2-minute article

Helping your community and your business

Philanthropy is a great way to help your local community. But it can also help you prospect new client leads — essentially growing your business while doing good.

You’ll make more connections in the local community, which is always good. But there is also a clear opportunity to boost the profile of your business as a whole. According to a 2021 study, 86 percent of respondents think CEOs in financial services should lead on social issues. Clients actually want leaders in your firm to publicly speak out about societal challenges and help make the world better.

Here are a handful of steps you can take to get involved with local philanthropies or charities that are important to you — and how to use that involvement to enhance your business.

Find a firm-wide niche
The first step is to decide what types of causes or community groups you want to support. By targeting a specific giving niche, such as literacy programs, financial inequality or food insecurity, you can create connections within a specific local philanthropic community. Your firm can find a niche that it supports, and that niche can be mentioned in your promotional materials.

Encourage your team to branch out
Next, encourage your colleagues to find their own causes to support. According to America's Charities, a nonprofit that studies giving in the workplace, participation increases when employees can choose their own charities. If someone is already involved with your local arts community, ask if they would feel comfortable being a more formal representative of your firm at arts events. Or consider supporting that colleague as he or she tries to get on the board of a local art institution.

Build trust
Financial professionals who are connected to worthwhile causes will increase their profiles, enhance their personal brands and build trust. If a colleague is already connected to a cause, it will be a natural connection that could be turned into a business connection.

Inspire confidence
According to Financial Planning, financial professionals who also support charitable organizations should use their own stories to lead client conservations about philanthropy. It is suggested that people who want to give to charities feel more confident in information about giving when it comes from financial professionals with firsthand experience.

Get noticed
In addition to the natural connections you make with potential clients and your community, there are awards for firms and financial professionals who give to charities. The Invest in Others Charitable Foundation, which gives the Volunteer of the Year and Community Service awards, has an annual ceremony honoring financial professionals who make a commitment to charity.

Two things you can do today

  • Make a list of causes in your community that you care about and plan to get further involved in them.
  • Highlight any individuals in your firm who are already participating in community giving.

This information is brought to you by Athene — where innovative annuity solutions are powered by unconventional thinking.