We no longer need to ask ourselves if corporate community investing is a trend. Instead, companies need to be looking at the trends within community investing to make sure your business is on point.

Corporate community investing has been growing in popularity for some time now (the Philanthropy Outlook study for 2017 and 2018 forecasted an overall growth in giving of almost 4% this year in the US alone), and with each new year the finest minds in the field develop more recommendations and expected trends, and we learn more from the gaffs and successes of businesses in the previous twelve months.

With 2018 now fully upon us, let’s take a look at some of these forecasted trends.

Increased Interest in Political and Social Landscape

2016 and 2017 saw an almost unprecedented rise in public interest in the political sphere. This was heightened largely by the deep involvement of social media. These days, you needn’t look far to find a corporation willing to speak out for or against the current situation.

Take the more than 125 companies that spoke up in opposition to the US travel ban last year; the lengthy list includes Tesla, AirBnB, Evernote, and Google. 

More and more individuals are also finding their voices, and as they stand up or sign up to support their political beliefs for the good of society, they’re expecting the businesses they support to do the same. That means companies in 2018 will need to think about joining their “Brand Activism”: whether or not they want to add their voices to the fray, and if so, how to utilize business acumen as they do.

as they stand up or sign up to support their political beliefs for the good of society, they’re expecting the businesses they support to do the same.

Personalization of Corporate Giving

In recent years, businesses have also begun to recognize the importance of personalizing their corporate giving strategies; in other words, ensuring their employees have a voice in the process.

Holding a food drive for the local food bank or encouraging employee donations to the company’s single charity in exchange for rights to Casual Friday are tried and true corporate giving practices, but more and more companies are embracing the concept of individual preference.

In 2018, trend-trackers predict even more corporations will begin matching donations or extending grant money to employees’ choice non-profits. Other savvy ways of getting employees involved include offering time off for volunteering and designating Days of Service.

In recent years, businesses have also begun to recognize the importance of personalizing their corporate giving strategies; in other words, ensuring their employees have a voice in the process.

Incorporating individual members of the team doesn’t stop with rewarding their personal generosity, though. These days, companies are also encouraged to include staff in larger philanthropic decision-making, such as votes or discussions on where large corporate donation will go this year, and opening the floor to employee suggestions for new and unique fundraising and community involvement opportunities.

These methods can help distribute your company name among local businesses, and also ensure employees are kept in the loop about the good done by your corporation. You’ll get excellent word of mouth marketing from employees knowledgeable enough to tout your philanthropic efforts to friends and customers.

(Check out how these companies are keeping their employees involved in Corporate Giving.)

Sustainable Development as more than just a Philanthropic Strategy

Companies often focus their corporate giving strategies on human rights, from homelessness and food supply to refugees and foreign aid. Clients and customers want to know the companies they support are concerned about the longevity of both their products and the planet.

Environmental concerns have surged ahead in businesses whose client base and interests lie in this sphere, but as time goes on, experts predict sustainable development will become more than just one aspect of corporate giving for select companies.

Rather, interest and expansion in sustainable development might actually move into its own arena entirely, with businesses forming departments completely separate from corporate giving. But a move into its own office won’t diminish the importance of being vocal about your company’s sustainability efforts.

Bringing Corporate Giving to the Forefront

In 2018, corporate giving could become a highly public pillar of every business, with heads of corporations serving as spokespersons.  Lately, CEOs are being lauded and raised to celebrity status for their outspoken views on topics of import to them. As a result, these views become tenets of their companies themselves.

Apple CEO Tim Cook was recognized last year for his work with LGBT rights, and in 2016 the president of PayPal, Dan Schulman, cancelled an expansion in North Carolina in response to legislation he said “perpetuates discrimination”. These are just two of many examples, and we’ll no doubt see many more in the coming months.

Your Corporate Giving Future

At a glance, the examples shared here may look like one-offs that served the company well, but philanthropy is not just a short-term marketing campaign, and these “big reveals” required a lot of planning and continuing support of their chosen causes.

The only way to see real benefits to both the communities and organizations you support and your business is to incorporate a lasting strategy for corporate giving into your business model.

Any business, big or small, can develop an impactful corporate giving strategy. HeartPress can help you rise above the competition by doing good and giving back. Get in touch with us today to learn more about how your business can make a positive difference in your community.

 

Source: For Momemtum