A company that does good together, stays together - and helps make the world a better place.

Why your company should expand its philanthropic footprint – and 3 ways to do it

A company that does good together, stays together – and helps make the world a better place. In recent years, a shift has been taking over corporate culture: the drive to be socially responsible. And if businesses want to position themselves as attractive places for top talent to work, then it's high time for them to think about their philanthropic impact. 

Working to do good 
Social responsibility as a facet of corporate culture has been grabbing headlines. Many high-profile organizations have implemented more ethically-minded practices and anchored making the world a better place to their mission statements and embedded the sentiment into their services. Here are just a few examples of big-name companies that have increased their social good impact, according to Fast Company:

  • Levi Strauss: The jean-maker rolled out the Waste Less line, which reuses eight plastic bottles in each item of clothing, in an effort to promote sustainability. 
  • Patagonia: The company started $20 Million & Change, an internal fund that supports startups dedicated to improving sustainable practices in food, clothing, waste and more. 
  • Hampton Creek: The food manufacturer introduced condiment and baking products made completely from plants, in an effort to reduce the energy and environmental costs associated with dairy and meat products. 

These are large-scale examples of companies strengthening their social conscious, but any organization can find right-sized ways to do good. 

Employee demand
A significant factor in this shift to corporate social responsibility is demand from employees, particularly millennials. The 2017 Deloitte Millennial Survey found that 76 percent of millennials believe that businesses are a force for positive social impact. Some 77 percent of millennials have been involved with a charity or "good cause" in their own lives. 

The survey found that 54 percent of millennials have opportunities to contribute to charities and other socially responsible causes in their workplaces. If a company offers such opportunities, it can see benefits to its business.

"Some 76 percent of millennials believe that businesses are a force for positive social impact."

"Such activities could be considered laudable in their own right, but the relationship to other findings is noteworthy," the Deloitte survey detailed. "For example, those provided with such opportunities in the workplace show a greater level of loyalty, have a more positive opinion of business behavior and are less pessimistic about the general social situation."

To attract and retain top talent, companies need to be expanding their corporate social responsibility footprint. Here are three ways to do just that:

1. Collectively find a cause 
Regularly contributing to a charity, sponsoring a local community-improvement group or making frequent donations to an organization in need are several ways for companies to expand their corporate social responsibility efforts. However, to get the most organization-wide support for such initiatives, be sure to involve employees of all levels in the selection of the cause as much as possible. You could poll workers or have sit-down chats that are open to everyone during which potential causes can be brainstormed. 

2. Implement 'Give Back Days'
Once a month or once a quarter, have team outings where employees give back to their communities. Some ideas are serving meals at homeless shelters, helping move products at a food bank, planting a community garden or cleaning up a local park. 

3. Re-evaluate the company mission and values 
To boost social responsibility, the desire to do good has to start at the top and then be reflected in all aspects of an organization. Are doing good and giving back sentiments that are reflected in your mission statement, company objectives and values? If not, it's time to revise them. 

With these tips, you can help your company make the world a better place.