According to the 2016 PwC Global CEO survey, 64% of CEOs consider corporate social responsibility (CSR) central to their business strategy and essential to growth. Company leaders are incorporating philanthropy into their workplace culture, by stepping forward to advocate for global issues such as child education, climate change, and fair trade.  

The following are some of the many ways philanthropic initiatives can benefit your business:   

1. Customer Outreach
In the past, only a handful of Fortune 500 companies submitted reports on their corporate responsibility practices. However, in today's digital age, tech-savvy consumers can easily access a company's records regarding humane labor practices and socially conscious projects. According to a 2014 Nielson survey, more than 55 percent of online consumers worldwide prefer purchasing from companies with substantial social and environmental commitments, even if it meant paying more for products and services. 

2. Cost Savings
In 2016, the U.S. government introduced measures to incentivize businesses to increase resource efficiency. As the human population continues to grow exponentially, resources are becoming more limited. In such a scenario, it is cost-efficient for companies to eliminate waste and reuse materials. 

3. Attracting Talent
The results from a Deloitte survey showed that 70 percent of Millennials considered their company's social commitment as a significant factor in their decision to work there. A philanthropic mission not only attracts potential employees, but also provides an excellent environment that helps motivate staff, creates a positive team culture, and enhances work performance. 

4. Brand Marketing
Initiating narratives concerning global issues sets your company apart from your competitors. Company reputation is enhanced by brand differentiation. Since corporate social responsibility is fast becoming the norm for business, one way of achieving a unique identity is to actively engage with customers and find out what their concerns are and what causes they support. 

5. Investors
Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) guidelines are the industry standard for corporate social responsibility related data, goals and performance. Crunching numbers together to generate comprehensive reports on your global commitments is a great way to catch the eye of investors. In gaining the trust of investors, you strengthen stakeholder relationships, which in turn classifies your company as a good corporate citizen. This cant hurt if you are seeking investment or plan to in the future. 

The data shows an excellent corporate social responsibility program can help your company recruit and retain talent, market to your customers and ultimately grow as a business. In other words, it's a good business move to put a program in place. 

Published on: Nov 20, 2017
Like this column? Sign up to subscribe to email alerts and you'll never miss a post.
The opinions expressed here by Inc.com columnists are their own, not those of Inc.com.