According to a study conducted by Cone Communications, more than 60% of Americans hope businesses will drive social and economic change without government regulation. But this shouldn’t come as a surprise.

In recent years, a greater emphasis has been placed on Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR)—a term used to describe voluntary actions a company takes to operate in a more economic, social, and environmentally sustainable manner. Examples of CSR include reducing your business’ carbon footprint and engaging in philanthropy.

Philanthropy can take on a number of different forms, from fundraising to allowing employees to volunteer for local charities. Here are three ways that giving back can benefit your business in the long run:

  1. Attracting Talent: Research shows that millennials place a high value on company culture—more so than previous generations. They want employers who are invested in people and the planet. Having a philanthropic mission boosts your business’ reputation and creates a positive work environment that can help motivate staff, strengthen team culture, and improve work performance.
  2. Brand Marketing: Differentiating your company from its competitors is a key element of marketing your brand. The social and environmental causes that your company supports speak volumes about its mission and values. Using philanthropy to show support for certain causes is a great way to set your business apart and establish a unique brand identity.
  3. Customer Loyalty: In today’s tech-savvy society, consumers can easily access a company’s records and read about their socially conscious projects. As a result, customers are increasingly choosing to purchase from companies that contribute to social and environmental causes, even if it means paying more for products or services. In a 2017 research study, 87% of the people surveyed said they would purchase a product because the company supported an issue they cared about. The same study also revealed that 76% of consumers said they would refuse to purchase products from a company that supported a cause that went against their beliefs.

 

Donating money, products, or services to social and environmental causes is more than just good PR for your company—it’s beneficial for everyone involved. A prime example of this is one of TDS’ most recent philanthropy projects.

Back in May, 85 unique, life-size Bucky Badger statues were revealed across the Madison, Wisconsin area as part of Bucky on Parade—a free public art event. Each statue in the parade was sponsored by a local business—including TDS—and transformed into a work of art by local and regional artists. At the end of the event, the Bucky statues will be actioned off and the proceeds will be donated to Garding Against Cancer and the Madison Area Sports Commission.

“Full Fatigues Bucky”—the statue sponsored by TDS—is particularly unique because it was designed and brought to life by a group of veterans from the Madison Vet Center and VSA Wisconsin. For many of the veterans who had a hand in this project, working on “Full Fatigues Bucky” was a therapeutic outlet that helped them process their military experiences.

It was important to the group that “Full Fatigues Bucky” represented every branch of service and as many military conflicts as possible so that no veteran was left behind. From the different military uniforms sewn together (including part of a uniform that was worn in combat during the Vietnam War), to the photo collage on Bucky’s head, “Full Fatigues Bucky” is more than just a statue—it’s a collection of meaningful stories.

In the video below, a few of the artists share what it was like bringing this special statue to life.

Sponsoring “Full Fatigues Bucky” was a great opportunity for TDS to show support for veterans and the local community while also demonstrating its core values and company culture—a great example of how philanthropy is beneficial for everyone involved.

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