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Beyond the Bottom Line: The “WHY” of Corporate Philanthropy.

Chanelle van Dyk
14th Feb, 2024

Corporate philanthropy has become an increasingly important aspect of modern business practices, as companies seek to make a positive impact on society beyond their immediate business operations. At the heart of corporate philanthropy is a desire to help those in need, to make a positive difference in the world, and to build a better future for all. For some companies, their philanthropic efforts may be driven by personal values or a sense of responsibility to give back to the communities that have supported them. For others, it may be a strategic business decision to enhance their brand and reputation or to appeal to customers who value social responsibility.

Corporate philanthropy can be described as the effort a business or organisation undertakes in promoting the welfare of others, generally through donations of funds or time (Hayes,2022). We can take it a step further saying that it is the heart of an organisation, the purpose beyond the bottom line.

The words “charity” and “philanthropy” are often used interchangeably, but philanthropy tends to encompass a broader range of giving activities. Philanthropy involves supporting communities or groups to help them reach their full potential through initiatives such as special events, funding and necessities. Typically, philanthropic efforts involve a long-term commitment to the cause being served. Charity, on the other hand, is usually based on individual giving and provides short term assistance, like donating food and warm cloths to the homeless.

So, why does our company care about philanthropy?

We have heart and we care about people. Our commitment to giving back is driven by our belief that we have a responsibility to help those in need and to make a real difference in their lives. We understand that success isn’t just about financial gain, but also making a positive impact in the lives of those in need. Our philanthropic efforts are focused on supporting vulnerable groups, especially children and the elderly.

We have a special relationship with New Hope School, one of the largest special needs organisations/schools in South Africa. The logistical and operational requirements of this school present significant challenges that the Department of Education alone does not address. When we visit the children, we are always touched by their smiles and grateful hearts. It is an absolute privilege to be able to make a meaningful difference in the lives of these children.

As a part of our commitment to supporting vulnerable groups in South Africa, we have partnered with Silverdae Old Age Home and The Magrietjies. Located in Waterval Boven, Mpumalanga, Silverdae has been providing care to the elderly and the frail since 1986. It is run by seniors as a community-based project, and we are proud to support their efforts to meet the care requirements of those in need. In addition to Silverdae, we also work closely with The Magrietjies, a voluntary charity organization established in 1994. They provide free care and support to cancer patients, relying solely on fundraising and donations for medical equipment, medicine, treatments, and services. Despite the lack of government support, The Magrietjies remains committed to delivering high-quality care to those who need it most. We are honored to be a part of their care circle and will continue to support both organizations in their critical work.

Of course, there are also critics who argue that corporate philanthropy is little more than a PR stunt, and that companies should focus solely on maximizing profits. However, the reality is that philanthropy can actually be a smart business decision, as studies have shown that companies that prioritize social responsibility tend to perform better financially in the long run. By giving back to your community, you can build a loyal customer base, attract and retain top talent, and enhance your brand reputation, all of which can contribute to your bottom line.

For companies that prioritize giving back to their communities, the benefits can be numerous, including increased employee engagement and loyalty, improved brand reputation, and even financial rewards.

Regardless of the motivation behind corporate philanthropy, the impact can be significant, particularly for vulnerable groups such as children and the elderly. In fact, many companies have made it a priority to focus their giving efforts on supporting these groups, recognizing the unique challenges they face and the critical need for support.

So, why does our company care about philanthropy?

First and foremost, corporate philanthropy is an opportunity to make a real difference in the lives of those in need. By supporting charitable causes that align with your company's values and goals, you can have a tangible impact on the communities you serve. Whether it's through financial donations, volunteer work, or other forms of support, your company can help to provide critical resources and services to those who need it most.

Of course, there are also critics who argue that corporate philanthropy is little more than a PR stunt, and that companies should focus solely on maximizing profits. However, the reality is that philanthropy can actually be a smart business decision, as studies have shown that companies that prioritize social responsibility tend to perform better financially in the long run. By giving back to your community, you can build a loyal customer base, attract and retain top talent, and enhance your brand reputation, all of which can contribute to your bottom line.

 



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