Peter Plaut on Developing a Company Culture That Encourages Philanthropy

How can business leaders help to promote a culture of philanthropy in your business?

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Are you looking to build a company culture that promotes philanthropy? While you can’t change anyone’s heart, you can encourage your team members to be philanthropic by leading by example and providing ample opportunities for them to be charitable. 

Here are some specific ways that your business can encourage philanthropy.

  • Offer paid time off for volunteering.

One of the biggest roadblocks that stop people from volunteering is a lack of time. To combat this, your business can offer paid time off for volunteering, or VTO. VTO allows employees to take full days off to dedicate to charitable work without detracting from their personal lives. VTO also helps your company to gain a reputation for philanthropy, which, in turn, will attract more philanthropic job candidates to your organization.

  • Donate to charities your employees choose.

Another way to build a culture of philanthropy in your business is to make donations to causes that your employees choose. You could do this in addition to quarterly bonuses, for example. After your team receives their bonuses, let them know that they can also select a charity and that the company will make a donation to that organization in their name. You can also allow them to share which charity they chose and why that organization is meaningful to them. 

  • Collect goods to donate in the office.

Your organization can also offer to collect donations for a specific cause in the office. At the holidays, for example, you can collect gifts for local families in need. You could also collect donations for military care packages or food for a local shelter. Team members could also bring in clothes or electronics to donate instead of disposing of them. 

  • Offer free services.

Offering pro bono services is also a great way to create a philanthropic company culture. Depending on what your organization does, you could provide free services to charities or organizations that are involved in charity work of some kind. If you have a hard time choosing where to donate services, have your team vote on it. 

Creating a company culture of philanthropy is as simple as leading by example and offering opportunities. Encourage beneficence by being philanthropic at the top, and you’ll soon find that philanthropy is present at every level of your organization.

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