Social impact efforts are proving to be beneficial to businesses in multiple ways. They’re not only ways of giving back to the community, but they can lead to increased revenue, improving the brand, and recruiting talent. The positive attention from the media along with the word-of-mouth and social media impact from positively impacted customers both serve to drive further benefits to many businesses.

A recent article by noted small business expert Gene Marks discusses this very topic. Marks shares with us the results of a recent survey of more than 1,100 consumers. 71% of the respondents would spend more money at a small business if it supported a social cause — as long as it’s positive or environmental. It gets tricky, though, because half of the participants also state that they wouldn’t buy from businesses if the causes they supported weren’t in line with their own social or environmental views.

Nevertheless, people are finding value in knowing their money is going to causes other than your own bottom line. Charitable practices produce more incentive in this manner to buy into your service or product. Supporting causes that impact communities positively can increase consumer loyalty just as word-of-mouth can increase your overall clientele and revenue.

Social Impact – Doing Good is Good for Business.

There are many ways to “do good”

Certainly donating profits from the business itself is the first thing many businesses turn to for some sort of social impact. But there are other opportunities to allow you to give back. Hosting events and fundraising campaigns are great examples that also allow for networking and marketing opportunities in promoting the business.

Offering your employees a chance to volunteer can create a big impact on the business and the community, as well. Consider causes that are or can be impacted by your industry to find ways to give back to your communities. If your service can help someone in need, offer it voluntarily once a month, or however often you see fit, and provide to those who wouldn’t normally have that access.

You can think of it in simpler terms, as well. Giving back can be a community clean-up, collecting waste and cleaning public areas for everyone to enjoy. Use your place of business to collect funds for local animal shelters or gather food donations for local food banks and homeless shelters. You don’t have to focus on complicated or calculated efforts, as long as you do something relevant and positive. It is the acts of generosity and compassion where consumers are finding value and incentive.

The dental industry offers some examples

Many healthcare providers have become particularly involved in giving back to their communities. In the dental community, for example, free dental days and other community outreach efforts provide care to those who would otherwise be denied treatment. Oral health is critical to overall personal health and mental well-being. Particularly, with children in low income areas, the ability to be seen by qualified dental professionals has been extremely effective in both enhancing community presence and ultimately increasing revenue. A few specific examples where “doing good” can be good for business are:

In each of these examples, giving back is deeply rooted in the culture of the business founders which makes social impact that much more meaningful. Fortunately, there are many other notable examples of firms in healthcare and other industries giving back to their communities and making a positive social impact.

Doing good in terms of social efforts and contributions has shown to be beneficial for business in many ways. Consumers are willing to spend more with businesses who give back to charitable causes or philanthropic endeavors. Increased revenue and positive customer perceptions are only a few benefits you’ll find. In my next blog I will discuss how these efforts also improve overall staff morale with a sense of purpose and teamwork, and benefit your business with recruitment, as well.

I would love for others to leave comments about businesses in their communities which have been particularly involved in social impact endeavors.

You can find additional articles from Michael Roub at Inflection 360.

Michael Roub
Inflection 360
Michael Roub is an experienced strategic consultant and Managing Partner of Inflection 360. Michael advises businesses and healthcare practices on a wide range of strategic initiatives.
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