Have Millennials Found The Feels Of ‘Do Good Feels Good’?

A study by a University of Oregon professor and his colleagues demonstrates that charitable contributions create a response in the brain that mimics one activated by drugs and other stimuli. This response elicits a surge of dopamine and endorphins that are experienced as “hedonic” and rewarding. Charitable giving can feel pleasurable in the deepest parts of your physiology.

Businesses are showing a growing concern for social welfare and for good reason.  A recent study suggests that millennials have driven the social responsibility movement, with 70 percent of them reporting that they'll spend more with brands that support causes. Given that millennials represent $2.45 trillion in spending power, the notion of "giving back" may be very powerful for your company's sales, not to mention, it's overall purpose.

Charitable acts are performed without the expectation of direct financial gain, but they certainly are not without their own rewards.  Small businesses are discovering that giving back can affect their bottom line as well as their communities. You don't need a huge budget or full marketing team to execute a strong "giving back" campaign. Corporate donations are a great way to generously help nonprofit organizations that matter to you, your employees, and your community. Most small businesses are able to make charitable donations each year.

There are fiscal rewards for helping a charity in need. A tax deduction is one of the most immediate benefits of corporate donations. Businesses also can usually receive tax deductions from sponsoring charities or events. Partnering with a charity to sponsor an event is great exposure for your business and potential customers like the sense of being able to combine their pleasure in patronizing a business with the pleasurable sense of helping others.  You may not instantly see how your contribution benefits your community, but you will quickly notice the tax savings.

Local newspapers are always filled with photos of business people presenting checks to the directors of charitable organizations, which is great publicity. Charities and non-profit organizations are only too happy to recognize donors by thanking them in published literature, websites, and at supported functions.

Giving back to the community is an excellent way to promote your business and get the word out about your products or services. Philanthropic businesses are some of the most powerful in the world. For example, Apple matches employee donations and has donated more than $78 million to charities through 2015.

In a study by professors at the University of Missouri – Columbia and the University of California – Riverside, people who gave to others tend to score much higher on feelings of joy and contentment than individuals who did not give to others.

Corporate donations allow companies to take active interests in their own communities and can also lead to a huge boost in employee morale. If a company chooses to make a corporate donation, workplace culture can improve with increased employee involvement and a positive general attitude. According to a 2016 Deloitte study on volunteering, millennials were "twice as likely to rate their corporate culture as very positive" if their company participated in workplace volunteer activities. Companies that give to environmental causes, or green initiatives, lead to a healthier and more beautiful environment in the immediate area. Employees respect companies that care for their community--it simply makes employees feel good and increases the emotional attachment to their employer.

Supporting charities and attending charitable events is also great for networking. In addition to gaining customers, you may have the opportunity of meeting other business people and developing relationships with complementary businesses.

The relationships formed between customers and prominent community members can be of great value to the company in the future. When businesses help other people, those people tend to want to support the company in return.

A German study provides ample evidence that people who give more to others – in both time and resources – experience greater satisfaction in life than people who do not. In fact, communities of people with high levels of giving tend to demonstrate greater satisfaction within the community than groups of people who do not give generously. Essentially, you’re going to be happier in your community if it’s made up of folks who give to one another.

Good morale is essential to a successful business, and this is one of the best ways to bolster it.  Investing in your community is a great way to give back to those who have helped support your business. Volunteer groups and non-profit organizations do so much to help the communities that all of us are a part of, but they can't do it alone.

Social Responsibility Perspectives: The Shareholder and Stakeholder Approach

In the next decade, the most successful companies will be those that integrate sustainability into their core businesses” – Jim Owens, CEO Caterpillar

If a company helps society through their business as a main goal, then they will reap success.  

The DYGUP & SUSTAIN Program is a non-profit dedicated to regenerative organic agricultural practices to teach the benefits of land stewardship in the Paso del Norte Region. DYGUP, an acronym for Developing Youth from the Ground Up, is available to youth ages 14-17. The SUSTAIN program targets adults over 18 and combines "Roots Of Success" Environmental Literacy Curriculum with intensive farmer training. The DYGUP/ Sustain Program has many partnerships in the community including Taylor Hood Farms, Backyard  Farms LC, First Christian Church, and Las Cruces High-School. Chihuahuan Desert Charities is proud to be the fiscal sponsor for DYGUP & Sustain and support their important work in the Las Cruces community.

Support the DYGUP & Sustain Program at Legacy Farm in Las Cruces by visiting ChihuahuanDesertCharities.org.