“Whoever saves one life, it is as if he [or she] has saved the whole world.”
– The Talmud –
This beautiful quote is especially true when you think about it in terms of supporting the charitable organizations in our communities. Whatever time or money you give in support of these institutes is automatically multiplied by the good that each organization does. This multiplication principle exists whether you give one dollar or a million, help one person or a thousand. The possibility of what each human can accomplish is unknown and limitless. As long as your act of charity and kindness changes one life for the better, you’ve helped nurture that limitless human possibility.
As a business executive, I can also tell you that what holds true for the personal, applies to the corporate. Many might think that a company has a duty to give back, and I agree, but it is not only out of duty that corporate philanthropy is a good idea. It is actually good for business – good for your bottom line. A well-planned, contextually strategic philanthropic strategy can lead to:
- Improved name recognition and a better brand reputation with your customers
- Increased sales and positive customer feelings
- More effective recruiting and retention of talented employees
- Better quality of life in communities where you do business
Increasingly, consumers and employees, especially the millennial generation, care more than ever about the charitable efforts of the companies they purchase from and work at. This means that if your company’s philanthropy results in more people knowing who you are and how you benefit the community it can result in happier, more productive employees, and customers who feel positive about your firm and good about buying products or services from you. These are all things that will propagate increased business success.
I want to really emphasize the point about attracting and retaining millennial generation employees through highlighting your philanthropic efforts. Over the past several years, like me, you have probably read that making a difference and working at a company that has a positive impact on the world is of critical importance to this generation. I have found this to be absolutely true. Each time I’ve interviewed a candidate for a position here at ATR International, they are really excited to hear about our commitment both as a firm and in supporting our employee’s individual efforts through our Volunteer Time Off program. If you are trying to hire recent graduates to work at your company, your philanthropy can be a differentiating factor. Google and Facebook aren’t the only ones who can inspire people!
Helping to build stronger, safer, more desirable communities to live in can help attract the talented workforce you need. Ensuring that the schools, colleges, and universities in your area are strong and functioning at the highest level also means that businesses have a pool of educated workers needed to keep their firms profitable. When you make your community, and the world, a better place, you make a better place for you and everyone else to work and do business, to raise a family, to be creative and innovative, to live and love in peace and prosperity.
The list of causes that need our support is long but our resources as individuals, as companies, and as nations, are deep – endless when it comes to spirit, commitment, and energy. Who knows what the person whose life you change will accomplish? Perhaps the homeless child your support lifts will be the one who helps discover a cure for cancer. Perhaps the man who your support helps overcome cancer will be the one who teaches and influences a future president. There is no limit to what investing in the people and communities you do business in might lead to but there is strong evidence that the baseline achievement is one that will make you feel good and your company more successful.
What we do for a living does not define us as much as what we do to connect with others and how we make a positive difference in their lives. Through charitable thoughts and deeds, we create greater meaning and satisfaction in our own daily lives as well as in the lives of others. We create a better world for everyone. It turns out, that’s just good business!
President and CEO