The Compassionate Corporation: Building a Better Business Model through Philanthropy

Corporate Social Responsibility, or CSR for short, is no longer a fad of the late 90’s which made your company look admirable in hopes of increasing stock prices.

Now, giving back in the community through cash or in-kind donations is crucial to maintaining a successful, well-respected company.  Even more important than looking good on quarterly reports and in the eyes of the public is being able to attract top tier talent as well as convince consumers to purchase your product.

A company must have more in mind than just its bottom line. It needs to be a forward-thinking, conscientious brand that, while not needing to solve all the world’s problems, should be making an attempt to create positive impacts.  This is known in economic circles as the “Triple Bottom Line”: Profit, People, and Planet.

According to the Committee Encouraging Corporate Philanthropy (CECP), a coalition of 150 CEO’s from the world’s largest corporations amassing over $7 trillion in revenues annuals, “71% of millennials would likely choose a job with a company with a commitment to the community if all factors were the same.”  CECP’s survey also found that 6 in 10 consumers will pay more for brands they see contributing to the betterment of society.

In addition to CECP’s report, Neilson found similar results, stating that “Fifty-five percent of global online consumers across 60 countries are willing to pay more for products and services from companies that are committed to positive social and environmental impact.” Furthermore, a study of 1,300 millennials conducted by Forbes and Elite Daily found that 75% of them said it’s important a company gives back instead of pocketing the profit.  The survey also found that 60% of millennials are brand loyal, meaning a company who shows a willingness to support non-profits in the community could have an advantage in capturing the country’s largest demographic for the next 40+ years (not to mention their estimated $1.4T annual spending in the US alone come 2020).

With all of that in mind, companies who invest in their communities today can most importantly impact the lives of those in need now, but also better themselves tomorrow.

Investments in non-profits like Childhelp are able to transform lives for the better while also lowering potential costs in the future.  By increasing early childhood prevention education around the country, it gives children the tools they need to prevent and interrupt life-changing experiences of abuse and neglect, thus leading to fewer long-term health issues (and costly healthcare expenses) in years to come.

Currently, the total lifetime cost of child abuse and neglect is $124B each year in the United States and that figure looks destined to rise as child abuse moves from the peripherals to the forefront of issues considered public health crises.

Without community involvement from the very beginning, Childhelp would not have been the guiding light to over nine million children and families nationwide who have turned to us for help.  However, we are not stopping there because the problem has not stopped.  Our research-based Childhelp Speak Up, Be Safe initiative educates teachers, parents, and children in preventing child abuse and bullying.  Additionally, our #FiveTooMany campaign draws attention to the fact nearly five children die each day due to child abuse in the United States.

Through corporate sponsorship of lifesaving programs, employee giving and customer campaigns, companies can shape the communities they live in and make the world a safer place for the love of a child. Those business leaders that realize they are investing not just in a non-profit, but the future of America – and possibly future employees – will be seen as visionaries by those throughout Wall Street and Main Street.

With nearly 20% of the U.S. population under the age of 14 [Table 1], giving children and their families the tools to protect themselves and their friends for the rest of their lives is an impactful investment in the future.  Possibly even more significant though, is the likelihood that this commitment to children now will have the effect of decreasing child abuse when they are parents. We would be working together to break the chain of child abuse.

While our goal is to educate all 19.8% of those kids on our own, it is just not feasible without the support of those in the community.

Corporate investment in a non-profit doesn’t just help the local community thrive and improve lives, but it can be a bridge to new customers, first-rate employees, and an eye to a brighter future for everyone.