Businesses who want to be successful are always on the lookout for sound business ideas, such as a revolutionary product, investment opportunity or new technology that will make them run faster and smoother. However, few businesses give a thought to how philanthropy – helping others – can help their business.

Helping others makes good business sense

The main goal of every business is ultimately to make money, but if that drive towards success can be matched with a desire to help others, a business will benefit from an enhanced brand image. A consumer today has a social conscience and is very aware of the seemingly unfair distribution of wealth and the appalling conditions in which some laborers work in the third world. When a consumer sees that a particular company is exercising its power to help some sector of the community, or even the world at large, it impresses the consumer and encourages them to develop a brand loyalty. On a personal level, everyone likes to believe that they have done something positive, and philanthropy in business gives employees a greater sense of purpose.

Many of the world’s most famous and successful brands ensure that they have a philanthropic side to their business. Coca-Cola for example, has established the Coca-Cola Foundation dedicated to charities. Their main focus is on business education and the promotion of physical activities, as well as recycling and other environmental concerns. In 2011, the Foundation donated more than £2 million to community projects in the UK alone. Meanwhile, entertainment is very well placed to stage philanthropic events. As an example, the WWE has an online charity auction entitled Superstars for Kids, which has in the past raised more than $400,000 for various needy organizations, such as The Brees Dream Foundation, which helps disadvantaged children.

Other businesses make more of a fundamental contribution to the human condition and operate as non-profit organizations. The Robert Rosenkranz Foundation, for example, focuses on education and the arts. This Foundation supports various think tanks in the US and UK and funds the creation of new scientific courses at renowned universities. The foundation also has a particular interest in Asian art; they have made substantial contributions to art museums and produced literature surrounding the subject.

There are several reasons why philanthropy is good for business, including the satisfaction derived from helping others, improving a business’s visibility and developing an increasingly loyal customer-base. If businesses can make money and still help others, it is undoubtedly a win-win situation for everyone.