Philanthropy As A Business Strategy: John Margerison Shares How Giving Back Drives New Opportunities


Philanthropy is more than just charitable giving in the business world; it embodies a strategic value that many companies recognize today. When companies engage in philanthropic activities, they not only contribute to the betterment of society but also create new opportunities for growth and success. John Margerison, a passionate philanthropist who believes deeply in the goodness of human nature and the importance of supporting worthy causes, discusses how effective philanthropy can benefit society and drive new business opportunities and growth.

Building Stronger Relationships

Incorporating philanthropy into business strategies offers the significant advantage of forging deeper connections with customers, employees, and the broader community. Companies that align their philanthropic efforts with causes that resonate with these groups not only enhance their reputation but also create a positive image. This alignment leads to stronger customer loyalty as consumers increasingly prefer to support socially responsible businesses.

Employees also tend to be more engaged and committed to organizations that demonstrate a genuine commitment to important causes, translating into higher satisfaction and retention levels. This contributes to a more stable and productive workforce. Furthermore, businesses that actively engage in philanthropy often find it easier to attract and retain top talent, as prospective employees are drawn to companies with a strong sense of social responsibility and community engagement.

John Margerison’s view is “Philanthropy also allows businesses to publicly demonstrate their values and commitment to making a positive impact, helping them differentiate from competitors and build a unique brand identity”. This differentiation can foster increased customer loyalty, as consumers are more likely to support businesses that share their values.

Additionally, active community engagement builds trust, proving invaluable in times of crisis or challenges, as businesses with a strong philanthropic track record often receive more support.

Driving Innovation

Philanthropy catalyzes innovation by fostering a deep connection with the causes businesses support. For instance, a technology company investing in education programs might unearth innovative ways to integrate technology into learning environments, sparking the development of cutting-edge products tailored for educational settings. Likewise, a healthcare firm contributing to disease research could stumble upon groundbreaking treatments or therapies that improve patient outcomes and stimulate business expansion.

Furthermore, philanthropy encourages businesses to think beyond conventional boundaries, propelling them toward new horizons of growth and development. Companies can cultivate a culture of creativity and exploration by actively participating in philanthropic endeavors. This ethos can lead to the emergence of pioneering products, services, or business models that might not have been conceived otherwise. In essence, philanthropy enriches the community and society at large. It is a potent driver of innovation and progress within the business realm, fostering a mutually beneficial relationship between societal impact and business success.

Creating Shared Value

The concept of creating shared value, championed by Michael Porter and Mark Kramer, emphasizes that businesses can generate economic value while benefiting society. At its core, this concept suggests that businesses can pursue strategies that address social and environmental challenges, ultimately leading to positive outcomes for the company and the community.

Philanthropy is crucial in creating shared value by enabling businesses to tackle pressing social and environmental issues while delivering value to their shareholders. By aligning their philanthropic endeavors with their core business objectives, companies can create a harmonious relationship where societal and business needs are met.

When businesses integrate philanthropy into their strategic planning, they can achieve various benefits beyond traditional corporate social responsibility initiatives. By actively engaging in philanthropic activities that align with their business goals, companies can enhance their brand reputation and strengthen relationships with key stakeholders. Additionally, businesses can gain a competitive edge by differentiating themselves from their peers and attracting socially conscious consumers and investors. This approach contributes to society’s well-being and helps businesses build a sustainable and profitable future.

Enhancing Brand Loyalty

Philanthropy plays a pivotal role in fostering brand loyalty and enhancing customer engagement. When customers witness a business’s dedication to making a positive societal impact, they develop a deeper sense of loyalty and connection with the brand. This emotional bond often translates into increased customer retention, repeat business, and positive word-of-mouth referrals.

Moreover, socially responsible businesses often enjoy the added benefit of being able to command a premium for their products or services. Customers are willing to contribute extra to support companies actively engaged in philanthropic endeavors and seen as agents of positive change. This willingness to support reflects customers’ value on corporate social responsibility and underscores the importance of businesses aligning their values with those of their customers.


Philanthropy is not just about giving back; it’s also about driving new business opportunities and growth. John Margerison advocates for integrating philanthropy into business strategies as it builds stronger relationships, drives innovation, creates shared value, and enhances brand loyalty. In today’s competitive landscape, effective philanthropy is not just a nice to have, it’s a strategic imperative essential for long-term business success.

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