Family Business philanthropy is not such a strange concept. Philanthropy, by definition, is “the desire to promote the welfare of others, expressed especially by the generous donation of money to good causes.” Many businesses have been founded because of the values and beliefs that business owners have. Depending on how far these philanthropies extend, they can benefit not just the immediate community but can even impact global communities.
Why are family businesses taking up philanthropy?
There are many reasons why family businesses have now taken up donating or even fighting for a worthy cause. These philanthropic endeavors are fast evolving, as many things are in a family business. As the business grows, the engagement to promote and do more for their philanthropies also grows.
Not only that, but philanthropies in family businesses also strengthen the business in many ways. For example, if a family strongly believes in one principle or cause together, they have common ground and, thus, will have stronger ties. A family business only runs as smoothly as the family does.
Many family businesses now increasingly focus on corporate social responsibilities and giving back. The reason? It not only boosts morale but also holds the key to strengthening the business for lasting success. Below are more reasons why philanthropies are becoming more important in the landscape of family business.
Family Businesses Mirror their Philanthropies
More often than not, the idea of giving is usually initiated by one or two members of the family before it becomes a family business project. When you place philanthropy at the heart of an enterprise, it becomes the crossroads of family, business, and society. It is that middle ground where the three intersect.
When a family business chooses certain philanthropy and stands by it, everything else follows. This includes how they run the business, how they treat their employees, how they serve their customers, and how the brand is overall presented to the public.
For example, a family restaurant that believes in zero food waste should support community kitchens, allow their employees to take home leftovers, donate ingredients to the destitute, and other initiatives.
Nurturing the Legacy
Most family-owned businesses look forward to creating a name that will span generations. A long-term business goal most business runners have, after all, is to create value and wealth for themselves and their loved ones. Family business legacies don’t always have to do with their success in the financial aspect, but how much impact they had in and out of the community they served.
Having philanthropy for your family business is a great outlet to express the family’s personal and spiritual values. Apart from doing good and helping out of the goodness of your hearts, these good deeds also make up the legacy you will leave behind.
Whether you are the first, second, or third generation of your family business, your legacy of supporting worthy causes will be alive so long as the people whose lives you’ve touched tell stories about your family business.
Forming Closer Family Bonds
If done well, philanthropy can become the common ground between an entire family. From the parents to the children to the grandchildren to anyone else considered as part of the family business, everyone can agree on one thing, and that is to give back and do more. Philanthropy would provide the family an opportunity to rally behind a singular worthy cause.
Agreeing on something will also allow the family business to flourish. Family members would all agree on one thing and spend more time talking, being around each other, and just overall creating a more harmonious relationship that can only be good for business.
Family business philanthropy also helps the younger generation to present their modern views and separate themselves from their parents’ perspectives. Philanthropy gives the young ones an ideal platform to be part of something bigger, and it could very well spark their passion for steering the family business in their own direction someday.
Passing It On to the Next Generation
It’s not a far reach to say that a family business philanthropy would be able to bridge generational gaps, whether geographically or emotionally. Using philanthropy as a tool to train and help the next generation become accustomed to the family business is a great idea. It can also help the next generation get to know the business further and perhaps make plans of their own for how to improve it better.
Philanthropy can also drive home the importance of working together and wealth management. By letting the next generation see that banding together makes for more efficient work, especially if it is for a greater cause, they can develop their practical and entrepreneurial skills better.
How important is philanthropy in a family business?
Living in the age of the internet and ever-advancing technology is a double-edged sword for family-owned businesses. Some family businesses have expanded so wide in their digital reach that they no longer have control of their branding, which eventually leads them to lose control over public opinion.
Having philanthropy can help with this. Once you associate your family business with a certain core value, you can let it guide how you want to run your business and how you want the public to look at you and your services offered. Social media can either be your best friend or your worst enemy at this point.
Remember that when you market your brand as, for example, an eco-friendly family business, this is what your audience will associate you with. You use recycled wrapping materials, you avoid plastic waste as much as possible, you support ocean cleanup drives, etcetera, etcetera. You will then be seen, at least online, as the brand that is conscious and willing to make a change. When you make a wrong move, it can all come crumbling down.
Igniting Real Change
Apart from the benefits philanthropy would give your family business, the main reason why you should subscribe to one is that it is the right and moral thing to do as a member of society. Today, more and more family businesses are becoming hands-on in helping and giving back to their communities.
This is a good thing, as one movement can inspire a dozen more. Family businesses that operate on a small scale can still make meaningful and sustainable changes, but the bigger the business, the more means to help out and reach more people.
So the real importance of a family business philanthropy? It is in the spirit of keeping humanity and nation-building alive. You help out, the person you help passes it on, and then on and on and on. Small ripples create big waves.