Is philanthropy a part of your small business culture? What benefits could your business realize by incorporating philanthropy into the fabric of your organization?
It may help differentiate your business from competitors. As consumers look for products and services they are also paying attention to companies working to better their communities. Employees are paying attention to companies that support socially responsible initiatives. One statistic provided by America’s Charities reports “71% of surveyed employees say it is very important to work where culture is supportive of giving.” Workplace give-back programs may also affect the type of clients that are attracted to your business. People spend more money if they feel there is a community outcome.
Let’s look at several sterling examples of philanthropic business cultures that are changing their communities, and their businesses.
Wilcox Wellness & Fitness
Allison Hopkins, who runs Wilcox Wellness & Fitness, arrived at her philanthropic model because of the pandemic. She believes the customer service culture created before the pandemic kept her customers loyal.
“When everything started to unravel” says Hopkins “I sent out a plea to my clients to not cancel their [gym] memberships. I offered to credit the missed sessions during the original shut down so that they would be able to use what they had paid for after [the pandemic] had passed.”
Due to the longer than expected shut down, however, people accumulated a lot of credited sessions. Which led Hopkins to the idea of creating a scholarship program that took all the donated credited sessions and used them to reduce the cost of training programs for those who could not afford to maintain their programs. Hopkins reached a point where there were so many donated sessions she created a broader scholarship platform to offer services to others who need additional support to get their health and fitness on track. She discovered that the scholarship program established a higher degree of customer loyalty, both with new and existing clients.
Chelsea Kim is a firm believer that paying it forward is a good strategic business principle. Kim is the Co-founder and Head of Marketing and Operations at BELLA, a first of its kind banking experience. The BELLA team created the Karma Account. Here’s how it works: A BELLA member pays for a latte with their BELLA debit card and gets a notification that their beverage has been paid for by the generosity of another member. The benefactor is anyone who has set aside Karma Account funds. It’s that simple.
“We built BELLA intending to spread joy while redefining the banking industry, and this is why the Karma Account was among the first programs we designed. In the short six months we’ve been on the market, our members have already shared almost $100,000 in Karma surprises.”
This concept has created positive relationships between members and BELLA.
For whatever reason resonates, consider incorporating philanthropy into your business culture. It will be the business that benefits! We’d love to hear about ways you incorporate philanthropy into your business.