Monday, November 2, 2009

Philanthropy: An Effective Tool for a Good Business

Author: Eric Melin

Philanthropy, a wonderful thing for any business to be involved with, as it is a universal law that "to give is to receive" and is proved true on so many occasions, in so many ways.

I've also observed that those with the least to give are the ones who give most in terms of time and money to various causes such as homelessness, domestic abuse, children with cancer, and the list goes on.

I suggest that anyone who has not dabbled in philanthropy should try it. For every hundred dollars that you make, give ten dollars to a cause that you would like to support. Save the Whales, Hug a Tree, Stop Pollution, Halt Elder Abuse, House the Homeless. The choices are endless.

Corporations in the United States annually give away over $11 billion to non-profits and other charitable organizations - an average of 1.3% of pre-tax income. Yet, many do so without realizing the strategic value it provides. Philanthropic donations provide a useful, though seldom fully-leveraged, channel for improving outcomes for both the corporation and the community.

Large corporations typically have a staff dedicated to philanthropy with structure and parameters built in, giving at small companies tends to be more grassroots. Small and non-publicly traded companies can often utilize unique ways to give, such as putting their companies in a charitable trust or donating company stock. In fact, 80% of Minnesota businesses with fewer than 500 employees contribute annually through some type of giving program, according to the Minnesota Chamber of Commerce. Businesses of any size reap the benefits of social investment with successful communities in turn supporting successful businesses.

It's important to be very observant. Upon donating your time or money, you will see a return on this investment in ways you may not have imagined.

The idea is to give what you can without any strings attached. Once you have started this movement of energy, then "what comes around goes around," and you will be pleasantly surprised at what ensues. I suspect that people like Mother Teresa, Gandhi, Buddha and Jesus were well acquainted with this universal law, and thus spent their lives practicing it.

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About the Author:
Eric Melin has been writing since the age of 16. His favorite topics include women's issues, homelessness, homeless veterans, the arts, cinema, biographies, nature and video production. His work has appeared in many publications around the world. You can read her blog, at . His business site is:

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