To remember the poor by investing generously and sacraficially in
the broader community:
In business, we work hard, and the primary driving force behind our efforts is to ensure that we run a profitable business that will make us money. And although the idea of “giving money away” seems to go against the grain of our fundamental beliefs regarding how and why we do business, a new trend has developed in business whereby businesspeople are, with increasing frequency, realising the positive value of also investing money and other means in people and communities.
This new trend, in which the value and importance of giving is recognised, is called Corporate Social Investment, or “CSI” in short. The question could be asked, why would we give away money that we have worked very hard to earn, within a very competitive environment?
Firstly, the emphasis business is constantly shifting towards the importance of establishing and maintaining relationships. If we, as a business, are prepared to also give and not just receive, it shows that we as an organisation have a heart. Furthermore, no business is an island. A business cannot be healthy within an unhealthy society. As such it makes sense to invest in the broader community and society on which the business relies for support and growth. Also, the investment of resources in the broader community does not exclude the option of contributing towards the well-being of your own employees. Various channels for such an investment could be explored; i.e. study bursaries, provision of housing, facilitating of health care etc. All of which will most probably ensure a higher morale amongst personnel.
At the end of the day social investment is just that – an investment in society that might seem like a cash outflow at the time, but that may very well offer significant loyalty and returns in the long run.
“If we are going to be kind, let it be out of simple generosity, not because we fear guilt or retribution.” – J.M. Coetzee, Author and Nobel Prize Winner (Disgrace)