Most people believe that only rich business people do charity, but this is so wrong. To bring a smile on somebody’s face, you don’t need to move mountains or give them golden bars. Small acts of generosity can be well received by less fortunate people who don’t enjoy the same comfort and opportunities as you do.
At the end of the day, life isn’t just about your ego, your wish to make money with your business, it’s also about being helpful to people and giving back. That’s why you should definitely get involved in your community and serve a cause that is close to your heart: visit kids at an orphanage with sweets and fruit, go to a senior citizens facility and spend some time with them, redirect a part of your profit to an arts organization or donate a sum of money to an animal shelter.
Following are 11 points that will make you understand charity better: how you can help, how rewarding it feels and what benefits it brings for you and your business.
Table of Contents
- You May Meet Inspirational People While Doing Charity
- Some of the People You Meet While Doing Charity Might Become Your Confidants, Advisors or Even Friends
- Do Pro-Bono Trainings Based On Your Skillset… Then Add Them to Your CV
- Consider Hiring a Person with a Poor Social Background
- The People You Help Today May Help You Tomorrow
- Being Confronted With Tough Social Issues Will Keep You Grounded
- Involve Your Employees in Charity to Offer Them a Beautiful Human Experience
- Charity Can Motivate You to Do Better In Business So That You Can Give Away More
- Charity Will Help Your Brand
- Charity Will Make the World A Better Place, Including For Your Business
- Your Beautiful Gestures of Kindness Will Give Meaning To Your Life, Regardless Of Your Business Performance Long-Term
You May Meet Inspirational People While Doing Charity
You will be surprised to realize that some of the people you meet while doing charity can be inspirational to you – they might not be rich, they might not have a high social status, but they are mannered, hopeful and wise. For example I was once surprised by how 7-9 year-old kids at an orphanage I’m visiting for almost 3 years had such a good discipline in the morning getting up early to go to school. They were getting up at 6 o’clock in the morning at a time when for me it was hard/impossible to get to work at 9.
Or they may live in a poor place, but a clean place. The elegance of a room is first given by how clean it is, and then by the quality of the furniture, carpets, decorative objects etc. If you have problems keeping your company office clean, this image will help you understand from the exterior, as a guest, how important it is to have a tidy workplace, as it creates such a nice impact on people who visit you.
Some of the People You Meet While Doing Charity Might Become Your Confidants, Advisors or Even Friends
If you are constantly involved in CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility), visiting orphanages, retirement homes, animal shelters etc on a regular basis, you will come to personally know the people you meet in this places. They will become close to you, you will come to trust them and they will trust you.
You will share details about your business, talking about your successes and failures. These people understand that because of you their life is a little better, so they will want you to be strong and productive at work, so that you will be able to keep supporting them. When you talk about obstacles, a difficult economic context, people who create blockages for you, people who don’t keep their promises, they will be there for you with a word of encouragement. They will express their appreciation for you even when at work everything is upside-down, you have conflicts with your colleagues or difficult customers.
They will even give you advice about how to approach things differently in your business, thinking clearly from the outside. They will become your enthusiastic supporters and friends.
Do Pro-Bono Trainings Based On Your Skillset… Then Add Them to Your CV
For example, if you are in IT, you could teach children at an orphanage do use Paint, Excel, Word, or even programming skills. At least you will help them build basic skills on top of which they can develop by themselves and at school. They will be better prepared and more self-assured at school, where teachers do the hard work. Your training can really help them get a job when they can legally work.
As far as you are concerned, you can add this CSR activity to your CV as pro-bono training or skill-based volunteering. If you are an entrepreneur, it will look good on your CV, showing first that you have meaningful skills and second that you were generous enough to share them with other people and help them have a better chance in life.
Consider Hiring a Person with a Poor Social Background
Let’s say that for 3 years you go to an orphanage and help a 15 year-old kid learn how to work at a computer. When they are 18, they can get a job with the minimum computer skills that they have, while they will build other skills through company trainings. You may be the one offering this kid a job when they are 18! Think how much of an evolution that would be for someone who was at an orphanage with no happy prospects to be able to land a decent job that can help them have a normal life where they can pay for their shelter and food.
On the other hand, just think about the transformational help you would have on their destiny, turning their life around 180 degrees! It will definitely feel rewarding to you and most probably as one the most meaningful things that you will have done in your life.
The People You Help Today May Help You Tomorrow
The people you help today through your gestures of kindness and generosity, by offering your time, skills or money, may just be the ones that will help you tomorrow, be that in 2 years, in 5 years or in 10 years. Life has a funny way of evolving and you may one day find yourself needing help, not offering help. Let’s say you’ve helped a person for 2-3 years, you’ve come close to them and now they are at a place where they have financial security or at least some kind of financial health. When you tell them about the problems you’re facing as an entrepreneur, they might be there to help you with a contact, a useful piece of information, or even a small loan. And that’s because they don’t forget that you were there to help them when they were struggling. They will be happy to return the favor.
Being Confronted With Tough Social Issues Will Keep You Grounded
Meeting simple people and finding out that they are happy if at least their basic needs are covered will keep you grounded. It will make it less possible for you to get carried away and lose your head when you know success and make good money. You will understand the value of money: with a relatively small amount, simple people assure their financial security for a month, while you may be throwing this amount of money out of the window on things that you may not really need. You might even change your behavior, choosing to give a small amount of money to charity, so that some poor people cover their basic expenses, instead of wasting it on superficial things. In time, thus you will build a wise financial behavior that will put your business and your life in a better shape.
Involve Your Employees in Charity to Offer Them a Beautiful Human Experience
Encourage your employees to participate in the company’s CSR initiatives by placing a charity box in the office where they can donate books, clothes, toys, organizing Easter and Christmas fund raising events, inviting them to join you to an orphanage to meet the kids or to a retirement home to spend a little time with elderly people.
First of all, make sure that participating in CSR is a personal decision for each employee, not an obligation. Whoever wishes to participate will have a wonderful experience feeling that they can make a difference in somebody’s life. This will make their whole stay at your company even more meaningful, as apart from professional advancement, financial rewards and business experiences, they also had a change to be part of CSR initiatives that felt full of purpose.
Charity Can Motivate You to Do Better In Business So That You Can Give Away More
Apart from charity being a humane and moral gesture, it also makes you feel content that you offered a little help to somebody who needed support. Making up your mind to continuously give away a part of your profit can become motivation for you to do well in business so that you can always afford to share a part of the benefits. In moments of stress, burnout, when all the odds seem to be against you, think that if you push harder, not only will you manage to go further with your business plans, but you will continue to produce money, out of which a percentage will go to charity: a child will be happy to get a chocolate from you, an elderly person will enjoy eating fruit offered by you, animals at a shelter will eat thanks to your money, an artist will have an exhibition because of your donation etc. When you put things in this perspective, all the efforts are worth it and things seem even easier to be accomplished.
Charity Will Help Your Brand
If your business does charity, people will perceive your brand as responsible, serious and trustworthy. People will want to do business with you as you are sending out a message that you are aware of the social issues and you get involved hands-on to help make things better in your community.
Brands who have a constant and coherent CSR activity have a lot to gain as far as their image is concerned in the eyes of suppliers, partners, customers, consumers, media and the government. You will be liked and trusted and this will make you a good business partner and you will get positive coverage in the media.
For all of this to happen you first need to set up a clear CSR strategy where you and your employees make a commitment to continuously get involved in CSR, even if you take turns to do it: this month you as the business owner are going with sweets and fruit to an orphanage, next month it’s your accountant who will pay the visit.
Charity Will Make the World A Better Place, Including For Your Business
If companies constantly get involved in CSR, honestly and with a logical plan, our communities, our countries and the world in general will become a better place. Of course this will not happen overnight. But things could definitely change for the better in 5 years or 10 years. A better social background will definitely also serve your business, so think that what you give is what you get and you may reap the rewards of your social responsibility efforts in the future as an entrepreneur.
For example if you have an eco-initiative to make your community a clean place, then your office will be in a better place and you will make a better impression on the people who visit your office for business.
If through our collective CSR efforts we help less fortunate people evolve and get a job, they will become independent and we will thus have less assisted people in our society for whom we have to contribute out of our profit.
Your Beautiful Gestures of Kindness Will Give Meaning To Your Life, Regardless Of Your Business Performance Long-Term
There is a possibility that as an entrepreneur you will never get really rich (very few people actually get really rich – and even further only a fraction of them do so while being clean), but looking back you can say about yourself that you followed your passion in business, you’ve known some degree of success and wealth AND you were socially responsible as much as your means allowed. You can say to yourself that you lived a full life being a kind, wise, smart and responsible person.
So open your heart to charity as an entrepreneur and accept the responsibilities you have towards society to make it a better place. Charity will give meaning to your life, it will make you feel proud that as an entrepreneur with a functional business you can give away a part of the profit to make other lives a little better. And, more than anything, you will also meet nice people and make friends.