In 2016, charitable companies donated a whopping total of $18.55 billion. That’s a 3.5 percent increase from the previous year, and the trend is expected to continue and even accelerate in the years to come.
We live in a more values-conscious market than ever before. CEOs and former CEOs make mega-donations. Corporations are finding it increasingly necessary to incorporate social responsibility into their business plans, and are steadily stepping up their philanthropic activities as a result.
Individual’s, even, are more apt to donate, as crowdfunding sites and social networks have made it easier than ever for individuals to find and support worthy causes, whether that’s in the form of a charitable organizations or by donating directly to a needy individual.
One example of how our society, and its attitudes toward charity, is changing?
There used to be Thanksgiving, a time to give thanks for family and friends, and Black Friday, a time for frenzied consumerism — and yes, some amazing deals. Now there is a third holiday the Tuesday after Thanksgiving: Giving Tuesday, which is dedicated to raising awareness and sending money towards charitable causes.
At IRD Glass, we donate to charities because it helps to strengthen our community as well as our company’s culture and values. In 2017, we gave out over $15k in scholarships. For over 35 years, we have given out scholarships to employees and their families, donated 5% of gross sales to charity and matched all employee charitable donations.
This has been an ongoing reflection of IRD’s strong core values. Giving back to our community is biblical, and IRD Glass fully believes that we are called to share our blessings with those in need.
So, why do charitable companies donate?
It’s good for the world
Catastrophic storms, wars, diseases — the world throws a lot at us. Charity allows us to help those in the most need. Whether the funds are going toward rebuilding a house in Houston following Hurricane Harvey or toward the college tuition of a promising student who works hard but can’t finance their education without help, charity makes the world a better place.
It’s good for the company
Charitable giving gives companies numerous internal and external benefits.
Internally, donating to charity or having charity events provides the chance to reinforce your company culture — to define your purpose beyond just providing services or creating products. Strong company cultures lead to happier employees, studies have shown, that are more engaged in their work, more productive, and better with supervisors. It also has been proven to accelerate corporate growth.
Externally, consumers love companies that give to charity. A recent survey found that 85% of consumers had a more favorable opinion of a company when they donated to a charity that shared their values.
It’s good for the soul
As a company that embraces Christian values, charity holds a prominent position. In our tradition, charity is considered the perfection of the human spirit because it both glorifies and reflects the nature of God. You don’t have to look far to find similar notions in other religions and cultures. Charity is the path to happiness and satisfaction in life. As the Chinese saying goes:
If you want happiness for an hour, take a nap. If you want happiness for a day, go fishing. If you want happiness for a year, inherit a fortune. If you want happiness for a lifetime, help somebody.