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In 2015 alone, 20 of the most generous Fortune 500 companies donated a total of $3.5 billion in cash to various charitable causes and institutions according to a report by Caroline Preston. $446.7 million of this came from top ranked Gilead Sciences. The rest was split among some of the world’s most recognizable brands like Coca-Cola, Alphabet (Google) and Microsoft. 

But what exactly drives these businesses to give to charity? Should you do the same? Well, the short answer is yes. It doesn’t matter whether you’re running a local B&B or a full-on multinational company, philanthropy is always good for business.

Government incentives 

In most cases, governments enjoy rewarding generous businesses. Depending on where you’re from, corporate philanthropy can get you anything from tax breaks and deductions to all sorts of government subsidies. This is exactly why investment experts like Elliott Broidy do a whole lot of it. Broidy’s official Facebook page alone talks about at least seven philanthropic endeavors that he is involved in. The bottom line is that giving to charity as a business brings with it a host of financial benefits that every entrepreneur should capitalize on.

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Becoming a more likeable brand

Simply being known as a generous brand automatically makes people like you more. This, of course, means investors, talent and customers would be more willing to associate themselves with you. Now, you don’t have to be a rocket scientist to know that more investors means more capital, topnotch talent means improved efficiency and productivity, and more customers means bigger profits. No matter how you look at it, generous businesses have so much to gain.

Powerful marketing 

Of course, people who like your brand are also more likely to talk about it to their family and friends. And if there’s one thing everyone knows about word of mouth marketing, it’s that it is extremely effective. This is because it comes from people who potential customers already know and trust. The fact that it’s also free and has the potential to create a snowball effect are just icing on the cake.

Start giving today

Even though giving money away seems counterproductive to running a successful business—which is supposed to be making more of it—it is actually a great way to boost profits. It not only gives you access to various financial incentives from the government, but also draws eager investors, better employees and loyal customers to your brand. And, to top it all off, it also provides you with some free but highly effective advertising. Sounds like a pretty good deal, right?

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