Why Building Your Brand With Philanthropy Works

By Benji Garcia-Reyes

IG: @themedimexican

Maya Angelou said “people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” And although there are various successful ways to build a brand, it’s up to the individual or group to define the vision or goal. For people whose brands are about people, philanthropy is mathematically the best way to build your brand. As long as the product or brand is solid, philanthropy can give it the edge and humanity that separates corporate, cold, and boring brands. The fact is the best philanthropy is symbiotic because everyone benefits and there is progress.

Some of the biggest contributors are Fortune 500 companies.  Most have huge year-round campaigns fundraising for various charities. Some of these philanthropist companies include: Wal-Mart, Wells Fargo, and Goldman Sachs, all with cash contributions of at least $267 million dollars, just to name a few.  Most Fortune 500 companies have a philanthropist approach. In particular, companies that deal with the public or communities are almost required to give in order to establish relationships and trust with targeted and important demographics.

In some cases, branding with philanthropy works as a cover up, or to balance out a negative reputation.  Exxon Mobil had that 2012 oil spill, where approximately 11 million gallons of oil spilled into the ocean, killing thousands of animals, with carcasses of more than 35,000 birds and 1,000 sea otters found after the spill. Exxon donates over $268 million dollars to charities per year.

In a local scale, philanthropic companies are in dire need. The current economic downturns have forced cuts on local programs like music, art. and character development programs that are imperative to youth and community development. There a myriad of programs in need of support and funding and most of the time the only way some survive is from local businesses support.  In return, businesses get additional promotion, attention, and establish a symbiotic connection with the community.