How to Build A Brand Strategy Around Charitable Giving

If you’re looking to build a brand strategy around charitable giving for your company, you must first take a look at your company’s mission and values. 

What do you want your company’s giving program to look like? How does charitable giving support your company’s mission, and how will it help you realize core values? What causes and charities are important to your employees, community, and customers?

When you consider these questions and find the overlap between what you, your employees, community, and customers care about, you’ll be able to choose the approach that best suits your stakeholders. Typically, companies will use this as a starting point to build their philanthropic game plan and decide which strategic cause areas to support (e.g., many companies follow United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals): 

  • Aligns with your core business or local community
  • Aligns with what matters to your leaders/founders
  • Aligns with what matters to your employees
  • Aligns with what matters to your consumers

We’ll break down some examples of a few companies that excel at combining their brand values with one or more of the giving strategies above.

Aligns With Your Core Business or Local Community

Aligning your company’s charitable giving with its mission, core business, or local community is a popular approach for businesses of all sizes.

Patagonia is a prominent example of a company aligning its core values with its giving strategy. Since 1985, Patagonia has pledged 1% of sales to the preservation and restoration of the natural environment. And in 2021, they donated a record-breaking $10 million to environmental nonprofits by allocating 100% of their global Black Friday sales.

Another example is TechStyle Fashion Group, a global fashion incubator renowned in the fashion community for pursuing sustainability and supporting their local communities. Their philanthropic initiatives for textile recycling and maintaining carbon neutrality match their mission to disrupt the fashion industry, which produces millions of tons of textile waste and is one of the most water-intensive industries, into being more environmentally friendly.

TechStyle has also introduced a ‘Dollars for Doers’ giving program supported by Givinga’s Philantech® platform to encourage employees to donate their time and money to local communities. Based on the number of volunteer hours completed by employees, they will receive money into their Philantech® account to contribute to the charities of their choice.

If you’re interested in a similar program for your company, reach out to us in the contact form below.

Aligns With What Matters to Your Leaders/Founders

A giving approach that can resonate with your team is one that aligns with what matters to your leaders and founders.

For instance, Seattle-based R&B singer Ciara and football player Russell Wilson founded an antimicrobial backpack brand called ‘Dare to Roam.’ 3% of the brand’s profits go to their Why Not You Foundation, which focuses on empowering children and fighting poverty through education. Their desire to help kids in their local community receive the educational opportunities to approach life with a “why not you” mindset is evident in both their business and charitable foundation. The Why Not You foundation raised $2.7 million in critical funds for an immunotherapy program at a local hospital and $129,000 for a tuition-free, charter public high school in Washington.

Similarly to supporting a founder-led foundation, many businesses, including Google, Apple, and Microsoft, create Corporate Foundations to serve as the charitable vehicle for their for-profit company. These foundations allow companies to support numerous charities, implement corporate philanthropy programs, and have a positive impact on the greater social good. Keep in mind that Corporate Foundations, while effective, are not the only way to maximize impact. If your business wants to create a similar charitable foundation as part of your strategy, don’t worry about being limited by company size or revenue- small and medium-sized businesses also have options for managing charitable funds. 

Not only can Givinga’s tech enhance an existing foundation, but they can also create a Corporate Giving Fund for your company. It provides the benefits of a foundation more cost-effectively and efficiently, as Givinga takes on all the IRS annual filings, compliance, and vetting of charities.

Aligns With What Matters to Your Employees

To attract, retain, and engage with potential talent, it’s essential for companies to understand the importance of a giving culture. The ones with giving strategies aligned with the causes and issues important to their employees will find the most success with team engagement.

America’s Charities’ Snapshot Employee Donor Research found that 71% of employees want to work for a company with a supportive culture for giving and volunteering, and 51% of employees said they wouldn’t work for a company without a social mission. Today, it’s vital to consider what values and charities matter to your employees.

An excellent example of a company that has built a giving strategy around what matters most to its employees is Spanx, a shapewear clothing brand. A rotating philanthropy board made up of Spanx employees spearheads the Spanx Foundation. The board donates a portion of the company’s profits to employee-selected charities, with many of their philanthropic endeavors supporting education and entrepreneurship for women, a cause close to founder Sara Blakely’s heart.

At Givinga, a cause close to our heart is providing charitable giving as an employee benefit to other companies and our team. Using our Philantech® platform, we provide our employees with both pre-funded accounts to donate wherever they see fit and matching funds so they can choose to donate some of their own money and still double their impact. As a remote company, we want our employees to be able to actively support the different communities that they come from or reside in without restrictions.

Aligns With What Matters to Your Consumers

Companies that consistently donate to causes that complement their brand identities build more authentic relationships, establish loyalty, and develop brand recognition with consumers. This doesn’t just apply to big companies either; many small to medium-sized companies make it a point to align their giving approach with their consumers.

To examine the effects of charitable giving on profits, Mintel found that charitable giving affects 73% of Americans’ spending decisions. Meanwhile, an Accenture study found that 62% of consumers want companies to have a purpose. Using this data, MIT researchers have concluded that a charitable giving strategy increases long-term consumer brand loyalty for businesses.

FIGS, a direct-to-consumer medical apparel company with fewer than 300 employees, demonstrates what small to medium-sized eCommerce brands can do when moving away from one-for-one donation models. As a women-founded organization with many LGBTQIA+ employees, they’ve supported organizations that further gender equity in the medical field and gender-affirming healthcare organizations. As noted in their recent impact report, they’ve developed global partnerships with Medical Bridges and Direct Relief to close the healthcare gap caused by the lack of medical equipment and aim to improve the health and lives of people affected by poverty. FIGS has also set up a Future Icons Grant program to help healthcare students and recent graduates with the burden of student loans. With over 1.9 million active customers, it’s safe to say that their healthcare professional consumers eagerly support these charitable causes. 

All in all, no matter the size of your brand, having a giving strategy that aligns with your team and consumers can pay off in dividends.

Givinga Can Help Your Brand Build Charitable Giving Infrastructure

According to PR Newswire, 75% of small business owners donate to local nonprofits and community causes. No matter the size of your company, you can help your community. Smaller companies generally already give back and just need to formalize their giving strategies with technology and tools to make the process easier. Our mission at Givinga is to make charitable giving more accessible in the marketplace for businesses of all sizes. We’ll help you set up the philanthropic infrastructure your small or medium-sized business needs to donate to causes that matter to your company and community. Our philanthropic technology makes corporate giving programs, matching funds, POS donations, and public campaigns easy to set up proactively. Learn more about us in Why Givinga? and fill out the contact form below to schedule a demo.

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