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Philanthropy is important all year, but it’s of particular focus around the holidays. Now is the time to make it a priority for your business. As JConnelly’s Julie Goodman explained in a recent post, there are ways companies can boost their reputation by promoting their philanthropic efforts.

Socializing your company’s charitable endeavors is a smart PR strategy, but as a business leader, there are plenty of additional opportunities to do some good for your community while also making valuable business connections. Monetary donations are of course appreciated, but the gift of your time is a great way to network and build relationships with local clients and business prospects.

Here are three reasons why you should consider getting involved with charitable events this holiday season:

Support your personal and professional brand.

Build a positive reputation for yourself and the company you represent by being active in charitable events around your community. It opens the door to meeting other prominent leaders at local organizations. It also allows you to stand out amongst your competitors who may not be as visible.

If you have sufficient resources, you can even take matters into your hands and start a foundation for a cause you’re passionate about.

Torry and Terrence Holt started the Holt Brothers Foundation to support children who have a parent with cancer, due to losing their mother to this awful disease. Through the foundation’s events, the brothers have gotten to know their sponsors on a deeper level and clients have told them they want to do business together because of their passion. It’s a great way to build customer loyalty.

Connect with other professionals who share similar values.

A positive outcome from networking at charitable events is meeting people who share the same values and vision for the community. It makes it easier to break the ice and potentially form a solid bond that may lead to doing business together.

Foster employee engagement and morale.

When you align yourself with a cause that you feel strongly about, it can inspire others to contribute. As a company leader, it encourages your employees to follow suit. It can be as simple as hooking up with a local non-profit and spending the day donating your company’s time and resources. Employees look up to a leader that shows compassion and it cultivates team camaraderie. Read this Huffington Post article to learn more about the Entrepreneurial Benefits of Being Selfless.

It’s a satisfying feeling knowing your community has benefited from your contribution. Helping others and giving back where you can is simply good for the soul and reason enough to get involved.  When you help other people, they are inclined to want to support your business in return. When the community benefits, so does everyone in it—including your business.

 

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