How does giving relate to business? How does it add to the bottom line? Where does marketing, goodwill and creating a positive business persona cross the line and become charity? All of which are very good questions which are debated in boardrooms across the country.
The answers are not clear. What is clear should stand as a pillar of any business’ commitment to their community. We are all players in the “circle of life” as celebrated in Disney’s The Lion King.
When we give to community events and organizations, we water our own potential sources of clients, customers and employees. By investing in the overall quality of local life, any business quietly reinforces the message that we care about you, the average citizen.
When the child of a single parent attends a camp sponsored by your business and comes home with a t-shirt, you walk into the house with them. As the Symphony plays on a balmy summer evening, the corporate executive hears the quiet whisper of audience appreciation of having the event in “their own backyard”. As you roll with laughter at a community theater performance, your mood is enhanced further because you know that you are minutes from home, just like the local business that sponsored the event.
Business Giving is an opportunity for us to do good and at the same time, to do well. The line that separates those two places - blatant business goals and goodness’ sake - is hard to find. But in the end, if the results are the same, does it really matter? As business leaders, it is important that we lead and not sit back and wonder why someone else does not “go and do it”. As Gandhi said, “We must be the change we want to see.”
American business has for centuries been the engine that drove change. It is important that we continue to pave the way for positive change.
Author: Bob McIntosh, President & Attorney
The McIntosh Law Firm, P.C.