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The Gift of Giving Back is Big

Does your optical business have a charity it supports? Do employees, patients, and management all take part?

Q4 is the time when philanthropy has traditionally taken center stage. To help you step up to the challenge, here we shed some light on what’s new and now in giving.

  • RECORD LEVELS. For over of the last three years, charitable giving has reached record levels. In 2016, giving actually represented 2.1% of GDP, according to Charity Navigator.
  • BUSINESS STRATEGY. Giving used to be a mostly-in-December one-off. More companies now see giving as an integral, ongoing part of their business strategy.
  • CONNECT TO CONSUMERS. One reason why, report Cone Communications and Echo Research, is that over 90% of consumers say they’d switch to a company or brand that supports a good cause.
  • ENGAGE EMPLOYEES. According to another Cone Communications study, 51% of employees surveyed say they choose to not work for companies that don’t have strong charitable commitments. And, seven out of ten add that making a positive impact will keep them with their current company.
  • CHECK ‘EM OUT. Before settling on a charity, look into their operation. One excellent watchdog organization is Another, Charity Navigator, ranks charities by factors like accountability and transparency.
  • NEED IDEAS? Here are six suggestions: co-sponsor an event with members of your neighborhood association; work with a supplier to offer a limited edition product; donate high-end eyewear to a charity auction; collect monetary or physical donations like toys in-house; host an exclusive event for select patients; or organize an employee team to participate in a community event or competition.
  • DOING MATH. One approach that’s particularly popular with small businesses this year is donating a percentage of sales to an optical-related cause. And, speaking of math, giving may be its own best reward. However, a boost in your bottom line isn’t a bad benefit either. As entrepreneur and philanthropist Richard Branson puts it, “Doing good is good for business.”

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