The purpose of business is to serve people, be socially responsible, and enhance the well-being of your community. To be successful, you need a strong sense of higher purpose beyond simply making money and maximizing shareholder returns. You also need a culture dedicated to the greater good over self-interest, as well as employee engagement and the ultimate goal of achieving social impact.

Companies that incorporate philanthropy into their business processes succeed by creating value for society. They contribute to the world’s greater good by addressing a social or environmental challenge through their products, services, and employment policies. Businesses can also effect change by influencing individuals in powerful ways, moving them to action, and improving systems.

Philanthropy in Business

Different people have different definitions of philanthropy. In the context of leading a business, it means that you need a company culture and organizational values that are dedicated to contributing to making your community better. This is accomplished through several means, including supporting social causes, business practices that enhance society, employee engagement, and the impact you’re making on the world through your products or services.

Practice Social Responsibility

Philanthropy needs to be a company-wide activity that everyone participates in. As an entrepreneur, you’re the captain of your ship and therefore start with yourself. As you bring on new people, whether they are employees or investors, include social responsibility as part of the job description rather than an add-on. Make sure they are on board with your mission, and if they aren’t, be willing to let them go.

More Than Giving Money

Don’t just throw money into a pot and hope it makes a difference, or you’ll be disappointed. Philanthropy is about connection and impact. Create meaningful partnerships with nonprofits that complement your mission, connect with influencers who share your passion, and learn from them how to achieve your goals. Create products or services that solve social problems and sell them at a profit. If you’re not profitable, then sell your expertise. Share what you know because it’s priceless to those who can use it for good.

Inspire Others to Help You

As an entrepreneur and a leader, people look to you for guidance. If your passion inspires others, they may help you along the way. Find ways to allow others to participate in your mission with their time or money. Ask them how they can get involved and what would inspire them to participate.

Be Intentional

The world needs socially responsible businesses. They make a difference in their communities and create value that benefits society. Being intentional about your intentions will inspire others to do the same, and you’ll be on the right path toward having a positive impact on a bigger picture than just your bottom line.

What do you really care about? What is your higher purpose? What do you want to make a difference in the world with? Your business should be aligned with those values, and you need to share that vision with your team. Be willing to work with like-minded partners to create impact together, and encourage others who are inspired by what you’re trying to do so they can join along for the ride.