”Why does a young company like Rainmaking spend time and money on charity dinners?” ”A school in India?? Why the heck have you prioritized that when some of your start up arenot even profitable yet?”
We’ve heard such questions a lot since we ran our first charity initiative 3 years ago, and this blog post is an attempt at an answer.
In short, we do these things because it a) makes us happy and b) is good for business. What could be more fun, rewarding and meaningful than pull all your friends and contacts togetherfor a blast of a party centred around improving the lives of people less fortunate than us? After having experienced your fair share of vibrant cities and beautiful beaches, what can be more exciting than to drive around in rural Honduras on a charity mission together with a handful of your amazing colleagues?
“Yeah, I see it can be fun, but what do your investors say?” is sometimes the next question. Actually, they love it! Of course they have been part of all our charity dinners, and no one has contributed more than them, both in terms of support and donations. Investors are just like the rest of us; they want to contribute to a better world, and be happy in the process, too.
And charity is good for business – I am not kidding. We have found many of our investors and business partners during our charity activities. For instance, two of our investors in my current start up, BetterNow.org, can be directly credited to a group trip (we called it a SocialAdventure) to India to visit the school we established there. We met our investor at TrueSkin, Lars Thuesen, for the first time at one of our charity dinners because one of our existing investors, Frederik Heegaard, put him on the guest list.
Maybe more importantly doing charity builds trust. At Rainmaking we save tons of time because people trust us – we don’t need long contracts that take all risks into consideration.
And most important of all; we have evolved into a talent magnet in a way none of us had ever dared hope for. We started out 4 guys a little over 5 years ago, and today we are 90 talented, warm hearted and dedicated colleagues – all with second to none capabilities, and tons of alternatives as to where to pursue their passions. All these amazing people have chosen to join our visionary journey because of many things – one of them definitely being that we care for the big picture, and put actions behind our good intentions.
A recent survey showed that 77% of all people think “a company’s commitment to social issues is important when I decide where to work”. Check the Harvard Business blog post.
So that’s why.