There are parts of our community that continues to ask the following question:
Why are we giving away $4b in aid when our farmers are struggling?
At first glance it casts Australia’s Foreign Aid budget in a questionable light. But it is horribly short sighted.
Australia exports over $430 billion worth of goods to the rest of the world, and much of it goes to Asia. The majority of wheat grown in Australia is sold overseas, with the major markets in Asia and the Middle East. Annually, it brings in about $2.4b.
Imagine if every country in Asia had worked their way out of poverty and had the capacity to purchase more? Countries such as Thailand and South Korea were once aid recipients and are now among Australia’s 10 largest trade partners.
In short, there is a very good reason to look after your customers. Treat them well and they will become repeat customers. If you provide a way for them to improve their lives so they can buy more wheat and meat products from Australian farmers then that just makes good economic sense. That’s it.
Whether it is your own business or you are working for someone else, here are three benefits for supporting a charity, with 1 proviso:
- Good for your staff
We know that today, more than ever, business employees are looking for much more than a pay-check to take home. They are looking for career advancement, flexibility, autonomy and purpose. A great way to assist employees to find their purpose is to align with a charity through generosity. That way, your staff know that as they help the business grow and become more profitable, they are creating a positive impact on the world as you donate some of the profit to a worthy cause. This can provide your staff with a greater sense of pride, well-being and team cohesion just by turning up to work on Monday morning.
2. Good for your customers
Having an intentional alignment with a charity can positively impact your customers as they understand that just by making a regular purchase they are also impacting the world positively. Like employees, customers are looking to do much more with their purchasing power and showing them that your business is good for the world will assist them in finding some purpose in their daily life.
3. Good for your business
Good news and positive experiences are some of the best marketing tools as word of mouth spreads. Making a positive difference through a relationship with a charity is good marketing material as existing customers notice it, get excited about it and entice new customers. It is also extra social media content for you as you highlight the charity that you support.
Plus it will also bring good staff to you as
potential employees see the relationship with the charity as the point of difference
between your business and others in the same industry.
Proviso: The charity that you choose has to be aligned with your values. It cannot be something that you do just get good press, people will see through that very quickly. The key is to build a relationship authentically with a charity that can grow over time and show real impact.