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If you are a contemporary business owner, giving back to the communities in which you do business is no longer an act of going the beyond usual measures. It is a core value of good business. In your business community, you become the neighbor who is a key nurturer. You are a provider; a liaison among people who might not otherwise have too much in common; an economic engine providing jobs and money for the local economy; and a social indicator for the financial health of your city. Your role as a philanthropist is crucial to your business success.
The philanthropic efforts of global companies is well noted. Because their businesses are worldwide, their communities extends across many geographical borders. Some have charitable foundations dedicated solely to giving. The Chronicle on Philanthropy found that Wells Fargo gave the most in cash in 2012 at $315.8 million. One of its biggest programs gives down payment assistance to new home buyers. Walmart was a close second with $311.6 million.
Entrepreneurs and small business owners also do their part in giving, like Lois Pope.In fact, a poll by Ernst & Young and the Fidelity Charitable Gift Fund shows that 89 percent of entrepreneurs give money to charities both personally and through their respective companies. They also encourage their employees to do the same.
Contrary to common perception, philanthropy is not always tied to cash. Pfizer, for example, gives an estimated $3.1 billion annually in cash and products. Small business owners do the same on a smaller scale. Some have organized employee volunteer days, which log thousands of hours for local charities and causes. Habitat for Humanity projects and serving at local homeless shelters are popular activities for small businesses.
Some business owners have found ways to encourage continuous giving. For example, employees may be trained to ask customers at the time of purchase if they wish to donate an amount as small as a dollar to a legitimate charitable campaign. The company then goes even further by matching every dollar it collects through customers and employees. Companies who have taken this kind of giving up a notch simply ask customers to round their purchase up to the nearest dollar to make a donation. This helps employees practice the art of upselling while assisting the company’s charitable efforts.
Most people who own a business believe that some form of charitable giving is beneficial for the success of their operations. According to the Ernst & Young poll, 62 percent see see giving back as a good long-term strategy to stay successful. If a company intends to continue building momentum and staying positively connected to its customer b