Can Charitable Giving Make Your Employees healthier?

You know charitable giving is good for the community, and for the various individuals being helped by non-profit organizations providing shelters, food banks, job training, after school programs, and many other vital services to vulnerable populations.

But can it also help the people who donate and volunteer? As in, you and your employees?

The short answer is yes

Research shows that people who give back to their communities are happier and healthier than people who don’t.

But it’s not quite that simple. It’s also important to remember that individuals who donate time and money are in a position that allows them to do so, which could help explain why they are both happier and healthier. Many people who are struggling can’t give away what they don’t have.

That said, there have been plenty of studies that show how charitable giving positively affects health in a variety of ways, including increased feelings of joy, reduced stress, lower blood pressure, better sleep, and even longer life spans.

A few quick facts from the research:

  • Frequent volunteering has been associated with lower blood pressure and greater psychological wellbeing.
  • Brain imaging research has shown that the brain’s pleasure centers became activated when people chose to donate part of a new stash of money to charity, rather than keeping it all for themselves.
  • People with a higher level of meaning and purpose in life experienced better sleep quality and had lower instances of sleep apnea and restless leg syndrome.
  • People who regularly helped their friends, relatives, and/or neighbors had a lower risk of dying over a five-year period than those who didn’t. Interestingly, receiving help wasn’t linked to a reduced death risk.

Now, just imagine if these happy, well-rested people with low blood pressure and long life expectancy were your employees. Wouldn’t that be fantastic?

Wouldn’t it also be fantastic if your organization was committed to giving back to the communities where your employees live, work, and play?

Giving is good for business

Does your company have a charitable giving program in place?

  • Do you offer payroll deduction or gift matching?
  • Do you allow your employees to take time off to volunteer?
  • Do you support causes and organizations that align with your goals and mission?

If not, it’s time to ask yourself why.

There are many other ways that giving can positively affect your business, in addition to your employees and your community. If you need a little extra convincing, here are a few great benefits that can be gained through a culture of giving:

Tax breaks

The obvious financial benefit. Give enough money and you’ll save some later. It’s a win-win scenario! A great way to improve your community and your bottom line.

Positive image in the community

Everyone loves a feel-good story. Are you that company who provides a great product or service but gives diddly-squat back to your community? Why not be the organization who gives customers the warm fuzzies instead?

If you think people don’t really take this into consideration when making purchases, we’ve got two words for you: TOMS Shoes.

Better employee engagement

Think employees don’t really care about this kind of stuff? We’ve got two more words for you: Think again.

According to Project ROI, a well-designed corporate social responsibility program can:

  • Increase employee productivity by 13%
  • Increase employee engagement by up to 7.5%
  • Reduce employee turnover by 50%

Clearly, employees want to be employed by businesses who care. Not just about their employees, but about their communities as well. Once they find themselves at a company that does, they will happily work harder and stick around longer.

Talk about the gift that keeps on giving! Just imagine how happy your management and HR teams would be in this scenario.

More Revenue???

Yes, charitable giving can even have positive effects on overall revenue.

The Project ROI research found that companies who invested in corporate social responsibility saw increases in revenue of as much as 20%. Twenty percent! Who doesn’t want to see that?

With all that extra profit rolling in, you can afford to be even more generous. And make your employees, your business, and your community that much happier and healthier.

Start cultivating a generous company culture today. It’s good for everyone.


Photo by Wavebreak Media Ltd 

5 Pillars of Employee-Related Expenses eBook

Afraid to Try Anything New? Get Ready to Become Irrelevant.

We tend to avoid things that scare us, and this can be a good thing. Steering clear of bears, for example.

And yet we often avoid “scary” things that are really quite good for us. Like going to the dentist. Or putting spinach in our smoothies. Or, even scarier still… adopting new business technologies and processes.

Trying something new is always a little unsettling. Maybe we don’t understand why we should do it or how it could possibly end well. (Spinach?!?! In my smoothie?!?!)

Or maybe we do understand, but still find it to be intimidating. (What if I can’t choke it down? Six dollars wasted!)

Yes, it takes courage to overcome our fears. But at the end of the day, it’s those who dare to try new things who will find themselves at the top of their game.

Are you playing to win?

Many organizations are having difficulty staying on the leading edge when it comes to technology. But sticking with the same old plan isn’t an option. Integrating new workplace technology into your sales, marketing, customer service, and communications processes is imperative, not just to become more competitive— but even to remain relevant.

Organizations who continue to live in the world of what they currently know and the way that they’ve always done things are eventually going to disappear, because someone else will jump in and fill the void of “what could be.”

This is a time of opportunity and innovation. Your customers are looking for it and you should be, too. Relying on outdated or conventional ways of selling, operating, and communicating will not capture the attention of the technology-savvy buyers of today and, more importantly, the potential buyers of tomorrow.

You need to engage with customers, clients, and prospects in ways that they want (and need!) you to connect with them.

Are you working to solve the problems they want solved? Are you communicating in ways they want to communicate? Are you making your interactions as easy, streamlined, and pleasant as possible? This is impossible to do if you’re still using the equivalent of dial-up technology and rolodex processes.

It’s time to eat your spinach

Integrating new technology and processes into your organization can be scary. Maybe even terrifying.

But can you think of anything more frightening than watching your business decline year after year after year?

The fear of trying new things has been many a company’s downfall. Don’t let it be yours. Find the courage to turn that fear into opportunity.


Photo by Сергей Толмачев

5 Pillars of Employee-Related Expenses eBook