What Businesses Have In Common With Charities (And What It Means For Revenue Growth)

The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others” – Mahatma Gandhi. Businesses have a lot in common with non-profit organizations. Both types of organizations need a solid team of experts, a sustainable business model, and more important, revenue. Here are 4 similarities that businesses have in common with charities:

  1. Both start with a “why”.

    "Our goal is to make the best devices in the world, not to be the biggest" - Steve Jobs. Whether it’s to eradicate poverty or create the best smartphone in the world, every business or non-profit organization is dedicated to achieve one goal. As an entrepreneur or digital marketer, you should also find your goal in life by questioning yourself frequently. Why are you in this field? What are you trying to accomplish? Who do you want to benefit from all of this? By digging deeper and deeper in yourself, you can find out the core of your entrepreneurial or business intentions and evaluate if you want to stay in this field. If you discover that digital marketing or entrepreneurship is where your passion lies, you’ll be more focused and motivated. 

  2. Both require people.

    If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together” – an old African proverb. Only by recruiting the best talents and hardest working people will you be able to turn your dream into reality. Whether it’s to fight a cure for cancer or create a new communication method to help humans interact with each other, you need a team of specialized, dedicated professionals to help you implement your goals. That said, the only way for you to form a team of like-minded individuals is to encrypt your vision or mission statement in them. Nike for instance has done a tremendous job in encouraging its team to stick to its mission statement “To bring inspiration and innovation to every athlete in the world.” This has allowed Nike to become the top sportswear company by constantly coming out with state of the art basketball shoes and sports apparel. For other businesses and charities, developing a team of professionals through vision sharing is also integral.

  3. Both thrive on community support.

    Giving back to the community produces financial as well as altruistic returns for businesses and non-profit organizations. By embracing corporate volunteerism and social responsibility, companies can boost employee satisfaction and retention. According to a VolunteerMatch.org report, 66% of employees have enhanced commitment to their companies due to their experience volunteering. Moreover, 92% of employees who engaged in corporate volunteering have higher rates of emotional health. These benefits can improve employee productivity and in turn, enhance revenue. Multinationals such as IBM have already adopted this idea by offering volunteer grants to employees who have outstanding volunteer experiences. These employees in turn can donate directly to specific charities of their choice.

  4. Both benefit from effective story-telling.

    Story-telling can deeply capture your audience’s hearts. Scott Harrison, CEO of charity:water, has particularly mastered this approach. Scott has used his phenomenal story-telling skills to share his idea, customize his value propositions to angel investors, and more important, motivate everyone to devote to his cause. Today, Scott has fundraised over 100 million dollars and helped approximately 1.8 million people worldwide attain clean water. Similarly, brands can also do the same. By sharing your entrepreneurial story or your vision, you can build a stronger bond with your customers and turn them into proponents.

Businesses and non-profit organizations both work diligently to achieve their organizational goals, attain and retain top talents, and of course, grow their organizations. By understanding what they share with charities, businesses can focus on leveraging these commonalities to further turn their goals into realities.