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A Culture of Values | J. Adams Attorneys

May 24, 2011 06:29PM ● By Anonymous

Business is often defined as an enterprise that sells goods or services to generate profits and creates wealth for owners.Non-profit organizations might be considered the antithesis of a for-profit business: specifically formed not to create a profit, but to serve some other purpose, sometimes philanthropic. In fact, most people associate philanthropic activities with nonprofit organizations, or NPOs. Individuals volunteer, make charitable donations and planned gifts in their estate plans. Forprofit businesses are simply not often included in traditional concepts of philanthropic endeavors.

Corporate citizenship, however, is not a new idea. It is worth reflecting on what it means— especially on ways that growing businesses can use philanthropy, to build brand awareness and customer loyalty for sure, but also to create an internal culture of values for owners and employees alike. Indeed, traditional forprofit businesses can reap a host of benefits by taking advance steps to incorporate philanthropic strategies into their overall  business plans.

Here are some simple ways to effectively add philanthropy to a business plan—and some reasons why it makes good business sense to do so:

• Hold a business mission strategy session, and have owners, managers and employees brainstorm together to draft a purpose statement with a philanthropy component. A great team exercise, it gives employees a sense of ownership in the company’s outlook, and builds a community oriented around a meaningful common purpose.

• Add philanthropic activities into the calendar that are consistent with the company’s purpose statement and overall vision or personality. Enhances company visibility, promotes activity and execution, and helps the community.

• Create a Code of Values and Ethics for your business. Helps generate continuity of service and underscores a business’ mission statement.

• Plan for succession by crafting a founder’s vision—one that can be used to bring younger generations into the business and adapt to changes in leadership and personnel. Ensures continuity and sustainability over time, especially for a family-owned business.

Remember that it is never too early to start planning for your business’ growth and success. Even start-up, for-profit enterprises can benefit by incorporating philanthropy as part of an overall mission or purpose.

J. Adams, Attorneys offers business advisory services with a legal advantage, through our proprietary EDGE Program™. We work with business owners, managers, and family businesses on thoughtful, conscientious, and complete strategies for sustainability, growth, and succession in complex and evolving markets.


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