Philanthropy is rarely something done on a whim or in order to close a deal. For most entrepreneurs, philanthropy is part of their lifestyle. They understand the profound impact it can make in the lives of the people they touch. In addition to being able to help others, philanthropy and charitable giving offer numerous benefits to a small business owner or entrepreneur. Here are just a few…
Philanthropy, at its best, is purely altruistic. There are more than 1.5 million non-profit charities in the U.S. That’s a lot of need — and a lot of giving from generous individuals and businesses. Charitable donations help nonprofit organizations make a difference in the lives of countless people in their communities. As integral parts of the community, businesses are expected to give. Successful entrepreneurs understand the intrinsic value in this, in both a holistic, community way and as a means to personal fulfillment.
Philanthropy Improves Your Reputation
When businesses are willing to help others, people are more willing to support the company in exchange. It can take time to develop a good reputation, especially if your business is new or just starting to see growth. By starting a philanthropy program in your business, you are showing the community that you want to do your part to help other people. To be successful in the long term, you must be willing to engage with other businesses and entrepreneurs in your area and be ready to give back in a way that benefits your customers or clients.
Charitable Contributions Can Qualify for Tax Deductions
You likely already know that there are tax benefits when your business donates to charity. What you may not realize is that for your donation to qualify for a tax deduction, your chosen charity needs to be a 501(c) (3) organization. When deciding exactly how much you will give to charity, it’s important to consider a variety of factors. Donating to local organizations is a worthwhile cause, but it’s also important to look out for the interests of your business. Don’t donate an amount that will sink your business. Be smart as well as charitable.
Be sure to keep track of your donations through written records. Include when you’ve donated and how much money. Having records to look back at makes tax season easier, and it helps ensure you won’t be subject to an audit or have legal repercussions. When it comes to the paperwork and tax requirements for charitable contributions, it’s often easiest to speak with a tax advisor.
Philanthropy Can Provide a Creative Outlet
Creativity is a trait that is extremely beneficial. It allows you to set yourself apart from the competition and differentiate your brand, even in the most crowded spaces. Philanthropy can help improve your creative imagination, as many problems require thinking outside of the box in order to come up with a solution.
Happiness, in large part, is dependent on how fulfilled you believe you are. Fulfillment is of the utmost importance to philanthropists. A study conducted on over 400 of the world’s top bankers and wealth advisors found that personal fulfillment is the number one reason why ultra-high-net-worth individuals prioritize philanthropy.
Build Powerful Personal Networks
Entrepreneurs often do not give unintentionally. They donate to causes they feel a deep connection to and believe in. As such, philanthropy offers an effective avenue to meet people with whom you share a common (and generous) interest.
You will never succeed in business without a solid network of people you can turn to for advice and help. Your own personal network is often responsible for helping you navigate through difficult times and making introductions and connections that impact your business in a positive manner. Your philanthropic initiatives can also lead to introductions and new contacts that further enhance your personal network.
There is a tremendous opportunity for entrepreneurs and small business owners to be more socially responsible and help their communities through philanthropy. Your business also has the opportunity to make charitable donations in other areas. For example, if you have excess inventory, you could donate it to charities or use it for giveaways. If you have employees, you can also try getting your staff involved in volunteer programs.
Even if your budget is tight, offering your services to a good cause can go a long way. If you have started a business, but haven’t quite figured out how to get to the point where you have the revenue to start giving to charities, this program will provide you with income opportunities so you can more easily be philanthropic.
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