Anyone who has recently visited my website or my roofing company’s website will quickly figure out that I’m passionate about philanthropy. I believe in giving back to the communities I do business in. If I’m successful in a specific market, it only makes sense that I give my time and effort to help improve the community that supports my business. Plus, helping others get what they want or need feels good. And I’ve discovered that giving back isn’t just good for the soul — it’s good for business too.

It’s Not Just Me

Other business owners have discovered the same thing. Today’s consumers are much savvier when it comes to corporate responsibility. They seek out products and services created by people who share the values that are important to them. And these companies are finding other benefits to this synergistic relationship than a few more sales at the end of each month. The benefits realized from giving back are sizable for the companies that do it right. And for many businesses, doing it right is more like a 24/7 mission rather than a one-day house painting project.

Businesses that support a charitable organization that aligns with the products and services they offer get more from the partnership than just the warm fuzzies. They also gain the trust of like-minded customers who care about the same things. For instance, a mother with an online baby clothing boutique who partners with a local organization to fund neonatal research shows customers she’s passionate about the welfare of babies. Customers appreciate that.

Here’s How It Works

Here’s a personal example. At Shamrock Roofing, we’ve been involved with the Cars 4 Heroes organization for nearly 20 years. Cars 4 Heroes gives vehicles away to veterans, active-duty military, first responders, and their families who need transportation. These deserving people often don’t have a vehicle and live outside public transit routes. That makes it hard to get to work, school, doctor’s appointments, and other places they need to go. So Car Santa helps them out.

Shamrock expanded the Cars 4 Heroes concept by creating Roofs 4 Heroes. We now give away a new roof every quarter to a deserving veteran or first responder nominated by friends or neighbors. 

When we give a roof away, we sometimes get recognition from local TV or radio stations. That’s nice, but that’s not why we do it. We do it because we love helping people. Veterans and first responders serve our country and the community every day in many ways. It just seems like the right thing to do.

Benefits of Giving Back

Here are the most significant benefits companies realize from giving back to the communities they do business in.

Stronger relationships. Getting involved with a charitable organization helps build stronger relationships. You meet and work with new people. So do your employees. You may run into existing customers or create new ones as a result. Working with others also helps you learn more about other businesses and organizations in the community. You never know where a new relationship might take you. It could open the door to a whole new philanthropic endeavor or business partnership.

Improved employee morale. Getting employees involved in community service helps boost morale and engagement in the workplace. Working together for the good of others is inspiring and often creates better teamwork and collaboration opportunities on and off the job. Giving employees time off for philanthropic work ensures that they return to the office energized and reinvigorated. Productivity goes up as a result.

Increased brand awareness. Giving back to the community also helps build and support your brand. Sure, paying a fee to sponsor a local sports arena provides major brand awareness every time there’s a game. But philanthropy goes deeper than that. Working with like-minded people towards a common goal boosts the public perception of your company and your employees. It’s not just about getting your logo out there. It’s more about showing people what the company stands for.

Growth Through Giving

Shamrock has grown exponentially in the past few years. People often ask me how I do it because they’d like to do the same. I attribute a large part of the growth to my passion for philanthropy. I love giving back to the community. I feel blessed to still be on this earth (read more here) and helping others is my way of sharing my good fortune. 

Am I worried that my competitors will outgrow my company if they copy what we’re doing? No. I think it’s great. The more people we get involved in community service activities, the better. Because at the end of the day, the people we’re helping are the real winners, regardless of the motivation behind the action.

So think about it. How do you feel about your local community? What can you do to give back, serve others, and create a better place to live, work, and play? Maybe it’s time to get involved and see what happens!