December 31, 2014
Article by Joseph Natarelli, National Construction Industry Group Leader, "Fact and Fiction About Corporate Giving," Featured in CONNstruction
While there is some dispute about who uttered the famous encouragement to business leaders to "Do well by doing good," there's no debate about its legitimacy and relevance in American business. You'd be hard-pressed to find a business, whether an international conglomerate or a local dry cleaner, that doesn't commit to giving something back to its community. Sometimes, it may be vast sums of money and sometimes it is a dozen little league jerseys - either way, corporate giving is a part of the American business culture for good.
Giving, it is also said, is its own reward. I'm not here to argue that. It's a fact, and charity is a meaningful and rewarding part of my personal life. But, as a partner and leader in a business concern, I am comfortable talking about the benefits a company can achieve through those same types of charitable behaviors. This is a tricky subject and is one that requires that we hold more than one truth in our minds as we examine it. In the simplest terms: Giving to charity can be good for your bottom line.
Ok, I've said it. Businesses give to charity for business reasons. But...that's OK. Having your own business reasons for giving doesn't detract from the benefits of that giving or from the positive impact of your efforts. Moreover, it ensures that your giving is aligned with your obligation to deliver value to your business's stakeholders.