Happy National Philanthropy Day!
Many people probably recognize Direct Capital as a financial services company, providing equipment leasing and working capital loans* to thousands of small businesses across the country. And while that is the core of who we are, we believe it is important to be well rounded and focus efforts on areas we feel are important.
We pride ourselves on being innovative and creating technology that will improve our financing process and better serve our customers. Our online financing portal makes gaining access to quick loans easy and enables you to track yours and your customers’ applications very transparently. You can see the process from beginning to end.
But aside from the technology side of things, Direct Capital is also a huge proponent of philanthropy. From our Denim for Dollars donations, Food Drives, and other charitable causes, we raise money for dozens of local New Hampshire – and New England – charities week-to-week.
If we can do it, so can your small business.
So, in honor of National Philanthropy Day on November 15, Direct Capital hopes to help you become a leader in both important aspects of running a small business – technology and philanthropy.
Insidephilanthropy.com wrote an article about their chosen most generous tech leaders. Even though your small business may not be donating millions of dollars to your local communities, the authors say you don’t have to.
“We think that generosity is important no matter where one is in their career trajectory. Get a cause. There are plenty around, and you can always switch later. You don’t need to be a big innovator with your philanthropy. Just do some good.”
People on their list include:
- Microsoft Co-Founder Paul Allen who gave away $372.6 million in 2011, $1.5 billion total, and his interest in philanthropy is constantly expanding. His organization, The Paul G. Allen Foundation which he founded with his sister, is beginning to focus on marine and wildlife conservation and expanding globally.
- Facebook Founder Mark Zuckerberg. He and his wife donated nearly $1 billion in Facebook stock to a donor-advised fund through the Silicon Valley Community Foundation.
- The first president of eBay Jeff Skoll has quite a large philanthropic footprint. Insidephilanthropy.com writes, “Skoll has already given half of his net wealth [he’s worth $3.8 billion] to socially beneficial organizations, and plans to contribute almost all of it ‘to the betterment of humanity’ during or after his lifetime.”
Each of these men are innovators, having created technology that skyrocketed and, essentially, changed the world. Again, you don’t have to be on the same scale, but use that as proof that businesses can be leaders in technology for their industry and give back to the greater good.
The Value of Small Business Philanthropy
If you’re wondering how you can compare to big names like Zuckerberg and Allen, we have a simple solution. It’s not about how much they gave, it’s that they gave at all. Your business is part of a community and anything you can do to help that community is a big deal. They will notice. They will appreciate it. And that’s what philanthropy and giving is all about.
Alt-Creative.com writes, “The most obvious answer to the question of giving back is that it feels good to do it. The feeling of reward is always there. For most people, that feeling makes them happy and happy business owners tend to lead successful companies.”
Writing the check for an organization is often the easy part, but if giving money isn’t in the cards, donating time is just as important.
Besides the feel-good nature of giving back (which may be the only reason you need!), why else is philanthropy valuable to your small business?
- Attract new employees: When employees know your business cares more about the community as a whole instead of just the bottom line, you will gain a significant advantage when hiring talent.
- Retain your current employees: Employees that have the opportunity to participate in philanthropic efforts will often feel more connected to the business and be more likely to stay on board.
- Free publicity: When you give back to an organization or donate your time, chances are people are going to hear about it. Whether the organization mentions you online or the local newspaper covers the story, your business will be aligned with the community you helped. That is a good message to be giving off.
- Tax deductions: Making a monetary charitable contribution decreases your tax liability. According to Alt-creative, all of the philanthropic small businesses they have connected with have received a 100% tax deduction on charitable causes.
- Set your business apart: An Edelman’s GoodPurpose study reported that 86% of consumers believe companies should place equal emphasis on their social interests as they do on their business interests. Consumers – your customers – are looking for your business to be just as interested in doing some social good as they are for you to sell products they enjoy. That’s huge. Use your philanthropic efforts to set your business apart from your competition.
*Working capital not available in the following states: AK, DE, ND, VT