October 31, 2017

Help! I Don’t Have Time to Be Philanthropic I’m Too Busy Growing a Business, Philanthropy and Business Growth

business meeting at a table“I’d love to get involved, but I’m too busy.” In my years of working with businesses to help them develop effective nonprofit partnerships, I frequently hear about time constraints. Here’s what my most successful clients discover. They don’t have time not to be philanthropic. Let me explain. Engagement speeds growth because it provides:

 1. Richer Networking 

  • In part, we network to grow businesses. I attend about 50 networking events a year and give three to five pro-bono projects. The pro bono work provides five times the business results. Helping the right nonprofit helps you to meet people before they become your customers.
  • Build relationship faster by joining with people who you will like and share common interests, such as our passions for a cause. Infant businesses take all comers. Marie and Yvonne meet at a networking event. They have coffee and discover that they both support a children’s cause. Marie recommends Yvonne to one of her clients the next day.
  • Build trust faster. You’ve been at events with takers.  People prefer people who give first.

 2. Opportunities to Distinguish You

  • When you visit the art gallery, you notice the framed pictures, not the wall. With 1.5 million nonprofits possibilities, your focus on a specific nonprofit or three distinguishes you from competitors.
  • Choosing a cause or a nonprofit, allows you to gracefully pass on opportunities outside your frame. By focusing, a law firm reduces unsolicited requests by 50 percent.
  • Stand apart from competitors. A firm selects literacy as their cause. They celebrate branding success when a prospect mentions their reading program in a sales conversation.

3. Balance and Perspective

  • Stepping away provides a fresh perspective. Your mind works productively in the background. Even if you fail to gain specific insights into current challenges, research teaches us that understandings arrive by stepping away from problems.
You don’t have time not to be philanthropic, but not all giving is equal. To succeed, be intentional. Combine thoughtful giving back with business growth activities.


Karen Eber Davis

Karen Eber Davis provides customized advising and coaching around nonprofit strategy and board development. People leaders hire her to bring clarity to sticky situations, break through barriers that seem insurmountable, and align people for better futures. She is the author of 7 Nonprofit Income Streams and Let's Raise Nonprofit Millions Together.


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