Dave Cantin, President & CEO Dave Cantin Group
While everyone can certainly participate in community service, and every contribution is important, I believe that businesses can and should make a greater impact than single people.
Since I have a vested interest after beating leukemia, I choose to focus my philanthropy on cancer research. Throughout my career, I have personally and through a percentage of my company’s proceeds helped raise more than $100 million for cancer research.
I took what was essentially a death sentence and used it in my superpower. With a successful business and much to be thankful for, I take every opportunity to share the importance of empowering yourself by giving back to your community. My philosophy in philanthropy is one of cyclical momentum: to grow to give. Giving to grow.
Businesses are part of the communities where they live. They sponsor small competition teams, support local organizations and contribute to national and even international causes. Such participation can impact everything from groundbreaking research to community projects or even neighborhood initiatives. All these actions, big and small, move the needle in a positive direction. It is never just a donation. Companies engaged in philanthropic activities can reap short- and long-term benefits that can often be tangible.
as a quote often attributed to Winston Churchill, “We live on what we get, but we live on what we give.” Not only personally, but professionally, my company has received so much back from our philanthropic efforts.
Here are four key benefits a business can gain from giving back:
1. Network Expansion
Most philanthropic organizations have business leaders on their boards. It’s an opportunity to meet and bond. Successful people usually have the clout and the resources — they can be very passionate about giving — and that’s something they can have in common as a means of building a stronger working relationship.
2. Employee Empowerment
Giving charity not only makes corporate leadership feel good, it also makes your team feel like they’re making a difference. It may also encourage them to participate individually as well. It can promote higher morale, camaraderie and respect. This can be part of your company mission as a way to promote team building opportunities. Especially with local donations, you provide much-needed help to your immediate community.
3. Company reputation
It is clear that companies survive by expanding their customer base. Local charities are not only great focal points, but getting involved with these charities and giving to these charities can build the reputation of your business, your brand and your sales. People just like to support companies that support their community. It gives the feeling that their money is well spent and goes back to their hometown. This creates loyalty and a shared value system that resonates with neighbors.
4. Good Marketing
According to a recent study“More than nine in ten millennials would switch brands to one associated with a good cause.” While you shouldn’t just give your own bells and whistles, you do want to engage with this in-demand demographic and others. This is a positive and proactive way to do that for everyone.
The right thing to do
Giving back is the foundation on which we as humans are built. You don’t need to go through a life-changing experience to create a scenario where giving back is important to you or your company. It could just be because it makes you and everyone around you feel good; it could be because it’s important and could even save a life.
Making a difference in the lives of others and doing something good in the world are missions close to my heart. As long as I have something to say about it, giving back will always be an important part of every part of my business and personal life. It’s not just good for business; it’s just the right thing to do.
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