"If you think money can't buy happiness, try giving some away and see what happens." -Michael Norton Harvard Business School professor Michael Norton studies the relationship between money and happiness, and he has some interesting observations about it:
The individuals he studies do not report being happier after spending money on themselves, but they do report significantly higher levels of happiness when they spend money on others.
We can translate this phenomenon among individuals to corporate philanthropy as well. Employees who have a role in determining where their company's philanthropic dollars are directed report higher levels of satisfaction with their work, and are more loyal to the company.
In addition, when shoppers are given the ability to direct donations through their in-store actions, it creates stronger consumer loyalty and can drive repeat business.
Bottom line: corporate philanthropy programs that engage employees in decision-making and allow for something other than a lump-sum donation to an organization or two can be successful not only in spreading the wealth, but in spreading the happiness.
Keep giving and keep smiling!