“If you’re in the luckiest 1% of humanity, you owe it to the rest of humanity to think about the other 99%.” — Warren Buffett
W.B. has given away more than he has left. In fact, he has pledged to give 99% of his wealth. It gives us pause. When talk of CSR and philanthropy are brought up in most offices, there’s a general lull in the air — the process seems like an imposition for most who just consider it another thing to tick off a sundry list. But the act of giving is powerful. It’s not just about the feel good. It’s about empowerment, about creating networks, and about working towards higher purposes, all of which act as fuel for your business’ own success. Let’s dive in.
Giving Is Enlightened Self Interest
Large sections of societies do not hold the capital that companies often do. We must realise that markets cannot exist in social vacuums, and giving is a way to create bridges for aspiration gaps — the gaps that exist between those that have ability, and the opportunities that then tap into this ability. Giving is also a societal safety net for when misfortune strikes. In some sense, giving is the most practical way of keeping what’s left.
Giving Makes For A More Diverse Work Space
We’d all love a diverse work space. Homogenous work environments fail to bring out creative solutions and better problem solving. Most companies have a pretty predictable composition of people — managers hire people with whom they perceive to have shared backgrounds and mindsets, despite wanting to be diverse. By making a concerted effort to give, companies stand to learn about worlds that are distanced from their experiences and develop a better and more empathetic view of the eco-systems that they operate in. The kind of employees that value this mindset, and are drawn to companies that proactively give, add new colour to the overall employee palette.
Besides being fiscally prudent (most Governments will provide tax concessions for philanthropy), there ultimately is nothing more satisfying than giving and seeing your goodwill translate into impact. It’s equally important that smaller companies like ours, despite their limited resources, start practising this right at the outset. It could be a small amount, or perhaps it’s a donation of time or kind, but it still counts.
To use a cliché, what goes around, comes around. Acts of giving provide purpose to employees and businesses alike. They make the work one does more meaningful than simply profits or pay cheques. This engenders enthusiastic conversations outside the workplace. In turn, it sends signals in the marketplace, both to customers and potential employees alike, about the kind of business and the employee peer group they can expect when they work with you.
One way to encourage this mindset among employees, rather than simply as a top-down directive, is to provide matching programs — where the company matches (or multiplies) the amount gathered by employees — towards specific causes. At Scribble, we’re always looking for people that are well-rounded, and that are wondering how they can increase the radius of their sphere of impact.
Let’s talk. Say hello to us at Scribble