Being Socially Responsible

A woman I know runs a soup kitchen. This woman is incredible. After retiring, she felt God calling her to open a soup kitchen, so she did. She works 60+ hours a week in retirement running this soup kitchen without taking a salary. She lives on her retirement pay and gives all her time and energy to helping feed hungry people.

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Recently, she was talking about contributions that come to the soup kitchen. Since she is a Christian, the soup kitchen lady feels strongly about not making a big deal out of contributions. However, a number of local companies give her money. They want her to send a notice to the newspaper or to post a picture of them holding the check on Facebook when they make a contribution. The soup kitchen lady was really put out by this.

As a Christian, she feels that people should give “not letting their left hand know what their right hand is doing”. I agreed with her when it came to individual charity gifts. However, I told her I thought that she needed to look at business charity gifts differently.

I went on to explain to her that today many consumers want to know that businesses are not just being greedy and getting rich off of their patronage. I told her that consumers want to know that businesses they frequent are giving some of their profits back to help the needy and the environment to make the world a better place to live. I informed her that, as such, these companies want the publicity so that consumers know they are helping their community as well as selling products or services.

I don’t think I made much of an impression on the soup kitchen lady. She did not appear to agree with my point of view. After all, she is definitely a Boomer (and her soup kitchen largely caters to the elderly), while the corporations she was talking about have Millennials (those aged 16 to 32 years) as a large portion of their clientele. After all, Millennials are currently the largest generation in the United States.

Millennials have high expectations for corporate social responsibility. They expect businesses to not just rake in profits, but do something to give back and make the world a better place. Studies show that Millennials will switch their brand loyalty from companies that do nothing for social good to ones that publicly share these values and follow through with making the world a better place.

If you are trying to market your books to the Millennial generation, I encourage you to take notice of the fact that corporate social responsibility is extremely important for this generation. Make sure you are communicating to them how you are being socially responsible with your earnings. It will go a long way toward acquiring their business.

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