The role of the business has transformed and evolved over many decades, transcending commerce and forging its own formidable impression on the social, cultural, and political landscape – making image and brand identity an essential component of a company’s success. We look towards companies on small and large scales for ideal role models within the community – and one of the ways that businesses can deliver isn’t just by producing a good product. It’s by taking this role seriously and contributing to the community in which it thrives.
A giving spirit
One of the most profound ways your business can fulfill this role is to become involved with philanthropy. Wes Edens of the Fortress Investment Group strongly believes that philanthropy extends into many areas. To that end he has given voluntary workshops guiding people towards making better financial decisions and by investing in mega funding for The Edens Professorship in Global Health at Macalester College. As well as advocates for improving global health, Edens and his wife, Lynn, have also worked vigorously for children’s rights and are strong examples of setting precedents for other businesses and their involvement with the community. These range from small organizations to larger ones, and most importantly, it’s an important series of gestures that serve as inspiration to other like-minded entrepreneurs.
Making your mark
It is not just big corporations that can make a difference – in fact, in some ways, small businesses rely on their philanthropic role to garner attention within their immediate community. As a prospective or established business owner, ask yourself this: what can I do to make a difference for my fellow citizens? There are several ways, like donating to and/or sponsoring local events and campaigns, giving workshops and seminars to share skills and knowledge, and volunteering. All of these are endeavors that not only set aside the big business gurus like Bill Gates and Richard Branson, but small, community-based organizations as well.
By investing time and energy into these pursuits, you will begin to see your business not only increase its presence within the community (a simple tweet about how you helped fund-raise x amount for x charity is the best marketing tool anyone could ask for), but establish its role as well. You’ll be sending out a loud and clear message that you care about community and charity, and build morale within your own team of employees. It also opens up the doors for potential future recruitment as prospective individuals see your commitment to community involvement and goodwill – an attractive draw for many job seekers. Most importantly, you’ll be making a difference in peoples’ lives in a very memorable way.