Kenneth Savino of Avon, CT is an entrepreneur in wealth management, and committed to giving back to the community through charitable work. In the article below, Ken Savino explains charitable giving in business, being mission focused, and creating internal strength in the company itself.
Giving back is easy. Creating a business culture that is inherently charitable is another story.
Kenneth Savino says that it’s a challenge worth taking. A business model that not just supports but celebrates charitable giving as a company value is a business model with internal strength and external appeal.
There are fundamental economic advantages as well, Including tax deductions, attracting young workers who value giving back, and marketing opportunities.
While any businesses are asked to give to charities throughout the year, Ken Savino of Avon, CT discusses how to make charity part of a company’s identity and purpose.
Ken Savino on the Power of Giving
In addition to the main goal of helping others and improving communities, balancing purpose with revenue has additional appeal.
According to a recent study, 94% of people believe a company should be run with a strong purpose. The result isn’t just sharing a giving spirit. Kenneth Savino reports that the same study found that consumers are at least four times more likely to buy products from a company with a mission and recommend it to others.
So many businesses are embracing a charitable model that it now has its own name — the giving back model. It’s no longer a trend, it’s a commitment to a long-term positive impact explains Ken Savino of Avon, CT.
Charitable Business Model Strategies
Though at heart they share prioritizing a giving-back culture, charitable business models are not created equal according to Kenneth Savino.
While some business models outline the importance of charitable activity or a philanthropic goal, others have been built on giving back. When TOMS was founded in 2006, donations were exclusively shoes. Now, a wide range of global charities receives one-third of TOMS’ profits.
Other strategies fall somewhere in the middle. Ken Savino of Avon, CT explains below some of the most popular to consider:
There is absolutely nothing wrong with a company embracing one specific cause, of course, but many are opting to widen their charitable scope. With a multi-purpose mission, charitable business models seek to tackle a list of challenges and issues that often overlap (for example, homelessness and job training).
Freshpet works with causes that advance environmental sustainability, but the pet food company also donates millions of meals to animal shelters every year explains Ken Savino of Avon, CT.
• Parallel Giving
Known as “buy one, give one,” this charitable model is based on a company donating the same item to someone in need when someone buys a company’s product. That was TOMS’ original model with shoes. A company making eyeglasses may opt to donate a pair for every pair bought.
A variation is the buy-some, donate-some business model. Instead of a direct “give one” approach, when someone buys a product, a company using this model may donate a blanket amount to a cause, such as 20% of the profit. Some companies may release certain products where all profits go to charity explains Kenneth Savino.
• Awareness Focus
Businesses may decide to focus on one type of social issue or complex challenge by making it part of their brand. This is typically accomplished by sharing information about the issue on their website or social media or even promoting it on physical products.
Corporations may sponsor events that are tied to their chosen mission or sponsor conferences on the challenge.
What to Consider When Building a Charitable Business
• Have a Vision
Employers and consumers will not value a philanthropic vision that feels rushed, muddled, or disingenuous.
Sometimes it’s an easy mistake to make — organizations may feel very passionate about different causes or approaches to giving — but it’s better to think first about an overall charitable mission that aligns with the company’s purpose or place in the community explains Ken Savino of Avon, CT.
• Talk to Employees
If corporations want its employees to embrace a charitable business model, it’s vital to engage them in the process; take the temperature of the room.
Are there commonalities among issues that are important to team members? Are there societal goals that resonate? Are there existing charities or non-profit organizations in the community that people want to partner with?
• Have Leadership Set the Example
It’s one thing to say that a company is devoted to a certain cause, but it’s quite another to put its money where its mouth is.
Kenneth Savino of Avon, CT explains that if leadership does not lead by example, whether through volunteerism, financial donations or consistently encouraging a charitable spirit, a company cannot expect its employees to be on board or take the mission seriously.