every company has its own identity, goals and values.
For inspiration, assess the following areas of your organization:
- Mission statement
- Industry future
- Culture code
- Product goals
- Employee passions
These crucial factors should give you a good idea of what you care about now and where you see yourself going in the future. You can use these insights to narrow down which causes and organizations will best align with your company goals and identity.
Are you passionate about protecting our future?
Even with a clear understanding of your company values and identity, it can be difficult to find the perfect nonprofit match. There's a vast list of causes and organizations in need of your support, and finding “the one” can be overwhelming.
Regardless of individual characteristics, every company shares one simple truth: in some way, you profit because of resources taken from the earth. That's why it makes sense to give some of those profits back to the planet to protect its critical resources.
“This is not philanthropy. This should be a cost of doing business. It’s paying rent for our use of the planet.”- Yvon Chouinard, Founder of Patagonia and 1% for the Planet
1% for the Planet can help you find the right environmental nonprofit partner to meet your philanthropic and business goals. We specialize in helping companies create giving strategies that align with their values, add to their brand story and create tangible change through partnerships with our vetted, certified environmental nonprofit members.
Ready to see how it works? Download our guide Getting Started with 1% for the Planet today!