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Why Giving Back Is an Investment in Your Culture

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Donating time or money to great causes is a responsible and fulfilling act that most leaders wholeheartedly support. But because giving back doesn’t provide a clear pathway to profits, supporting those in need often falls to the bottom of the totem pole.

I’ve seen it happen all too often. When the subject of giving back is broached, leaders respond with:

  • "We’ll do that when we’re profitable.”
  • "Put it on the to-do list."
  • "Sure, we'll support employees who want to do that."
  • "When we have time, we'll do it."

But when push comes to shove, it simply doesn’t happen.

A More Responsible Business Model

One of the primary reasons I set out to create my own company was to be able to operate with a higher level of purpose each day in business. At Human Marketing, we know that helping others not only improves the lives of those in need; it directly ties into our own happiness, employee fulfillment and engagement. By giving back, we’re investing in our company culture and employee-company pride, which touches every part of the business — profits included.

That’s why in October (our third fully operational month), we donated 5 percent of gross revenue to UNICEF to support children affected by the Syrian migrant crisis. We didn’t want to stick giving back at the bottom of some far-out to-do list that we’d get to when the time was right and cash flow was positive.

The decision to commit revenue to the Syrian migrant crisis was obvious after hearing some of the heart-wrenching stories on NPR. One in 4 Syrians fleeing the country is a child. The trek is physically, emotionally and psychologically draining on these men, women and children, and the risks are insurmountable.

Why We Chose UNICEF

Unfortunately, not all charities are created equal, but we look to sites like Charity Navigator and Charity Watch to vet and compare charitable organizations and ensure our money has the greatest impact.

We chose UNICEF because it’s a top-rated charity that commits 90% of every dollar donated to help children in need. It scored 95 out of 100 on Charity Navigator based on benchmarks of financial responsibility, accountability and transparency. Donations support immediate safeguards for children and families, including: 

  • Safe, child-friendly reception facilities as children arrive with access to healthcare, psychosocial support, recreation and schooling.
  • More resettlement places across Europe and humanitarian visas for children and their families. Processing asylum cases should be efficient and always focus on the best interests of the children.
  • Stronger commitment to resettlement of refugees from countries in conflict to reduce the likelihood that refugees resort to unsafe routes and people-smuggling.
  • Stepped-up search-and-rescue operations at sea and on land.
  • Expedited family reunification programs for separated and unaccompanied children.
  • Ample trained child welfare specialists to care for and counsel children and families.                                                                                

Giving can be a sound investment in your company’s future. Investing in causes your team members feel passionate about also injects greater meaning in their work. Instead of waiting for the perfect moment, it’s time to take the reins and make it happen — no matter how much you can reasonably commit.

We’re always looking for awesome organizations to support. If you have any worthy causes you’d like to share, we’d love to hear them in the comments below!