Robert Bassam Asks: Does Corporate Philanthropy Stop at Work?
For Robert Bassam, doing charitable works and extending financial help should be part of every business’ culture. When you build a culture of giving and generosity, you are shaping the character of your organization, as well as that of each member of your team. Your reputation as a ‘giving’ company can sometimes supersede business-savvy reputation, especially where your audience is concerned. It’s not easy to build a culture of philanthropy in the workplace because each member of your organization has his or her own beliefs. There are also times when practicality wins over benevolence. How can you give something that you don’t have, or when you only have enough to tide you over, right?
But for Robert Bassam, giving isn’t confined to monetary contributions. As a matter of fact, giving of your time, effort, talent or skills is much more rewarding for you and the receiver of our “gifts.” Sometimes, it’s deep human connection that people in dire situations need most. Making them feel that they important, that their stories are heard, and they have as much right to belong in your community as everyone else, have a more profound impact on them. Sometimes, it’s your words of compassion and encouragement that inspires them to turn their life around. Making someone feel that they aren’t invisible is probably one of the best gifts you could ever give them.
With that said, Robert Bassam believes that when a culture of giving is deeply-ingrained in every member of your organization, it spills over to every other aspect of their lives. In this regard, a culture of giving that has become a part of your organization’s character isn’t confined to the four corners of your office, or when business hours are over.
If you truly walked your philanthropic talk, then it shouldn’t matter where you are because charity has become part of who you are. Robert Bassam further adds that when giving has become your nature, you wouldn’t think twice about extending help—to those who asked and those who didn’t. You see, when giving is in your nature, you don’t need a prompt to act. You take the initiative to help.
And more than anything, this means being charitable towards your family and friends. By this, Robert Bassam means, being compassionate and understanding, sharing of yourself to your family and friends, and similarly, being open to receiving help. These are all acts of charity that we should all do well to practice at home.
When the culture of philanthropy stops at work, then there’s much to be said about the leadership in your organization.
But when you give, and you give without expectations of a reward or remuneration, then you have truly embraced the concept of philanthropy. Robert Bassam has often said that when you give and you expect something in return, you’re not actually doing an act of philanthropy. You’re doing a business transaction.
Finally, giving is a choice you may every day.
Do you have comments on this post, or questions for Robert Bassam? You are encouraged to get in touch with him at your convenience.