Creating a business that has a real impact on the world is about more than just growth, profit margins and branding. For centuries, those in positions of power and wealth have used their influence to pursue and drive philanthropy; just look at Bill Gates’ appreciation and drive in Abu Dhabi, which has helped to encourage $30m of donations to eradicating polio. It’s arguable that his charitable foundation will long outlast the relevancy of Microsoft itself.
It takes time to learn the fundamentals of running a business. As part of any business strategy should be a focus on charity, whether your business is worth a penny or a fortune.
The benefit to your business
Philanthropy is not just about giving back to the community. Whilst this is arguably the primary aim, philanthropy brings great reputational benefits to your business. Investor Jason Sugarman supports a solid philanthropy strategy, and has spoken on the wide ranging benefits of a business with a reputation for charitable actions. In the Gulf, take the example of Dubai corporate body Centena. By pumping money into philanthropic aims, international recognition has been garnered which, in the long run, will lead to increased sales, public confidence and, ultimately, profits.
Philanthropic strategies for small business
The question for small businesses is how to turn precious time and capital into charitable pursuits. After all, a small business will only have so many staff, and the resources available are often limited to operational costs. Despite this, finding time and space for philanthropy can be done, and there is good reason to do so. First off, ensure you have a fully detailed business budget – that way you can identify every last free bit of cash. With the money in hand, consider the impact of charitable activity. The gulf is oversaturated with businesses, with a 12.5% rise in new businesses in Dubai alone, according to Fixed Income Research. Having a charitable edge will give your business a lead over your rivals.
Building your legacy
A proud history of charitable behavior within your business will lead to a positive legacy. American oil tycoon Rockefeller and his family are now synonymous with charitable giving, despite his great wealth. In Europe, George Soros has become synonymous with rebuilding communities. The social view of your business can ensure it lasts long beyond your tenure.