Top Ten Tips for Building a Generous Business
As more and more business owners are influenced by the generosity message, there is a growing need for practical insight on how to impact their employees and God's Kingdom through giving and stewardship.
Originally appearing in our Generous Business resource guide, below is a list of "Top 10 Tips" developed by the leadership at Bridgeway Capital Management, a fast-growing registered investment firm in Houston, to help other business owners get started:
- Make sure the business is strong and respected – You can’t have a successful giving program without profits. Taking care of your customers and providing great products and service is imperative if you want your customers to support you in this endeavor.
- Lead by example – Make a personal commitment of your own time, talents, and money. Don’t ask your staff to do something you aren’t willing to do yourself.
- Include stewardship in your mission and vision statement – Make your goals more powerful and meaningful by going beyond just becoming number one in your market.
- Set giving and relationship goals – You may want your initial goal to be ambitious and fun (e.g. percentage of profits, total dollars, involvement, alliances built, volunteer hours). We use business metrics, so why not use giving metrics? Measure results, not just dollars.
- Empower your staff and their families – A generous business starts with the owner and leadership team but cannot be accomplished without broad staff involvement. True transformation happens as your whole staff and their families become owners and shapers of the vision.
- Be creative – Take risks. Get creative when it comes to giving programs, and add them progressively as the giving culture grows and skills are developed. Support new ventures and passionate people.
- Develop guidelines for focused areas of giving – Be careful about where money goes because your reputation goes with it. Draw boundaries that you and your staff can live with.
- Recognize that it’s not about the money – It’s about building relationships with and changing the hearts of your staff, your change partners, and the lives of people you are reaching.
- Learn from mistakes – Don’t be afraid to experiment and change. Find what works for you. Use mistakes in grants or programs as opportunities to learn.
- Celebrate giving successes – Develop programs to recognize the impact of your company and staff. Bring out the joy for everyone!
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