Charity and philanthropy are sometimes used interchangeably, but there are noticeable differences. For one thing, charity is a natural, emotional impulse to an immediate situation, and giving usually occurs in the short-term. Likewise, charity often takes the form of monetary donations or volunteering. Philanthropy addresses the root cause of social issues and requires a more strategic, long-term approach. In addition to giving money or volunteering, some philanthropists participate in advocacy work. Whichever form of giving, they share one main thing in common: They’re all about spreading care for others.
Philanthropy as a Business Practice
As an employer, offering your employees opportunities for charity and/or philanthropy can help foster a sense of community in the workplace. This sense of community increases employee engagement, which in turn increases productivity. Employees who have opportunities for volunteerism feel a sense of purpose and are proud, loyal and satisfied employees. Many of these opportunities provide employees time off for volunteering, match employee donations, or organize service events.
Businesses benefit from philanthropy in other ways as well. Corporate philanthropy gives companies a PR boost. In addition to just giving your company exposure by getting the name out there, it also improves your reputation with your employees, customers, prospects, partners, and the community. Exposure and a good reputation inevitably lead to sales. When choosing between two brands of equal value, 90% of consumers are likely to switch to the product branded with a cause.
According to the 2015 Deloitte Survey, 6 in 10 Millennials say the reason they chose to work for their current employer is that they felt a sense of purpose there. Offering opportunities for philanthropy, volunteerism, and charity leads the best talent in the industry to want to come and work for your business.
Finally, philanthropy can also help your business’s bottom line by allowing for tax deductions.
Philanthropy and the Individual
Charity and philanthropy also benefits your family. Participating in giving teaches your children valuable life skills such as goal setting, money management, and project planning. Charity and/or philanthropy also helps teach them empathy and builds emotional intelligence. Children who participate in these activities go on to become adults who do. Giving and volunteerism builds bonds in your family and build unity.
Your health can also benefit from philanthropy and charity. Volunteering gets your body moving and working. It reduces stress and increases mood. Helping others helps those who are suffering with depression. Working with others for a cause helps alleviate feelings of loneliness. These activities boost your self-esteem.
Philanthropy and the Community
Of course, philanthropy and charity benefit the community. The time, money, skills, and efforts that you give to good causes helps those causes meet their goals which benefit the community, whether it is helping with children in abuse, families in poverty, the environment, or any number community needs. Philanthropy and charity touches everyone. Chances are you or someone in your family:
- came into this world in a not-for-profit hospital
- developed life skills and social skills through organizations such as Girl Scouts, Little League, Boy Scouts, 4H, or other not-for-profit youth organizations
- avoided serious diseases from vaccines that were researched by not-for-profit agencies such as March of Dimes, etc.
- were educated at a not-for-profit school in preschool, grade school, high school, college, or graduate school
- received financial aid for secondary education from not-for-profit organizations
- enjoy health benefits from the policies created by not-for-profit public health organizations such as smoke free public buildings
- worship and participate in religious activities at not-for-profit congregations
- exercised your civil rights, such as voting, that are secured and protected by many not-for-profit organizations
- enjoy family vacation activities at not-for-profits such as zoos, museums, or other community attractions
- enjoy the outdoors in city, state and national parks protected by not-for-profit organizations
- learn from historic monuments and centers preserved by not-for-profit organizations
- enjoy art, drama, music and other exhibits and performances supported by not-for-profit organizations
Charity and philanthropy are contagious! When people see people giving or volunteering, it often inspires them and makes them feel empowered to do the same. Are you inspired to participate in volunteerism, charity, or philanthropy? Consider Jameson Camp for your family or business’s efforts. We help get kids outside to grow inside!
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