It is often that we get a "pat on the back" for being generous. It is also often that we hear that giving back is a "great marketing scheme." Giving a monthly donation will promote our business, but so does the radio, newspaper, the web, etc. We could easily take our 5% and promote our company in traditional marketing fashion. It could potentially get our business recognized quicker...we haven't done it, so I don't know. However, I do know that giving 5% to a notable charity is much more fulfilling.
It has always been a goal of mine to help people. Our goal in business is to inspire positive change and giving is the way we are choosing to fulfill that goal. I cannot take all the credit on our generosity "marketing scheme." I have to give a lot of credit to Dale Partridge, the author of People Over Profit and former CEO of Sevenly. We took his idea of giving and made it fit us. We became inspired to change our perspectives of business and life. We stopped chasing a dollar and came to the conclusion that changing our focus to people and giving would make our business adventure much more fulfilling.
6 WAYS GENEROSITY WORKS IN OUR BUSINESS:
DON'T GIVE, JUST TO GIVE Giving to give is good, but giving to inspire is great. We don't give just because we think it will make us more money, because it is the right thing to do, or because someone told us to. We give because it breathes life into charities that are working to save lives and bring families together. We give because it inspires us to work harder, so we can give more. We give because we have put ourselves in a position where we can help others. Be passionate about giving back.
GIVING IS INSPIRATIONAL We have a wall in our office that we dedicate to our Charity Spotlights. Whenever I am having what I consider a rough day, that wall inspires me to grind through it because our 5% might help save a child or a family's life. Business is stressful and never easy, but having something to work for rather than padding your bank account makes business that much more fulfilling. I used to work endless hours and my number one goal was to make money and more money. I was stressed, miserable, my family was feeling the effects of my stress. Since we have changed our way of thinking from money to people, we have made more, given more, and relaxed more. Take care of people and the rest will fall into place.
HOW WE CHOOSE OUR CHARITIES Thus far, we have chosen charities that provide services, research, and potential cures to children and families within in our community. We research the charity and verify that their cause is something that we believe in and are passionate about. We also make sure that they are following thru with what they preach. Unfortunately, there are people who "self-benefit" from donations, and it is important to research the charity of choice before you start writing checks. We are passionate about giving and we want to make sure that charities are passionate about their work and they are fulfilling their promises. Make sure you share the same passion as the people/charity you give to. DON'T EXPECT RECOGNITION We do not expect a thing from our donations. We do not donate to charities to get recognition or more business. We give because we believe that people have a story and sometimes those stories have resulted in a need for them or their family. Some charities blow us up on their Facebook page and give us recognition. We are grateful. Some have thanked us personally and nothing more. We are still grateful. We do not give to receive accolades. If you give to receive recognition, you are giving for the wrong reason.
UNDERSTAND THEIR STORY Every charity has a story, as does every person. I believe with hard work that every person can succeed in life. Success does not mean become a millionaire, but rather a productive citizen within the community and a supporter of a family. I am not under any illusions that there are people who make poor choices and take advantage of the kindness of others. There are also circumstances where people need help. It is always easy to judge people and think they are lazy and claim they could be doing something to be productive. Before we judge, it is important to try to understand their story. It is also important to understand why people need help or why they organize a charity. Charities are typically inspired to operate based on an event that took place in the lives of the people operating the charity. Before you give or judge, learn the story behind the people and charities.
GENEROSITY IS A TRANSFORMING EXPERIENCE My wife and daughter participated in the walk for our current charity, Move It Move It for Mateah, and they both had the privilege to meet Mateah. My 6 year old daughter came home and sobbed once she fully understood what Mateah and her family were going through. I think my daughter finally understood the purpose of why we give. Some people think we are crazy for donating 5% of our profits to charity, because in a business sense that it cutting into our bottom line, future investments, personal income, etc. Giving time and money to notable causes can potentially transform the lives of the people we give to, but in reality it is also a transforming experience for our family. Generosity has transformed our way of thinking.
Giving is how we operate, and we will continue to give to charities who work hard to change lives.