In today’s workplaces, social impact and corporate social responsibility programs are on the rise. Companies are hiring more Millennials and Gen Z, while simultaneously learning how to market to them as consumers. Since younger generations put more emphasis on the obligation of companies to improve society, there is a growing demand for purpose-driven enterprises.
The approach is omni-benefit. For example, if you have a choice about which brand to buy from, why support the brand that is not doing any good in the world? And let’s say you are entering the job market. Why work somewhere that does not invest in its employee’s values? Or one that has little regard for the impact it is having on the communities it operates in?
It is time the world fully embraces purpose and profit as two mutually-reinforcing concepts. And talk is cheap. Employees and consumers want to see evidence that companies care about social causes.
This is why Expense To Profit works with a trusted partner, Goodworld to help companies take action by building programs that achieve higher social purpose.
Reinventing Corporate Philanthropy
The word “philanthropy” derives from the Ancient Greek phrase philanthropia, meaning “to love people.” While today, the concept of philanthropy is narrowly understood to describe the act of voluntarily giving time and money to charitable causes, philanthropy enabled by technology has limitless promise. Companies should be at the center of a pro-social system that inspires, connects and supports people.
These days, it is clear that employees want to be part of philanthropic activities at work. Whether employees volunteer for a cause online, or simply donate a small portion of their paycheck. In fact, 55% of employees have reported that they would rather work for a socially responsible organization, even if it meant having a lower income.
Since employees are more transient, tech-savvy, and socially conscious than their predecessors, the talent acquisition and retention war is about culture, equity, impact and belonging.
Employees who believe that their company is on the right track are:
- 2 times more likely to be engaged at work
- 3.1 times more likely to be satisfied at work
- 5.6 times more likely to trust company leadership
- 3.6 times more likely to recommend talent from their network
With 51% of employees feeling disengaged at work, it is no surprise that the era of “The Great Resignation” is upon us. Today, retaining employees is tough — attracting top-tier talent is even harder. It is crucial for companies to participate in social impact issues if they want to be seen as responsible in the eyes of their customers and the modern workforce. Giving employees a feeling of higher purpose can have immense returns for both them personally, but also your businesses bottom line.
Here are some ways leading organizations use Goodworld to mobilize their teams and customers.
GiveCards are like impact dollars (or gift cards) used for social good. Companies simply create a charitable budget, then divvy it up and disperse the dollars to employees and/or customers. Recipients redeem their dollars by donating them to vetted nonprofits of their choice. There’s no better way to put corporate dollars to work than by using them to mobilize and multiply positive impact.
Company matching is a great way to inspire team members to contribute financially to a nonprofit cause. Data shows that 84% of employees are more likely to donate if a match is offered. Additionally, one in three employees are likely to give more if their donation is matched by their employer. With matching donations, leadership demonstrates its commitment to social responsibility which leads to higher employee and customer engagement, acquisition and retention rates.
Auctions with Impact
Hosting online auctions is another way these days, we are witnessing employers engaging their employees. Where they can bid on items and experiences like a tropical vacation, tickets to a cultural event, or a relaxing day at the spa where all money goes to charity.
Customer Loyalty Programs
According to research by Hall and Partners, up to 66% of a brand’s profits might rely on effective customer engagement. Over 87% of consumers support companies that advocate for issues they care about. The correlation between growth and impact becomes obvious. With impact programs, brands can:
- differentiate themselves from their competitors
- understand their customers’ values
- boost customer retention and revenue
- team up with customers to shape the future
One great example is Sephora, a French multinational retailer of personal care and beauty products, who has raised over $2 million to date through their charity rewards program. The program encourages customers to turn their Sephora Beauty Insider Rewards Bazaar points into charitable donations. Each month, Sephora features a different nonprofit organization that customers can support by redeeming their points. Sephora’s “commitment to driving meaningful change” allowed them to connect with their customers in the most meaningful way to date.
In sum, we live in a world where the majority of young professionals prefer to buy from and work for pro-social or purpose-driven companies. For these reasons, it is important that businesses provide a purposeful work environment, support important causes and engage stakeholders in the process. If undertaken in earnest, not only will capitalizing on these corporate philanthropy trends directly benefit your company’s bottom line, but it will help you shape a better world.
Thank you Richie Kendall at Goodworld. We thank you for your contribution and explanation of how business as usual is changing for the better. Richie can be contacted via: [email protected] or (800) 926-4551 / Goodworldnow.com.
Published by Marc Freedman
Marc currently serves as our Chief Cost Evaluator, expertly advising our client management team on how to help you successfully achieve your business and financial growth goals. A respected mentor to all he consults with, he is an avid collaborator and contributor to the spend consultant community, guiding thought leaders to formulate, design, and install the best operational solutions available to their clients.