Financial Data
Updated 29 Sep 2020

The givers are the ones that gain

Globally, leaders are being mindful of giving back or paying it forward. In South Africa it is more than a nice to have, it’s a necessity. There are numerous reasons to give back to our communities - but all too often we do it as a box-ticking exercise, which defeats the very purpose. 

Glenn van Eck, 16 September 2017  Share  0 comments  Print

All the answers to your unique business lifestage questions

My company has been supporting youth theatre for over a decade. We give time to causes close to our hearts, and sponsor select events, but there’s more to giving than scoring BBBEE or ‘brownie’ points.

The business benefits we have received include:

Respect and a good reputation

As an entrepreneur, it's easy to identify needs and speak with local organisations about what assistance they require. When businesses help others, people tend to want to support the company in return. Building goodwill means there's a group who will recommend you, and offer referrals.   

Related: Are we (in life and business) becoming slaves to technology?

Building culture 

Respect and reputation begin first and foremost within your organisation. A company with heart is a company people want to be a part of, and getting teams involved tangibly builds a culture of giving back and purpose.

Making your city a better place to live 

In our support of community theatre, we upskill individuals, inspire future careers and offer Port Elizabeth professional-level productions. But, it could be as simple as fixing up a local park or donating to schools employees children attend to give them better and safer places to learn and play. Companies that give to environmental causes, or green initiatives, lead to a healthier and more beautiful environment in the immediate area. 

We’re based in Port Elizabeth and Cape Town, so ocean conservancy is also relevant and in the past have partnered with causes to help build awareness and raise funds to protect the ocean. 

Employees respect leaders who do good 

Many team leaders go through the motions, without a thought to building employee cohesion or job satisfaction. Lead by example - if you make your company a positive force in the community it can improve employees' respect for their leadership (which can only help you). It's also simply a fuzzy feeling that can motivate your workforce, and employees need all the motivation they can get. 

Related: Take control – This is how you can create more time in your day

Connections and networking 

Philanthropic organisations are often made up of influential individuals who ‘do’. Being welcomed into and working with these groups brings you into contact with these people. For an entrepreneur or businessperson, these connections are an invaluable resource.

The people you know determine what you can do, and the opportunities open to you. I have also found that members of these organisations tend to have a mutual trust and respect, which are essential for doing business.

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About the author

Glenn van Eck

Aged 20, Glenn started a gardening service in his second year of University, and sold it five years later to buy Magnetic Storm. Still at the helm, Glenn has grown a two-man disco into a full-service event and tech company with offices in Port Elizabeth and Cape Town, servicing the entire country. Glenn has also invested in Chas Everitt Nelson Mandela Bay, the Electoquip franchise (now incorporated into Magnetic Storm), established Imagio Productions with Glen Meyburgh, and joined forces with his brother Shaun to form The Tourism Coach.

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