Why Entrepreneurs Should Take Philanthropy Seriously
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Good Causes Give Meaning to the Entrepreneurial Life
Being an entrepreneur does not mean blindly chasing profits all your life. Supporting a charitable cause can give meaning to a career as an entrepreneur. Bill Busbice, a veteran entrepreneur, is also a dedicated philanthropist who has been involved in various causes for over four decades. Currently, he supports the Buckmasters’ Life Hunts and the Children’s Dream Fund that provide assistance to children suffering from disabilities and terminal illnesses.
Mr. Busbice calls himself not a venture capitalist, but a “venture philanthropist.” Advocating worthwhile causes gives meaning to what he accomplishes as an entrepreneur. Likewise, other entrepreneurs who want to make a change in the world can start by genuinely supporting a worthy cause.
Consumers Have Positive Opinions of Businesses that Support Causes
If not for personal rewards, entrepreneurs can look at the market research on benefits of business philanthropic giving. Several surveys and studies have shown that consumers have overwhelmingly good opinions about businesses that support causes, especially those engaged in ventures that give back to the community. It’s not just the positive branding that matters here. Consumers show more willingness to buy from companies that support philanthropy over companies that do not (given that the prices and the products are the same).
In a nutshell, supporting a cause can translate into higher profits by attracting more customers. Millennial customers are highly more likely to support businesses involved in worthwhile causes. Therefore, supporting a cause could attract notoriously elusive millennial customers to a brand when other brand awareness techniques don’t work. Of course, the philanthropic effort must be genuine for this to actually work.
Philanthropy can Increase Employee Loyalty
There are several factors that make employees loyal to a business. One of these factors is being united for a common cause. Nearly all employees can get behind a company that supports a good cause. Employees can be truly proud to work for a company that gives back, thus solidifying loyalty. Entrepreneurs with startups who support charitable causes will find employees more willing to stay with the company for the long haul.
Philanthropy Can Drive Creativity and Productiveness
Philanthropy results in employee inclusivity. An inclusive labor force is well equipped to innovate and be productive. Philanthropy generates positive feelings among employees, which will motivate them to work more effectively and give it their all for the company.
Philanthropic giving is as good for personal or spiritual rewards as it is for business. Given that supporting good causes can actually increase sales, entrepreneurs, therefore, should give philanthropy more attention rather than an afterthought. Supporting causes can unite employees behind entrepreneurs, and also build strong brand loyalty among the target audience.